TWO women have told how changing their career has had a positive impact on their and other people’s lives.

Donna Martin, 35, and Sharon McEwan, 41, decided to take part in training programmes with Kibble, a child and youth care charity.

The programme, which offers the chance to gain an HNC in Social Services as part of the course, includes extensive training and personal mentoring, as well as ongoing guidance and support from peers and professionals who will work with trainees throughout the year.

Donna, from Glasgow’s East End, decided to retrain to work with young people alongside her dance school. She has been working through the Child and Youth Care Worker programme since January.

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She said: “The most important thing to me is that I’m able to connect with the young people and make a difference to their lives.

“I worked with a lot of young people and kids in the dance school so have some experience in getting the best out of young people even when it seems like an impossible task. However, the programme has allowed me to develop this and begin to understand on a deeper level the needs and psychology of those Kibble supports.

“Many young people in our care have had difficult starts in life and have gone through traumatic experiences so it’s crucial that they have a solid and trusted network of people around them who take the time to understand their perspective.

“My background of teaching dance means that I have loads of energy, so I’m always up and have a laugh with the young people which has helped in building meaningful connections with them.

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“Aside from the fun and games, there’s a lot I bring to the role which you wouldn’t necessarily associate with this career, such as my knowledge of fitness and nutrition.

“It was nerve-wracking moving careers at the start, but the support I received from Kibble staff, and young people, has been really encouraging and reassured me that this was the best thing for me.”

Meanwhile, earlier this year Sharon, from Renfrew, decided to pursue her dream of working with vulnerable children and began her journey to become a worker with the charity.

As a mum of two and having previously worked as a catering assistant for a Glasgow City Council school, Sharon has always enjoyed being around children.

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She said: “Since starting my placement, my mindset has totally changed. I’ve realised that I bring so many important personable skills to the role, and that is really what Kibble looks for.

“The most important skill I have is being able to just listen, plus the fact that I’m not judgmental, and I take people as I find them. My motherly instincts are also a real help, from encouraging the kids to tidy their bedrooms, to sensing when someone isn’t feeling themselves and needs my attention – it’s the little things that make all the difference.

“My advice to anyone who is looking for a more fulfilling career and has a real passion to work with kids, would be to go for it and apply. I found it scary leaving a permanent position, but the support given by Kibble is immense.”