Posted on Tuesday 26 November 2013
A receptionist at St Thomas’ who suffered years of abuse and violence has turned her life around thanks to a work experience scheme.
Lucy Williams was a finalist in the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday (21 November).
Lucy, 22, from Southwark, left school with no qualifications and little confidence. She tried to find work, but without qualifications she wasn’t successful in getting a job.
Lucy refused to join in with any of the criminal activity on her estate and was targeted by bullies as a result. She was viciously attacked on the street with her son, who was born soon after she left school.
Lucy says: “Being attacked was one the most traumatising experiences of my life. I didn’t want my son to face the same violence and hardship I had come across. I knew that I had to take control of my life.”
Her victim support counsellor referred her to the Get into the NHS programme. This is a partnership between Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the Prince’s Trust which helps unemployed young people find a job in the health sector.
She adds: “I was so happy when I got the phone call telling me I had a place on the programme. All the agencies I’d called about work and training in the past had said no to me – so for someone to finally say yes was just fantastic and a huge confidence boost.
“If I hadn’t been involved in the Prince’s Trust I’d still be unemployed and stuck in a cycle of bullying, with no prospects of improving myself. I’m a good role model for my son and I can help my family now. I think my old life has finally faded into the background.”
During the programme, she was sent on a week-long induction before starting a four-week job placement on the main reception desk at St Thomas’. When the programme ended in January this year she was offered a permanent job.
Jill Chatt, Lucy’s supervisor, nominated her for the award. She says: “Lucy impressed us with her hardworking and dedicated nature. Her confidence grew each day she was here with us during her placement. She’s an asset to the reception team.”