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Millie’s Hard Work Pays Off!


Millie started with Choices College on a Supported Internship in 2022. Millie has stammer resulting in anxiety and very low self-esteem.

Before attending the college, Millie struggled with confidence in her own ability, and did not yet have the skills to be able to communicate professionally in a workplace environment – or socially.


During her time at Choices College; Millie had placements at The Hanger Charity Shop and the GI Group in Doncaster.


Here is Millie testimony:


“My time a project choice was good, at first I was nervous because the college was in Sheffield and I wasn’t that confident to travel on my own, so I started doing travel training this helped a lot by someone showing me what train I should catch and what time I should get on it,  once I had more confidence I started getting the train on my own. On my first I was worried to meet new people and get to know them but once talking they all were really nice, and I became more confident to talk to people.


At project Choice, they set us to do some placements, so that we get an experience of what it is like to work outside of college. My first placement was working at The Hanger which is a children’s air ambulance charity shop, at that placement I did the prices of the items, but I mainly worked on the kids by stocking the clothes and tidying up the shoes, I sometimes put outfits on the mannequins and asked the customers if they need helping find anything, I met new people and I got the experience of working in a shop.


My last placement was working at GI Group, which is an office that works towards the NHS, when I first started, I was nervous. On my first day I was doing research on NHS jobs and mapping them out for different locations, I got experience learning about what to find in a good a cv. I also did some of the gift bags for people that have just gotten on jobs and made the drinks for all the girls, everyone really nice. I really enjoyed have work experience here and being to work in office environment it has helped a lot with my independence.


I now have a job at Doncaster hospital as a catering assistant that means that I take the dinner orders of the patients I really enjoy working at the hospital and meeting new patients every day and being able to put a smile on their face when taking their order.

I work on different wards every week so that I get meet new people. I have been at the Hospital for 6 months now and love my job, it has helped boost my confidence back up and I am able to talk to new people without getting nervous.”


But Choices College not only had a positive impact to Millie. The experience also benefited The Hanger and GI Group staff.


Here is what Laura McNeal from GI Group has to say about her experience with Choice’s College:


‘Millie came to us initially for a 12-week placement via an assisted internship. At the very beginning of the apprenticeship, we had a consultation with the college surrounding what to expect from them and what kind of thing to expect with Millie in particular. It was clear the college understood Millie and her needs well and that they would be closely involved throughout the process. Shortly after, the college did some training with my team and I to prepare for Millie’s assignment which included things like making sure we understood the way Millie may think, what sort of challenges we may face and how to train/ set tasks.


Millie then came to the office for a tour of the building, an introduction to the team and a brief on what kind of work we covered. It was on this trip that we came to understand what Millie wanted to learn from the placement and what GI Group stood to gain in return. Millie was understandably nervous but quickly settled into the visit. We were then really excited for Millie to get started with us and embedded into the team. We assigned Millie a ‘mentor’ in the team as we understood it was much better for Millie to receive tasks in the same way from the same person and the mentor equally could get to know the way Millie liked to be shown/ taught things.


Once Millie got started with us, she picked up soft tasks such as data collation, research, CV Searching and reference chasing. Some tasks were picked up easier than other but, in the end, we found this was more to do with the way we were explaining things. Millie had regular 1-2-1 time with her mentor, regular visits from the college and attended college in person every Wednesday. Whilst she was with GI Group she worked 3.5 hours per day, starting at 09:00, 4 days a week. This suited both Millie and the business well. Millie ended up extended her assignment to 6 months which took her all the way up to her graduation from college. The full GI team attended her graduation and loved to see Millie rewarded for how far she has come during her internship.  


This experience was so mutually beneficial and rewarding for the whole team. We saw Millie grow every week that went by and are proud of where she is now and what she contributed to the business during her time at GI Group.’


Alongside placement Millie took part in Choices College education days – NCFE Employability Skills, designed to increase Millie’s knowledge of professional behaviours and how to navigate a work environment. Millie was able to develop a CV, took part in mock interview practice, and receive advice and support about searching and applying for jobs that best suit her skills and needs.


Following completion of her supported internship with Choices College, Millie was successful at applying for a job at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.


Millie’s parents were really grateful to Choices College Sheffield staff for their time spent developing Millie’s employment readiness and increasing her confidence.


“Thanks Jo & Amy for all your support. NHS England Choices College internship has been the most important valuable year of Millie’s education. The work, energy and drive put in by you both and your team has been amazing’’.


NHS England Choices College staff say ‘‘It is only working within partnership with fantastic mentors and businesses such as the GI Group that we are able to provide an effective Supported Internship programme, we would like to thank them for their ongoing support and commitment to increasing opportunities for young people with special educational needs. It is truly making a difference.’’


Of the 2022-23 cohort over 80% of students at Sheffield Choice’s College had a positive outcome like Millie.

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