Laura Newing has been working at Preston Vocational Centre for 18 months. Her first contact with the charity was when her son started to attend on two afternoons a week, having been referred there by his school.
“I’ve always worked with children in various roles including as a Year 6 Teaching Assistant. I spoke to the team at PVC about volunteering at the Centre, as I wanted to do something different, and I’d seen how they’d helped my son.”
Following a period of volunteer work, Laura became a full member of the team in September, covering a colleague’s maternity leave as Student Support Mentor.
“Working with 15, 16 and 17-year-olds can be a challenge, don’t get me wrong! But I like the challenge – I treat them with respect and they respect me. The young people are from different backgrounds and different schools, including students with special educational needs. It’s good for them to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds and realise they all want to achieve the same things.
“They soon realise they can’t act up here – our attitude is ‘you put the effort in and you’ll get something out of it.’ “
And what does Laura like best about working at PVC? “It’s different every day. I love to see ambition develop in the young people as they work towards a career. I’m enjoying it, I like getting the best out of them.”
Laura and her son are testament to PVC’s commitment to nurturing talent and encouraging personal development. As well as Laura’s new role, her son achieved a Level 2 NVQ in Plumbing and is now looking for an Apprenticeship so he can work towards his Level 3.