Award-winning volunteer is an ‘inspiration’

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A VOLUNTEER who landed her dream job is set to be recognised for her hard work after scooping a top award.

Hartlepool’s Becky Hunter, 23, wanted to use her previous experience to help children in similar situations and after working incredibly hard doing volunteer work she has now achieved her dream.

Her journey is now being recognised with the European Social Fund (ESF) Young Adult Learner of the Year Award as part of Adult Learners’ Week, which starts today.

Having grown up in the care of Hartlepool Borough Council, Becky was keen to work with young people supported by the council so she could ensure they had the best opportunities in life.

The 23-year-old carried out a number of volunteering roles, including being a member of the Children in Care Council, sitting on interview panels for social work posts and as a member of the National Care Advisory Service.

She also worked with senior managers, councillors and a Government Minister and trained in public speaking and presentation skills to help deliver speeches.

To work towards employment, Becky joined the Family Wise project in March 2012 – funded by the ESF and co-financed by the Department for Work and Pensions – which led to her gaining an apprenticeship with the council’s Through Care team as a participation worker in June 2012.

Becky’s role involves her working with children in care to identify their needs, acting as their voice and shaping the service.

Becky is currently studying towards an NVQ level three in Employment Related Services and hopes to progress to a degree in social care.

Having recently presented to more than 100 delegates at a conference in Brussels, her nominator Jackie McGarry said, “For a young person to accomplish such a feat within a small timescale is exceptional.”

Becky said: “I appreciate being given the opportunity to work doing a job that I value very much.”

Angus Gray, head of ESF Division at the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “Becky Hunter’s story and those of the other award winners will be an inspiration to others to start their own learning journey.”