Kirstie’s having a ball being a rehab apprentice at Southend Hospital
14 March 2016
Kirstie Williams, 19, from Eastwood was always going to be a dancer. It was her passion and something she’d worked at for 15 years. One torn cartilage and an operation later and her career was shattered.
Thanks to an apprenticeship at Southend University Hospital
though her career is dancing to a very different tune, that of a
rehabilitation assistant apprentice.
Kirstie is now working with the stroke team as part of the
year-long qualification, which sees her gaining a qualification and
earning a wage as well. And in the current climate Kirstie really
believes she has the best of both worlds.
She said: "I know it's hard to find a job, I've been there so
for me I just think it is great to be able to be earning, learning
and getting a qualification all at the same time. It's like doing
it all under one roof.
"I'm really loving it. I may not be able to dance anymore but
the care I got during my rehabilitation certainly influenced me to
move in this new direction. I guess it's my way of giving something
back. It's so rewarding when a patient goes home who couldn't walk
when they arrived here and they walk back to thank you. That's so
Within her role, which she started back in January, Kirstie has
been shadowing everyone in the department from occupational therapy
staff to physios and speech and language therapists.
Kirstie may be helping change people's lives but this
apprenticeship has already helped her change her life. She
concluded: "It's amazing being able to make a real
difference, it is so rewarding and I really want to continue along
This apprenticeship is offered at Southend University Hospital
in partnership with Vocational Training Services, who are based in
Westcliff-on-Sea and have been offering training for more than 20