Career Matters develops social impact projects with partners to support talented young people and adults with inspirational career opportunities.  Our mission is to improve social mobility, increase a diverse workforce, advance career awareness and support positive destinations for all.  

We work in partnership with organisations, education providers and employers, to provide inspirational experiences, design and deliver creative digital content, provide employment opportunities, and develop skills for the 21st Century workplace. 

We work with partners to develop exciting new projects and initiatives across a range of areas including education provision, inspirational projects, social mobility, charitable causes and more. 

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Our partnership with TEDxNHS commenced in 2019, when we attended ‘Beyond our Component Parts’ with a group of care experienced young people with the aim of providing a unique opportunity to inspire those interested in a career in Health. 

Throughout the day and the range of inspirational talks, many of which covered elements of reference for the care experienced community and those with lived experience.  Charlie Webster’s talk on ‘Why rethinking PTSD can change everything’ gave insight into trauma informed practice.  Prerana Issar’s talk about the ‘Power of Purpose’ inspired and encouraged attendees to look for their core purpose in life and careers, to have self-belief and courage to pursue their authentic self.  Kate Morrissey’s moving talk, ‘Do we truly believe in rehabilitation’, looked at the situations leading into the secure estate, the barriers to moving forward into fulfilling career upon release.

“TEDxNHS aims to improve the health of the nation by creating curated platforms that amplify stories and ideas, enabling a collective social movement for change”

A specialist panel was brought together to meet and discuss opportunities in health and to open a dialogue about how support can be improved for the care experienced community.  Care experienced attendees benefitted from hearing what panellists and speakers do, have done, in their health career and how they were working to improve access to healthcare careers for all.  The panellists in turn were interested to learn from the young people about their experiences and what needs to change to help care leavers access employment as healthcare professionals.

 Questions included –

  1. What are the gaps in equality and diversity and how can they be addressed?
  2. What are the barriers to employment in health services for young care leavers?
  3. What is being done or could be done to remove them?
  4. What are the unique skills and qualities which a care leaver might be able to bring to a health role?   
  5. What mentorship/work experience/apprenticeship/graduate opportunities can be accessed or developed with the NHS for care experienced young people and adults?

Young People’s Perspective

Event Attendee:

I recently attended TEDxNHS 2019, a day celebrating the workforce of the NHS, and I was moved. The stories of doctors, nurses and allied professionals not only gave me insight into the empathy and intelligence of NHS staff, but it showed me the power of collaboration; that 1+1 does not equal 2, it can create 11. 

15 inspirational speakers walked the audience through their highly respected journeys and realisations. One particular speaker, Dr Batt-Rawden, struck a chord with me. She is an air ambulance intensive care physician who, through the story of her sick son, conveyed a crucial lesson: the power of empathy and how the lack of this crucial quality can breakdown not only a system like the NHS, but the people the system is supposed to care for.

Being privileged to meet Prerana Issar and Kate Morrissey was truly life transforming. These inspirational women that are incredible role models for me, not only allowed themselves to be vulnerable in-front of a massive arena, but they were crucial in shifting the many negative attitudes of people. For example, Kate’s experiences involved domestic and drug related issues that many people would not have the strength to elaborate so eloquently about. Their journeys spoke volumes, not only did they express how they felt, rather they represent a body of survivors and victims’ that are neglected and under-represented. 

As a young person that is a care leaver, having a good role model is something I do not take light heartedly. This opportunity was a one-of-a-kind experience, which has motivated me in capacities that I did not imagine I would be able to feel. 

This event was created through the sheer hard work of many volunteers. The dedication to create this event alone shows the passion humanity has to send a vital message of unity. The NHS is a blessing for those that have immigrated as Raj Adgopul expressed. Likewise, having moved to England when I was younger, I have always been thrilled to be a part of a system like the NHS that provides care for patients without a cost. As Prerana states “There is a cost to following your purpose, but there’s an even bigger cost for not following your purpose”. This event has inspired me to continue my purpose of working for the NHS and to be as inspiring as the women I met

Young person supported by Career Matters:

I cannot thank Career Matters enough for getting me to where I am today. Previously I lacked confidence and self-belief, and the thought of getting a job I loved, and all the work involved in that was overwhelming. Not having family to fall back on for support meant I found it extra difficult. Career Matters helped me more than I imagined. They supported me to update my CV, create cover letters, apply for jobs, support me before and after my interview and even when I got the dream job, they helped go through my contract with me. The help I have received goes beyond the practical, they took the time to really listen to my needs, to what work I would enjoy, helped me access voluntary work to boost my confidence and held belief in me when I struggled to see it. Without the combination of both approaches, I would not have got to this point today. As a care leaver, I needed this additional support which I found was lacking from other traditional organisations who tend to just give you a CV template and send you on your way. I felt understood, listened to and believed in – something which I never really had growing up in care.

Now I’m about to start a well-paid job within the NHS, and feel this is the start of a new chapter in my life.  Thank you!

Listen to Hannah Kirkbride’s talk at TEDx NHS 2021 event below:

How the care system affects career prospects | Hannah Kirkbride | TEDxNHS – YouTube 

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