Operating a Charity Shop – Erasmus Plus Work Placement in Plymouth, UK

Almond Vocational Link UK Erasmus Plus Welcome Tour Plymouth 1

Almond Vocational Link Ltd, as an Erasmus Plus host organisation, received a group of 10 Hungarian students from Varga Istvan Vocational Secondary School for Commerce and Economics. The students arrived accompanied by their teacher – Julia Szekely. Julia was keeping a watchful eye at the Erasmus Participants and was here to support them and accompany on various trips the group booked. She also met all the students at their work experience placements and had the opportunity to speak with their mentors.

OUR BRIEF FOR THIS ERASMUS PLUS MOBILITY WAS TO:

  • find suitable work experience placements
  • provide host family accommodation
  • organise local transport for the group
  • book cultural trips
  • provide weekly social events
  • monitor the student’s progress via 1:1 appointments
  • liaise with the accompanying teacher on all subject matters
  • meet and great service in Plymouth
  • provide effective 24/7 support and advice to all the participants
  • prepare Erasmus Plus mobility Euro Passes
  • award with a certificate upon completion

 

“It was the best opportunity for me. It was better than expected. The tasks were interesting and fun to do. Everyone was kind and respectful. I did everything I was told and they said that I’m hard working and nice to work with.  The food was always good. We eat high quality food and the meals always change. My favourite meal is chicken with vegetables and pasta. My relationship with host family is good. We always have dinner together and talk.”

From Adam’s evaluation forms

MEET AND GREET IN PLYMOUTH 

The group arrived in Plymouth on 8/11/2015 and were met Almond Vocational Link Erasmus Plus Student Welcome Meeting 2by Almond Vocational Link representatives as well as their host family members. They all received their welcome packs containing Student Handbook and useful information about Plymouth. The welcome meeting was scheduled for the following day and all the students were brought in by the host families to the City Business Park. After the meeting, we treated the student to an escorted trip around the city centre and Plymouth’s historical waterfront.

Where I live now in Plymouth is very organised, clean and tidy. My host mother is very friendly and chatty, we always talk at dinnertime.  The dinner is good, the menu always changes.                                                                                                    Gabor B

ACCOMMODATION

This particular group chose Half Board accommodation in twinAlmond Vocational Link Erasmus Plus Welcome Meeting UK 3 rooms with our host families. Half board option meant the host families were responsible for providing a hearty breakfast each morning and an evening meal followed by a dessert.  This type of accommodation supported the participants with their verbal communication difficulties.

In my opinion the first day was a lot for me but afterwards I loved it. We had a busy social program which I loved because I like doing things together with my group. My host family was so good, we had a good relationship. When I come home I’m always so happy, because we always talk about our day and  talk a lot. We watch the X Factor together every weekend and I hope to come again in the summer. 

Andrea

ERASMUS PLUS MOBILITY WORK EXPERIENCE

The pedagogical aim of the project was to advance the mobility 12249667_456162887903551_8018512483916958553_nof the students in the European Community and to increase the attractiveness, quality and efficiency of vocational educational systems and future chances of employability in the European Labour Market. The students task was to learn about the way a British Charity shop operates and to gain understanding of its stock management and operating procedures as a retail unit.

Fantastic worker to have in the shop. He is willing to help and to learn and has started to use his own initiative. He’s become a very speedy worker.

About Farkas from his supervisor

 

My employer is good. I like my job, my work colleagues are nice. I can learn about  how to stock Charity shops and how to manage the stock.  The manager taught me how to use the ‘price gun’ and about displaying the goods on shelves.

From Farkas’ evaluation forms

During their stay in the UK, the beneficiaries had the opportunity to put in practice all the competences, skills and knowledge that they acquired during the time of their studies. Through the Erasmus Plus internships, the students improved their English,  learned how to behave in a work place setting and to respect the internal rules of an organization. They also had an opportunity to work as a part of a team, and to improve their intercultural skills.

Some of the tasks the students performed:

  • replenishing stock
  • preparing donations for sale
  • helping with deliveries
  • pricing merchandise
  • tagging and labeling merchandise
  • customer service
  • till operation
  • keeping the shop clean and tidy
  • helping with making new display for shop window

Gabriella was a very good worker, she mixed well with the team. Excellent time keeping! It was a pleasure to have her here for 3 weeks.

About Gabriella from her supervisor

The three weeks met my expectations,  my employer was helpful, friendly and very patient. I enjoyed my time here, I learnt many new thighs at my work placement. I enjoyed all the social events and would recommend Almond to others.  

From  Gabriella’s evaluation forms

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PROGRAM

Almond Vocational Link provided the students with a varied social and cultural program. We organised a trip to Eden Project and National Marine Aquarium for the group and invited them to take part in our weekly Language Cafe. Each week we took part in different activities which included enjoying traditional Devon cream tea in a historical tea room, taking  part in a Christmas Light switch on and the Thanksgiving celebrations.

SUMMARY

During their stay, the students learned a different work culture which certainly increased their chances on the European job market. They will be able to evidence with the Euro Passes that they are able to adopt themselves to foreign working conditions. They managed to communicate with work colleagues, managers, customers and their host families on a daily basis. They improved the speaking abilities and got used to different English accents. The host companies were happy to have them and the students left many positive impressions behind because of their knowledge, positive attitude and polite manners.

We received some excellent feedback from the work placement providers about the students. We think that this project was very successful and that all parties, host companies, host families and students gained a great deal of positive experience.We would like to thank the participants for their hard work and we wish them all the best for their future career and that they can accomplish all their expectations.

Extremely helpful, he interacted well with other volunteers and customers, and a real pleasure to have as a part of the team.                                              About Dominik Alpar

 

What a pleasure Adam is to work with. I look forward to our last week of working but also very sad. He settled well and carried duties with enthusiasm.               About Adam Magit

PICTURES FROM THE CERTIFICATE CEREMONY: