Vicki Tallon – Student Physiotherapist
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Next Step for making me feel so welcome during my time there over the last few months. Having both a personal interest in the care of adults with learning disabilities, and a professional interest as a soon to be student physiotherapist, it is reassuring to see such fantastic facilities open for people who once they leave school are often all but forgotten.
Seeing the connections staff have with the Next Steppers is fantastic. Staff know the Next Steppers inside out, they are not ‘at work’, they are spending time with friends and those they actually care about. It is clear from the smiling faces and positive reactions of the Next Steppers that the feeling is mutual.
I really like the fact that Next Steppers go out into the ‘real world’ and spend time doing day to day activities such as shopping; allowing Next Steppers to use their own money and make choices over what they buy or just going for a coffee and chatting. Then the other end of the spectrum such as ten pin bowling, swimming and sports activities at Greetland Community Centre.
The flexibility of the staff is also excellent. If a Next Steppers doesn’t wish to go to a prearranged activity, so be it. Something else can be done, from reading a book or baking buns, or giving a manicure or aromatherapy treatment. There is so much variety allowing the needs of each individual to be met at all times.
I really wish I could have volunteered for longer but I will certainly take the knowledge with me in my future career. Once again, thank you so much for this valuable opportunity to meet you all and see the fantastic opportunities for continued development and stimulation (and fun!) you provide”.
Daniel Loucas – Volunteer Placement from Longwood Engineering
“I decided to volunteer for Next Step because I thought it would be a great experience and I was hoping it would make a difference to the people that use the Next Step Trust, and hopefully to me too.
I wasn’t sure of what to expect or sure of how I would feel because I had never experienced anything like what happens at Next Step. When I arrived I quickly realised that I would be fine and that anything I was worried about didn’t matter, because everybody, including the Next Steppers made me feel comfortable and like I had been there for years.
I went to the trampolines, to the gym, rock climbing, to the Starlight Circus, to adapted bikes, as well as lots of baking, aromatherapy sessions, different games and other activities.
I enjoyed every single day that I was there. I enjoyed it that much that I am going back in my own time every Friday to help and to also to see the friends that I made.
I was amazed at how much of a difference the staff at Next Step make to the lives of the Next Steppers, and also what the Next Steppers give back to the staff.
It was a great experience and I would recommend to anybody to give it a try. At first you think that it will be really difficult, but in reality it is just like spending the day with friends, and not like being at work at all. Every day my face hurt from smiling and laughing.
Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me have this experience and made me see a different, brighter side to life”.
Maria Mateta – Work Experience
“I am Maria and undertaking a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care at the University of Central Lancashire. As a student, my experience on work placement at Next Step is one of the best that I will not be able to forget. The management team and staff have made me feel so welcomed and included in the team. Every shift has provided me with new experiences to reflect upon and thus enhanced my skills and knowledge.
I would also like to use this opportunity to say how much I appreciate the hard work and commitment of the management team and staff, which makes a great difference in the service users’ lives, their families and the community as a whole”.
Kym Bowen – Tutor
“This is my second visit to Next Step to train staff and confirm knowledge. As before, I was warmly welcomed, given a pleasant room to use and even better, a mug of tea before I sat down! Staff are a lovely bunch of committed, interested people who participate and debate during their courses which demonstrates to me their dedication to the people they support. Ask me back anytime!”.
Anthony Cook – Former Next Stepper
“I like working in the kitchen at Next Step Trust on a Monday. I am supported by Tom a volunteer from Voluntary Action Calderdale. My work in the kitchen is arranged by my line manager Jill Thewlis (Head Of Catering). I have my own uniform. My favourite job is serving the food at lunchtime and meeting people at Next Step. I like it because it is a charity so I give my time freely to Next Step. I also help Donna the catering assistant to do the shopping. I have lots of friends at Next Step. I have learnt new skills and to be better organised. I have lunch at Next Step as a thank you for my help, and so does Tom. I plan to continue volunteering at Next Step as I enjoy it!”.
RSA Group (Saida Begum. Glenn Finch. Tony Bromley. Nichola Walker. Cecilia Ryan) – Volunteers
“We all work as claim handlers at RSA and Saida is our team leader. We volunteered to spend a day at Next Step gardening and generally tidying. It helps us to appreciate how fortunate we are. We found it very rewarding and great for team bonding. What a great place Next Step Trust is. Thank you for allowing us to help you”.
Philip Taylor – Woodspeen Training
“Woodspeen Training have used Next Step Trust to house apprentices for the past 12 months. We are a training provider based in Halifax and source young people to next step trust for Apprenticeship in Health & Social Care. Next Step Trust are fully supportive of giving young people the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace. Helen and Preet have a great working relationship with all the apprentices and I could not think of a more appropriate environment for any young aspiring support worker to learn their trade and become fully qualified in Health and Social Care, keep up the fantastic work”.
Nathan – Musician
“My experience at Next Step Trust has been fantastic. It has been great to work alongside the staff who were very welcoming, and play songs to everyone there. It is a brilliant feeling to see people enjoying the music so much which makes it all the more rewarding. I would love to come back and do more music sessions in the future. Thank you to everyone at Next Step for making me feel so welcome and part of the team”.
Charlotte Shackleton – Work Placement
“My name is Charlotte Shackleton and I have completed a week placement at The Next Step Trust. I found this placement very enjoyable and interesting. It has also opened my eyes to how people with disabilities live everyday. All the staff at The Next Step Trust were very friendly and welcoming during my time here. They always made sure I was OK and were willing to answer any questions I had. The service users at The Next Step Trust were also very friendly and a pleasure to work with. I have enjoyed my time at The Next step Trust very much and I would like to thank you for this fantastic experience”.
