From HIVE student to Assistant Team Leader with the Princes Trust at Ayrshire College

April 13, 2022 -

We caught up with David Wilson, who is currently studying an HNC in Working With Communities. He told us about his time on numerous HIVE courses and how it led to his current role as Assistant Team leader with The Princes Trust at Ayrshire College.

What course/s have you studied at Ayrshire College?

Since joining Ayrshire College in the winter of 2018 I have successfully completed a variety of courses which all lead to the current course I am studying as of early 2022. I started off by joining the Prince’s Trust course in October 2018, which lasted until early 2019. I then continued onto the Pez (Personal Empowerment Zone) course at the Kilmarnock campus which I continued until June of that year.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances I then had to take a 6 month break from studying at the college, but when the new year of 2020 came around, I started with PEZ Plus which was scheduled to finish in the summer.

Unfortunately, this course which I was intending to start in March 2020, ended up being cancelled due to the beginning of the pandemic. This left me with little to do until September of that year where I applied for the Youth Work and Communities (level 6) course and thankfully got accepted onto the course.

After I completed that course, I moved on to the course I am currently studying: HNC Working With communities, which I am enjoying.

What did the courses involve?

The first course I did involved a variety of different things, for example the first few weeks were team-based activities which were designed to help us build our confidence and come together as a unit. It then led to a three-day residential trip where we did activities like rock climbing and kayaking which helped us come together as a team even more and helped us understand why everyone who was on the course did the course.

We then moved on to a three-week community project which can be different for every team. The common theme between them is to do something that would end up benefiting the community. My project took place in Shortlees, where we constructed decking as well as wheelchair accessibility to a shed that was filled with equipment for an organisation which helps those with disabilities.

After the community project we moved on to a two-week work experience at a place of our choosing which gave us valuable experience in the world of work. Towards the end of the course, we did a two-week team challenge which was to raise money to donate to families who would struggle over the Christmas period.

Finally, on the last week we held a group presentation to show off what we as both individuals and as a team had achieved.

The next two courses - PEZ and PEZ Plus were designed to reinforce things we learned at school, for example they taught us computing skills which will be useful in the world of work as well as the correct way to write reports. We also did a variety of different team building tasks which in some cases related to different aspects of history and current world affairs at the time.

In the Youth Work and Communities (Level 6) course as well as my current course we have covered a variety of different topics which is useful in a youth work and community work setting. Some of the things we have covered are but in no means limited to, Sociology, Health Promotion, Drugs and Alcohol use and covering the laws in place regarding working with young people and protected adults. In my current course we are also currently carrying out work placements, which we started at the end of October last year.

What did you enjoy most about the courses?

There are two things I enjoyed about all my courses. The first being the team building elements involved in each one. The team building tasks allow you to develop as a well-rounded individual, as in the world of work you are most likely going to come across situations where you are required to work as a team rather than working on your own.

The second thing I enjoyed was the friendly and kind atmosphere that the staff at the college have. If I am ever struggling with a piece of work, I know that I can ask for help and I would receive that help quickly in order to continue with my studies.

How do these courses help you prepare for your career?

These courses helped me prepare for a career of work in a large selection of ways. To start with there is the team building exercises which help you get used to working with groups in a formal environment allowing you to develop key skills for the future. Another way that these courses help you with a career is by providing work experience, which not only let you know what work is like, but they can also provide good references for your CV.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting these courses?

My advice for anyone who is applying for a course at Ayrshire College, particularly for one of these courses is to try not to worry too much about college life, all three campuses have excellent staff who are more than happy to help people learn anything they need. Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Why did you choose Ayrshire College?

I initially chose to study at Ayrshire College due to two separate factors. The first factor was the location - the fact that two out of the three campuses are fairly close to where I live - this was a big boost. My second reason was because of the staff as when I was in secondary school, a member of the Prince’s Trust team at Ayrshire College came down and to visit me and encouraged me to study at the college.

Looking back now I would not change where I studied as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

What is next for you?

Well, the future looks bright for me, thanks to my work experience with the college I have landed myself a temporary job as an Assistant Team Leader with the Princes Trust at the college, so if you see me about be sure to say hi.

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