The Norwich Centre for Personal Professional & Spiritual Development and the Kickstart Scheme
The Norwich Centre for Personal Professional & Spiritual Development was established in 1980 and became a Registered Charity in 1992. The charity side exists to offer professional counselling to the local community. In addition, The Norwich Centre has contracts with local organisations to provide employee counselling and it also delivers counselling training courses up to professional level.
Task / Brief
During the height of the pandemic The Norwich Centre moved services online and then following lockdown moved back to the office and another new way of working. This created new administration tasks and the arrival of the Kickstart Scheme presented a win-win situation - an opportunity for a young person to gain skills and experience whilst helping The Norwich Centre with their administration.
The Norwich Centre was successful in recruiting to an Administrator Kickstart placement.
“I would definitely recommend the UEA Gateway, especially for a small organisation. Liaising with a person makes it much easier to negotiate the complexities of what you actually have to submit. It all went very smoothly. It was relatively easy. It’s perfectly achievable for a small organisation.
The move back to the office has been far more complex with offering a hybrid service, along with Covid risk assessment requirements and being able to explain those to the clients. I don’t think we could have done it without this.
We created a job but Emily has particular areas of interest and strengths and particular things that she feels will be helpful going forward, so we’ve been able to adapt to support that in the role. So it has benefitted us in terms of having the work done and also in being able to play to Emily’s strengths and interests as well.
A small organisation has a lot to offer and I would say to a young person ‘consider a smaller organisation and it might be a very good way to get a start’. I would also encourage smaller organisations to consider the Kickstart Scheme, what they might be able to gain and what they might be able to offer.”
- Caroline Kitcatt, Director, The Norwich Centre
“I found out about the Kickstart Scheme through my Work Coach at the Job Centre and then found additional information about the role through the UEA careers service, CareerCentral. Already being familiar with CareerCentral, it was extremely useful having the Kickstart vacancy on the website as well.
I’ve learnt about the administration side and become more familiar with different software and using more of the Microsoft suite. I’ve also learnt the different sides of the business. It’s been really interesting to understand that administration can be so varied depending on the service itself.
I did a literature degree at UEA and I’m very interested in books, so my project has been the library and reorganising that. I’m an avid reader and it’s been really interesting to understand the organisation of a library.
I would like to work in administration in the literature field. I now have this skillset and concrete examples from this role that I can take to future interviews to say I am experienced in this field. I’m also thinking more about counselling as a career, so it’s possibly opened up new careers I hadn’t thought of yet.
I would absolutely recommend Kickstart, it’s been a really great experience. If this role wasn’t part of the Kickstart Scheme I probably wouldn’t have got it with other applicants that might have had years more experience than I have. It’s given me an opportunity to learn an entirely new skillset. It gives a really good opportunity to start.
I would advise other graduates to go for it. The speed between finding the Kickstart role, then applying for it, getting the interview, and then being in the role felt so fast. I’d spent six months on Universal Credit, applying for jobs and never hearing back from anything. With it being part-time, you can feel proud and get something achieved with your day whilst you are still looking for outside work. You might as well try something new while you are applying around anyway.”
- Emily, Kickstart Participant