Tanya speaking at Let's Celebrate

Speaking at the 'Let's Celebrate' event marking the achievements of young people involved in the Belfast Trust's Employability Service, our Give & Take Scheme and START360's Switch Onto Employment programme, young participant Tanya said:

"It's good to be back!

Last year Gary informed me that this would be the last time I would be asked to speak at an event like this… only because he felt I had achieved so much in 2014, I couldn't possibly beat it in 2015!

Well I did.

And like all the young people here today, I'm here to make sure all the adults in this room know exactly what we've all achieved in just 12 months.

Last year I was a Band 2 Nursing Auxillary. I'm now on the waiting list to become a Band 3 Health Care Worker.

I've been in my current post for nearly 15 months and I feel part of the team. I feel that my confidence has grown more since I first started. At the start of any shift I sit in our staffroom and wait for the handover to begin at half 7, this normally takes half an hour depending on who is given the handover and how many patients we have.

From this I then start the safety checks; this includes checking each fire exit to make sure there is nothing blocking them in the event of an emergency. I also check the fire extinguishers to make sure they are still full and have not been tampered with.

After I have done this I check the staff, parent and patient fridges to make sure they are at the correct temperature (2-4°) and throw out any food that is out of date. In the event of the fridge not being at the correct temperature I would inform the nurse in charge and recheck the fridge during the day. After I have completed this I fill in the Fire Safety folder to tick that this has been done.

I then start asking the children or their parents if they would like anything to eat and then prepare it for them. After each child has had their breakfast I begin to change their bed and tidy their bed space if it's messy.

My other duties throughout the day include stocking up, cleaning, serving food to patients, making sure they are okay or if they need anything. My job also includes feeding, nursing or changing the babies if their parents are not present.

Within the past year another important responsibility that I have is ordering stock that the ward needs. We have two systems in place EMM (Electronic Management of Materials) and Eprocurement (online ordering systems for non-stock items). EMM is a scanning system which requires labels to be turned to red to be scan on Tuesday mornings. This is a very important responsibility as each ward and department has a budget for stock, so it is my duty is to make sure that I don't go over it when ordering stock.

In September this year I started my Level 2 certificate through the trust to support my responsibilities when on the ward. This is course is based on my role as a Health Care Support worker and runs for 18 weeks every Tuesday. The topics that I cover are Infection Control, Manual Handling, Fire Safety, Dealing with Different Cultures and Beliefs, Personal Hygiene, Child Protection and Basic Life Support. With these different topics we would have employees who are employed within the trust to give out these sessions. So far I have enjoyed doing this course as it makes me more aware of what my role is as a Health Care Worker. From this I am able to progress into furthering my career and becoming a Band 3 Health Care Worker.

In September of this year I applied for the Band 3 post for a Healthcare Worker. I had received a letter in mid-September that my application was successful and I now had to do an interview. Before my interview I had spoken to a number of people, one being Margaret Devlin (a Senior Manager Workforce Planning) and Ruth Collins (a Nurse Development Leader). Both Margaret and Ruth advised me on how to speak at interviews and to make sure that I include everything. With any interview that I have done I have always struggled to express my skills and qualities. You're always told that you have such and such a skill but when it comes to talking about yourself we all seem to struggle and say what we are good at.

Both Margaret and Ruth were able to help write done what I am good at by going through each letter of the alphabet and putting done a word for each letter. This helped me a lot as I could only think of the basic skills and qualities such as helpful, kind and caring. This then made me feel more at ease when it came to my interview as I was able to say what my skills and qualities where when asked.

At the start of this month I finally purchased a car through the Trust's Scheme Car Services, which enables staff who work for the NHS to hire a car for 2 years for a certain amount of money a month depending on what you choose and this comes directly out of your monthly pay. At the end of the 2 years you can either buy the car or renew it for another car.

When I was young I always thought that I wouldn't have a job, my own car, be independent or fend for myself, as I had been through the care system.

Now I know I can achieve anything that I want to do by believing in myself. As I said last year if it hadn't of been for the employability service I wouldn't be where I am today.

They have helped me build my confidence by participating in the Aiming Higher programme and speaking at events such as today I wouldn't have half the confidence I have today and I am now able to speak to people without being embarrassed. I am now on my way of achieving the career that I've always wanted to be Paediatric Nurse."