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Ellie at work in the nursery

Ellie is 16 years old and she is a trainee Early Years Practitioner (EYP). She's doing a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) at a local nursery. Her journey started with her joining the Barnardo’s Explore & B’Leave programme in March 2021. At that point, she was not interested in school. We at Barnardo’s worked with her to set some realistic goals and to explore career options. Ellie then moved onto our Fit for Work Programme. She gained a lot from being on the programme and decided that she wanted to return to school after the summer.   

Ellie left school in December 2021 and joined Barnardo’s Employability Fund 2 (EF2) programme in January 2022. She progressed to Stage 3 at the end of March 2022, and completed her Certificate of Work Readiness Qualification in June. She began a work placement with a local nursery during her time on EF3 and we received only excellent feedback during her time there. Ellie made such a great impact that the nursery has taken her on with the Discover Work Service from Dundee City Council. She has also begun her Modern Apprenticeship at the nursery. All these opportunities have been possible over the last 2 years due to being part of the Young Person’s Guarantee with Barnardo’s.   

The skills I have developed are endless.

Participant in Barnardo's work programmes

Ellie's learning experiences have assisted greatly with her confidence and anxiety issues. They've allowed her to develop her work skills, and gain new qualifications leading to her starting her MA with the nursery. Ellie finds her current role as a trainee EYP, looking after young children, is very rewarding.  She also feels a lot more productive each working day as she now has a set routine, and feels she has a lot more worth. Despite some parts of the job being challenging, she would not change anything about it.   

Ellie received support through the Young Person's Guarantee from Donna and Bobbi from Barnardo's Dundee.   

Ellie says:     

"Without both of them I would never have achieved as much as I have today or be where I am at this present moment in time.  

“Donna and Bobbi both supported and encouraged me to follow my dreams, as well as enabling me to become so much more confident and self-resilient. I am so thankful and appreciative of them both and the time and belief they both gave me."   

Once she has completed her MA, Ellie plans to study paediatric nursing at Dundee University. Ellie also wishes to share her success and experience with other local teenagers and young people in and near Dundee. She encourages them to not let their barriers get in the way and "just go for it". 

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