Key-workers across the nation are finding it incredibly challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the backbone of the UK, working hard to help care for others. Among these humble heroes is Brooklands College alumni Jordan Jennings.
Aged 24, Jordan is working as a porter at Ashford & St Peter’s Hospital. He studied at Brooklands College, progressing on from the supported Internship course into paid employment in 2019. He is part of the amazing keyworker force on the frontline dealing with patients and making an excellent contribution to the COVID -19 crisis.
Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I’m a porter at the hospital. Most of my jobs are coming through to the office. When a ward, department or area needs equipment, a patient moved or bodies removed (unfortunately), or blood… they put a request through to the office. One of us will collect them.
Is it busy right now during the COVID-19 pandemic?
It is quite busy right now. It was busier a week or two ago, but the numbers are dropping. It’s keeping a watch on the numbers and the amount of patients who come in through our hospital.
How did your College course help you to prepare for your role?
I think it did help. I did work experience at the hospital, so I learnt a bit about the hospital through that. It got me prepared for working as well.
I was quite shy before, but doing the College course gave me the motivation, and the knowledge and confidence to go out and talk. I can go up to the desks in the ward or the bays for the patients and say “hello, I’m here to collect this…” or anything like that. Before, I couldn’t do that. The college and the course really helped me to learn how to improve.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your role? Any positive stories/experiences?
I’ve made quite a few friends in my department and other departments. I feel quite proud when I do my job because, 8 or 9 times out of 10, I drop off urgent blood or anything and I get thanked for doing it.
What did you enjoy about the course and your time at Brooklands College?
The tutors I had were amazing. They were always there to help and support us. They treated us as adults. They didn’t treat us like we were young children with special needs which also helps when getting a job. It would be difficult if we were going into the workplace saying “we have special needs, we can’t do certain things.” They improved on that. They made it feel like we were adults before we even got our jobs.
They were always there. If I had a question, I could always ask them. I always felt supported when I was at College.
Would you recommend Brooklands College and why?
I would recommend Brooklands College, I really would! I actually mentioned it to some of my work colleagues who have children who might go to colleges. I’ve said that going to Brooklands College is a great opportunity. All the staff are amazing and very helpful.
When my work colleagues find out I’ve got special needs or my dyslexia and autism, they are shocked. They say “you don’t come across as having special needs.” I have to put that down to the College and my tutors working with me and saying “you can do this.” You can’t be defined by having special needs.
Any further comments?
If it wasn’t due to the College or my tutors, I don’t think I’d be the person I am right now – working at a hospital with COVID-19! I have to really thank the College and everyone there for all the opportunities and experience they gave me.