ellenor recently welcomed some special visitors from Kent County Council (KCC) and Ifield School’s Post 19 facility to ellenor Gravesend. They came along to catch up with 22-year-old Steven (a student at Ifield’s Post 19 facility which is based on the North Kent College campus in Gravesend), who is currently spending two days a week with ellenor on a work placement.
Steven is supporting ellenor's gardening team on a Wednesday - and spent this week working incredibly hard in the charity's car park at Dartford tidying up a huge amount of leaves. On Thursdays he works in the kitchen at ellenor Gravesend.
“At ellenor, we are really keen to support and build community links and part of this is helping students to understand the world of care,” said Tricia Wilcocks, Head of Education and Research at ellenor. “We are really enjoying having Steven here and another student, John, who has a placement at our Swanscombe shop. We’d certainly consider taking on students in other areas of the organisation in the future.”
Students on placement from Ifield have the support of a job coach and Kelly comes in with Steven.
“I really enjoy working in the kitchen and have been cutting up vegetables and making cakes,” Steven said. “I have helped out in a kitchen before – but that was more cleaning and washing-up. Here I am doing more – getting involved with food prep and using the hob and oven. The bit I enjoy most though is how we all help each other in the kitchen.”
Kelly said that Steven has made some lovely lemon drizzle cakes, as well as a giggle cake – a moist fruit cake with cherries and pineapple.
“We are really proud of Steven and the progress he’s made already during the placement,” said Fay Elliott from Ifield (who was joined on the visit by Dot Marshall-Gent, Deputy Director of Ifield’s Post 16 &19 facility at North Kent College).
This is the third year that Ifield has sent its 19+ students out on placements in the community and it is still a pilot project, funded by Kent County Council (KCC). Two members of the education team at KCC – Lydia Ellwood and Debbie Whitewood – came on the visit and all the visitors enjoyed sampling a slice of delicious Bakewell tart made by Steven.
“We are so delighted with how this project has come together,” said Tricia.
Added Fay Elliott: “We are really grateful to ellenor for getting onboard with these placements. When we first got in touch with Tricia about ellenor taking some students, she said let’s approach this with a ‘can do’ attitude and that’s certainly helped to make this work.”