Ann Darvill – NVQ Assessor/Internal Verifier
“As a fully qualified NVQ Assessor/Internal Verifier, I have worked with a number of Next Step Trust employees to deliver both NVQ Level 3 and the new QCF Diploma Level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care. Learners meet regularly and contribute to group knowledge sessions. This enables learners to develop/increase their knowledge and understanding in particular legislation, codes of practice, theories and research.
Due to the high calibre of staff employed by Next Step, they are fully committed to the course and complete work on time. They produce excellent detailed work and portfolios are of a high standard. Learners have the additional support of their mentor (Helen Lane) and lead support throughout the course.
The NVQ qualification raises standards/awareness and enables learners to develop their skills and knowledge, putting into practice what they have learnt. Learners grow in confidence and this in turn enables them to promote work ethics, company policy/procedures, and challenge discrimination and unacceptable practice. The qualification allows learners the opportunity to progress within the company and/or further education to degree level”.
“I have really enjoyed my time volunteering at Next Step and met some amazing people along the way! Volunteering here has given me the chance to gain the valuable experience I needed in order for me to attend university in September, and I have loved every minute of it. The staff were so welcoming and it’s like being part of a family here. I will truly miss everyone at Next Step and the time has flown since starting in September.
I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone and if I have the chance, throughout my studies, I will definitely be coming back to visit…… If they’ll have me!”.
Tom McAuliffe – Support Worker, Voluntary Action Calderdale
“I am supporting a young man at Next Step. This is my first support job and I am enjoying it very much. The feedback I am getting is very positive. The staff are all very friendly and the atmosphere is very welcoming. It is a pleasure to go there”.
Callista Muteswa – Student Work Placement
My work placement “Learning Journey” at The Next Step Trust:
“I am currently doing my second year at Bradford University, studying a BSC Hons Degree in Health Well Being and Social Care. I started my work placement as a first year student and have achieved my 72hrs of experience.
I really enjoyed my time at Next Step and I found my experience there to be relevant to my learning outcomes. I have learnt to work with others, to communicate effectively, to work on my own initiative, to keep records and to bring the best out of me. I have also found the team of employees to be very helpful and caring. Being part of the team was one of the best things I have been blessed with during my placement.
I then decided to come back again to do my second year placement. I also managed to achieve my learning outcomes. I was part of the team working with service users. I have learnt to be an effective learner and worker at the same time. I have learnt to reflect on my own contribution and decisions. This has helped me to correct myself in my own learning. I have been given the opportunity to work with different service users and different employees and doing different activities. I also managed to take part in some of the courses like moving and handling, food and hygiene.
I called this my placement learning journey because I still think it is a learning process and as an individual you can never stop learning in this field of work. I feel I have gained some knowledge that will help me in making career choices in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every employee at Next Step Trust and most of all the management team for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Next Step team. I have enjoyed working with all of you. Also I would like to thank all the Next Steppers for making me feel welcome and for letting me work with them and learning from them too. I really appreciate everything you have done for me. Thank you”.
Junaid Laffar – Work Placement
“I have been doing my work placement in Next Step Trust for six months. I am a college student from Claderdale College and came to Next Step Trust to do work placement. I am doing Health and Social Care Level 3. When I started my work placement I was nervous because I did not know anyone and I thought I will mess up because I had lack of confidence but when I started I was getting along with the manager and getting along with the staff and they were sweet, nice, helpful, organised, polite, focussed and respectful and all the staff in Next Step Trust helped me boost my confidence high and I felt relaxed and I was feeling comfortable working.
The first three months I started working in Clare Road Next Step Trust and I started looking after people who have disability and first I had to interact and communicate with all the disability people so that I can have that strong bonding with them so they feel comfortable and open up around me. I came once a week every Monday to look after them. I made them tea, drink, get to know them more, have a laugh with them, feed them, help them bake their cakes and take them outside for example.
After three months my second work placement started in the main Next Step Trust at King Cross which was more harder work than Clare Road. The best thing was that I have lots of confidence and I was focussed that I started to get along with the workers and get along with all the disabled people who were in wheelchairs and I had to look after a person in a wheelchair and I had to feed him, take him out and do activities or take him for a walk and his name was Gary and he was sweet and polite. The staff are polite, respectful, organised, engaged, confident and understand each other so well and I always have different service users I had to look after.
I have been doing Health and Social Care for three years and I had knowledge of Health and Social Care but had no experience, but when I started my work placement in Next Step Trust it gained me more knowledge and it made me more interested that now I want to work and look after people with disabilities. This work placement will help me with my qualification and it will help me get in to university and will help me get a job, so I thank all the people who work in Next Step Trust who gave me lots of love and made me part of their family and also they helped me overcome my weakness. Thank you”.
Caroline Crosland – Catering Volunteer
“I feel very lucky to be able to help at Next Step. When I retired from teaching young adults with special needs I realised that I still wanted to work with people who needed special care. I work in the kitchen on Tuesday mornings helping to prepare the lunch and often there is a Next Stepper helping too. Everyone is very friendly and the Next Steppers enjoy learning new skills whilst having fun and enjoying what they have helped to prepare”.
Jane Bannon – Manual Handling Advisor
I have worked with Helen Lane and her staff at Next Step Trust for several years. Helen refers clients for a variety of manual handling issues. I always enjoy visiting the centre. The staff are always very receptive and take on board my recommendations and suggestions regarding manual handling issues.
The centre has a very happy uplifting atmosphere; it is always busy and active with lots of smiling faces from both staff and clients.