Rupert Matthews and Lily Thorne
A talented self-starter has secured a full-time role supporting Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews thanks to a successful Government-backed youth employment scheme.
Unemployed graduate Lily Thorne, aged 24, was recruited to the role of Community Engagement Team Support Officer six months ago as part of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) highly-successful Kickstart Scheme.
Since joining the PCC’s team, Lily’s confidence and experience has soared – so much so that she now has significant responsibility for one of the Commissioner’s flagship projects – the People Zones scheme.
Following her placement, the Commissioner has offered Lily a full-time role with added responsibility for supporting and mentoring his next Kickstart recruit.
Congratulating Lily on her role, Mr Matthews said: “Lily’s achievements since joining the office have been phenomenal and it has been a real joy for myself and the wider team to see her skills and confidence flourishing with increased responsibility.
“Lily had faced setbacks before embarking on her work placement which had eroded her confidence and self-belief. Despite this, she quickly adapted to her role and provided enormous value to the communities we serve by building and cementing relationships with key stakeholders including MPs, local authority safety officers, councillors and the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire.
“We are delighted to offer Lily a full-time role to build on her skills. Lily is the ultimate success story for the Kickstart Scheme and I hope her journey and achievements inspire others to grasp opportunities when they arise and refuse to give up.”
Lily Thorne said: “Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming. I have enjoyed every moment and I hope to be here for a long time to come.
“Having just finished university, searching for work in my field during a pandemic proved to be a very difficult task. A friend advised the Kickstart scheme had some amazing opportunities and was a great way to get into organisations you wouldn’t normally be able to at entry level. I came across the role quite quickly and it immediately caught my interest.
“I enjoy having ownership of my own workstreams and in particular, managing the Community Leadership Programme that is funded by the PCC. This experience has enabled me to gain skills in management, marketing and event planning, which has given me a huge confidence boost in myself and my abilities.
“I also love being a part of the People Zones initiative. I am very excited for the upcoming work we have planned and cannot wait to see the positive change we help create in communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
Lily’s role supports the work of the PCC’s Performance and Operations team and includes administrative tasks, community engagement activities (digitally and face-to-face) and data and analytical tasks as well as building relationships with stakeholders and undertaking social media engagement.
Lily, who has ambitions of managing one of the Commissioner’s People Zones in the future, also attends meetings and events alongside the PCC and the wider team and contributes ideas and opinions to help shape the work of the office.
Lily’s line manager, Community Development Officer Jessica Ball said: “Lily is the image of the perfect Kickstarter. A young person of promise and ability that despite the setbacks and hardships she faced, she wasn't content to sit idly by and allow opportunities to pass her by.
“For anyone to have achieved all this in the space of six months is not just an anomaly it's virtually unheard of, but not for Lily. We are so proud and so thankful she applied to join us. It is impossible to imagine the office without her and we are proud to say she has now secured a contract to stay with us in the OPCC after Kickstart.”
The Kickstart initiative is a new programme which aims to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality, six-month work placements for young people aged between 16-24 who are in receipt of Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Each placement includes a salary and aims to develop the young person’s skills and experience to help them find work in the long-term after completing the scheme.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 25th April 2022