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Connect is probably one of the most important and exciting modules in the apprenticeship programme. Vivienne Aitken, Community Support Worker for Corstorphine Baptist Community Trust says, ‘It’s a very important module because you can’t do everything by yourself.’

Vivienne is providing support in their youth residential services and in the community. She is currently enrolled in the apprenticeship in Mental Health and Addiction Support.

Viv Aitken, Community Support Worker, CBCT

In her role, she supports young people and adults to cope with life’s challenges. She shares, ‘we try very hard to get them back into routine, back to school, back into day to day living. We help them in managing anxiety, using public transport, and to help them achieve their goals.’

Vivienne has a client who is wanting to work. She and her client started working towards this goal, first identifying her needs and her barriers into employment.

Then she found the connection she needed to further support her client. She connected with Bridget Hall from Able Southern Family Support. It turned out that Bridget is a fellow Careerforce apprentice.

‘They support someone to get a CV done properly. They help people find suitable employment,’ explains Vivienne.

‘Because of my good communication with Bridget, we were able to work out exact goals that our client needed to achieve to get towards a job. Both of us working together helped clearly establish what steps she needed to take first.’

Vivienne found it really heart-warming to make such positive connection. ‘We often feel like we are working alone, so to have other people on the same wavelength was really gratifying,’ she shares.

It could be just fortuitous that the person you need to make a connection with is your fellow apprentice. But whether it is or not, the idea behind Connect is to encourage apprentices to establish connections within your communities to improve access to other support services or systems that would benefit your clients.

Vivienne encourages her fellow apprentices to get out there and make that connection.

‘Think about the person you are trying to support. What does that person need and then ask where I can go? Ask people around you. We don’t know half the organisations that are out there. So find out, research, and then make a step towards contacting them. If it doesn’t work out, keep looking.’