An annual sponsorship scheme, first established by the council in partnership with Medway College of Social Care and MidKent College in 2008, offers Level 3 BTEC National Diploma students £250 per month over eight months to enable them to make the most of their course. It is hoped that the scheme will encourage more young people to move into care work within the local community.
A total of seven students were selected for the scheme this year, many of whom have now progressed to university to train as social workers. Student Katherine Phillips used the support offered by the scheme to pay for her travel to college. She also used the additional funds to buy a laptop and driving lessons so she can drive to Canterbury Christchurch University where she will begin a degree in October.
The 19 year old from Gillingham said: “We had to complete a successful panel interview and deliver a presentation to qualify for the scheme. It was hard work, but it was worth it.
“It’s my ambition to be a social worker with a focus on helping people with mental health problems. It’s a job that allows you to give something back to your community. I can’t wait to qualify for it.”
College lecturer in health and social care, Caroline Lee-Abraham said: “These students have come a long way. I am very proud of them and wish them the best of luck at university and within their future careers.”