A Digital Media Production student from Stratford-upon-Avon College is looking to combine their passions after securing a job with the charity Lifespace Trust.
Ash Ward, 18 from Leamington Spa, is in the second year of the Digital Media Production course. As a passionate advocate of mental health support and with a talent for producing Digital Media content, Ash has secured a fantastic position as a Youth Support Participation Worker for Lifespace Trust.
Ash’s passion for Digital Media began at school. She realised that she didn’t see people like them in the industry and wanted to be that positive representation.
Ash applied to study at the college as its structure and delivery was suitable for them: “Exams weren’t good for me. I suffer with anxiety around taking exams, so the coursework and creative freedom offered here was perfect for me!”
It was the College that first introduced Ash to Lifespace Trust. During Lockdown the college worked with the charity to produce 6 podcasts that would support the mental health of teenagers. Ash was part of this and the podcasts were shared on Lifespace’s Instagram and on Welcombe Radio.
Ash identified and aligned with Lifespace’s values, so continued to engage with the charity; attending events, becoming a volunteer Youth Leader and attending youth group sessions.
When the paid position as Youth Support Participation Worker came up, Ash jumped at the chance. She had to interview twice, once with an adult panel and once with a youth panel to secure the position.
Helen Smith, Programme Co-ordinator at Lifespace Trust, is so excited to have Ash on board: “We’re absolutely delighted to have Ash on our team, their enthusiasm and values are what really stood out to us, coupled with their skills and knowledge on social media and film making. Lifespace is totally committed to being a youth led organisation, which puts young people at the heart of our decision making and values. Ash will bring vibrancy, energy and an insight into the issues which are important to young people right now and be a significant part of the process in enabling their voices to be heard.”
Ash is so excited to be working at the Trust. She is most excited to be helping young people focus on their most important issues: “The young people have highlighted two main areas for support and that is LGBTQIA+ representation and mental health support. We are already discussing ideas for putting together a film about young people’s lived experience in these areas. I am so excited to bring my passions together: digital media and support for mental health and the LGBTQIA community. I recently came out as non-binary so it’s an important subject for me.”
Digital Media Production lecturer, Sarah Downing, is extremely proud of Ash’s success: “This is a fantastic achievement for Ash which is fully deserved. She has been enthusiastic about applying for work experience opportunities alongside their studies and it’s brilliant to see that this supported their progression to employment with LifeSpace. I’m sure that Ash will thrive in this role.”
Ash will be working for the next 9 months with the trust and is hoping to continue afterwards, even though she has already secured a university position for September at De Montfort University. The passion she has for the role means she wants to find a way to balance their time to continue in this role.
Congratulations Ash, on your new role! We look forward to seeing the positive impact you will have!