Krissie Papworth-Sommers

Cohort: 20

Studied: Biological Sciences MSci

Hello, my name is Krissie.

I’m 4 weeks into my first assignment here at Brent, and I’m in the Children and Young People (CYP) department. I’m a member of a small, new team which is working to set up a service for children on the edge of care, with the aim to support them and their families so that they can stay at home. Our young people and their families will be provided with lots of different resources, such as mentoring, parenting programmes, domestic abuse services, and mental health support. There’s lots of evidence to show that children have better outcomes when they stay at home compared to when they go into care, and reducing the demand for care will avoid costs for the council, so it makes a lot of sense. It’s all about implementing preventative measures – addressing problems before or when they arise, rather than trying to cope with the consequences. My team sits within a big team within CYP who work on preventative measures – we’re called the Early Help team.

I chose Brent for loads of reasons. I was struck at my interview day by the forward-thinking culture here. There’s lots of innovation going on at Brent, with everyone keen to try new things to deliver great services with dwindling budgets. I also love that Brent is a really diverse borough with a huge range of cultures and languages. It adds an interesting spin on everything we do, as we need to make sure our services are suitable for everyone.  I was also drawn by the fantastic support networks here, such as our buddies and mentors. At Brent all our mentors are directors. As senior managers, they can give us excellent career advice, access to all sorts of fantastic opportunities, and support with different challenges. I was also drawn by the guaranteed third year, which gives us the chance to properly think about where we want to go next, develop any skills we need to get, and provides us with a sense of security from the outset. The building is a huge plus too – it’s big, modern, beautiful and sustainable, and having nearly everyone in the council under 1 roof makes collaboration so much easier.

I think the NGDP scheme is amazing. It’s such an incredible way to build your career while giving something back to the community. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot here.