The Trusts’ Step into Work scheme is giving more local people real first-hand NHS work experience.

Step in to Work is a programme designed to assist the unemployed into a career in health care.

28 year old, Stacey Harper, moved to Carlisle in 2018 from Oldham and was part of the latest cohort in the Trust’s Step into Work programme. Stacey completed her placement on Beech D ward at Cumberland Infirmary.

She’s shared her positive experience:

“I have really enjoyed the programme, it has helped me to find myself again as a person. I had lost my confidence and this programme has helped me to get that back.

“I have met new people who I share the same interests with and I have learnt so much about health care, patients and their differing needs and how to care for them.”

James Manser, Learning and Development Facilitator at the Trust helps coordinate the programme, he said:

“Our Step into Work scheme is a great programme that can offer real work experience to those interested in working in healthcare.

“It really gives people like Stacey a foot in the door and an opportunity to learn and develop.

“Stacey proved to be a really valuable team member and patients loved her, some of the positive compliments we received about her are just brilliant and I think she will go on to have a very successful career in NHS.

“It is a testament to Stacey and the other participants who jumped straight in to work and learn more during the covid-19 pandemic. It gave them added motivation to help patients during these testing times and to be a part of something great and rewarding.”

One of those patient compliments said:

“Stacey welcomed me onto the ward in a kind and considerate way. She is very caring but also professional. Stacey will be very good in her chosen career and I would highly recommend her for the healthcare journey she has chosen.”

Stacey adds:

“I have enjoyed my time with patients and simple things like having a chat, making a tea or coffee or opening a window for some fresh air for patients really helps their mental health and that is a big part of getting them better and home to their family and friends.

“My future plans are to get through my interview, gain some experience as a health care assistant on a range of wards at the Trust, continuing to grow my confidence and learning from other staff and then think about nursing apprenticeships.

“My advice to other people is, if you are empathetic, enjoy caring for other people, then get into health care - this programme is a great route in. It is hard work but it is so rewarding.”

Following her time completing the programme Stacey has since been successful in joining the bank as a Health Care Assistant and will begin her role following completing some mandatory Trust training.

The six week programme, includes three weeks of training, such as team building and interview preparation, and three weeks of placements in the hospital. The recruits are all supported to prepare for the workplace and work towards their care certificate - an agreed set of standards that sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of specific job roles in health and social care.

To date the Trust has now ran 7 successful cohorts of the programme and has enabled over 40 people to gain employment within the organisation.

If anyone is interested in the programme they can contact: James Manser at  or Amy Cockton at

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