Defining Art

We want to celebrate one of our Trainees for her amazing artistic talent . Bea’s fantastic artwork and also her commitment to her traineeship.

We work in partnership with The British Heart Foundation to deliver Traineeship programmes to 16-18 year olds (19+ with EHCP) and we have great success in the candidates that complete their traineeship programme.

British Heart Foundation has praised the learners highly and are happy with their commitment as they complete their work placement in their stores as the programme can last anything from 6 weeks to 6 months depending on the learner.

The BHF Taunton store contacted us to share some feedback from one of our Traineeship learner’s currently completing their work placement there

Bea comes into volunteer at the British Heart Foundation shop in Taunton on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday afternoons.

She has quickly learned a lot of different roles in the shop and currently helps on the tills, steaming and tagging donations, sorting, getting creative and displaying her artistic talents by designing chalkboards and in-shop notices and keeping deliveries of new goods organised.

Bea shows me some of her paintings, which explain why she is so good at making the shop displays and the chalkboard on the High Street look fantastic.

“I got involved, well, because my older sister volunteers here, Ellie, and then I was looking on Apprenticeships websites, looking for something to do next. The traineeship came upon a government website and my Mum said I should go for it. There was one in the Furniture Store too, but I came here.”

“Me and my family talk about the placement, and obviously I volunteer with my sister so it’s nice to have family here, with me.”

Why did you want to volunteer?

“I think part of it was to become more confident around different people… I used to be really shy, and very nervous, not talking to anyone, but now I’m training people and helping the new guys.”

Has it helped you at all? i.e. built up confidence/helped you find work/supported you through a tough time etc, helped you make new friends?

“Definitely. I wouldn’t have been able to talk to you like this, before. I would have completely freaked out! I have definitely come out of my shell a bit. I am looking for something like this, as I finish the SMART placement in January.”

The British Heart foundation talk to Bea and encourage her to keep her eye out for paid positions with them of which a third of the new starters each month were originally volunteers.

“It’s gotten easier to talk to people when you first meet them, customers and volunteers. It’s helped with that social side of things.”

Would you encourage others to get involved? And if so, why?

“Yeah! I just think it’s helped my confidence so much. I’ve enjoyed it more than when I was in higher education, as I get on better with people who are older than me, and there are some really good people here in the shop who I like talking to and learning from… I’ve just enjoyed it!”

I’ve enjoyed it more than when I was in higher education

Congratulations to Bea on some fantastic artwork and also for her commitment to her placement at the British Heart Foundation – Taunton.