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Leicester City Hockey Club Partners With Ellesmere College to Offer Work Experience Opportunities

Leicester City Hockey Club have partnered with Ellesmere College to provide work experience placements for their current students. As part of the programme, the club have recently welcomed Ankit and Matthew on a twelve week placement.

Based at St Margaret’s Pastures, which is owned and operated by Leicester City Hockey Club, the two work experience students have been busy learning more about the day-to-day running of the facility and have also had the chance to develop their all-round employability skills. 

The programme originally began before the pandemic in 2020, and due to the success of the original scheme, both LCHC and Ellesmere College were keen to resume the partnership before the end of the current school year. This has been possible due to the lifting of national restrictions, and the arrival of Ankit and Matthew signals an incredibly positive and successful resumption to the work experience placements.

Matthew K, who is one of the work experience students, said: “I am really grateful I have been given this fantastic opportunity, it’s amazing. You can really see the change in the areas we have been working which makes me feel proud! I love this job."

As part of the programme, Matthew and Ankit have had the opportunity to experience many different operational roles at St Margaret’s Pastures, which includes working in the café and also maintaining the gardens at the centre. According to Lorraine Melhuish, who is the Alternative Provisions Co-ordinator at Ellesmere College, this has had a significant impact on their future career aspirations.

Lorraine said: “From their time at this placement, they have already decided they would like to go to Brooksby College to complete a Horticultural Land-based course when they leave Ellesmere College. I would like to thank Sarah and Terri for giving our students this opportunity and hope we have many years working with them.”

The two students were interviewed for the position by the Sports Centre Manager at St Margaret’s Pastures, Terri Mason. This allowed the students to practice their interview skills in a real-life business environment, which are essential skills they can take forward and utilise in their future job searches.  

Regarding the success of the programme, Terri said: “The students are hardworking and lots of fun to be around, nothing is too much trouble, and their work has been a great asset to the site, something which they should be very proud of. We hope that we can continue to provide places in the future.”

Based in the outskirts of Leicester City, Ellesmere College is a large special school with places for 285 students. The college caters for students aged 4-19 with a range of special educational needs ranging from moderate to severe and complex needs. The College is proud of their ‘Ellesmere Qualities’, which consist of respect, responsibility, independence, confidence, resilience and teamwork.

Sally Anne-Gough, who is Assistant Principal at Ellesmere College, has added: “According to NHS Digital 6% of adults with a learning difficulty are in paid employment. We are determined to buck that trend by finding meaningful work placements for our students which will then lead to a successful placement on a supported internship and increase the opportunities for pain employment in the future.”

“I know first-hand how important a placement like this is for their self-esteem and aspirations for the future. Previous students who have been able to participate in long-term work experience have moved onto supported internships and level 2 qualifications, and this is what we want for the two students on placement at St. Margaret’s pastures.”