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Ellie Eadon is completing a higher apprenticeship in health and social care.
As Community Development Worker at the Link Community Hub in Stradbroke, Ellie, 23, is managing a range of projects for those who are struggling.
The charity, based on Stradbroke Drive, runs a second-hand clothing shop, a food bank and pet food bank.
It also organises support groups and outreach work in addition to offering information on accessing other specialist services.
Working with other agencies, the Link Community Hub addresses food poverty, mental health issues, domestic violence, substance misuse and unemployment.
Demand for support from the charity has risen as a result of the cost of living crisis. In its latest initiative, the charity is refurbishing a flat that will be a warm space providing hot meals to vulnerable members of the community.
The Link Community Hub was set up ten years-ago by Helen Eadon, Ellie’s mum, and is run with the help of volunteers. Both grew up in the area and feel a strong connection to the community.
Ellie said: “We see many different aspects of poverty and social isolation and our role is ever more demanding. We’re seeing a significant increase in requests for food parcels due to the cost of living crisis.
“The clothes we provide are extremely affordable. Some people in the community struggle to get to a supermarket because they don’t have their own cars and can’t afford the bus fare.
“We are a lifeline for some people. We’re here to provide practical support and give them options and choices especially when they feel like giving up. They often say to us that if it wasn’t for the Link, they wouldn’t be here.”
Ellie is completing the Leader in Adult Care Level 4 Apprenticeship, a degree level qualification aimed at those who have responsibility for managing community or residential based services.
Ellie is learning about managing volunteers, how to develop a team, community partnerships and supporting people with mental health needs.
Prior to starting the apprenticeship, Ellie completed an Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at the College, a Level 3 qualification equivalent to A Levels.
Ellie added: “I love the apprenticeship. It’s definitely furthering my skills and knowledge. I am really enjoying some of the managerial modules.”
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