HSDC volunteer Amber Eckford is due to be discharged from the Army in February 2021. She is part of the Further Forces programme, which is designed to transition personnel leaving the Forces into teaching.
Further Forces, funded by the Education & Training and Gatsby Charitable Foundations, is a scheme to retrain those leaving the Forces to teach technical subjects such as Science, Engineering and Technology in the Further Education and skills sector. Forces personnel are supported to find employment, allocated a subject specialist mentor and experience a teaching environment whilst completing their teacher training programme.
Amber struggled when she first joined in January 2019:
“I did not have a great start to the course as I struggled to secure a work placement that worked around my military job and childcare.
“I struggled through what is known as Teaching File 1 but then approached HSDC in August/September 2019. I came to the College and met with the Public Services Department; they were keen to allow me to volunteer and teach their students. Sport and Public Services Lecturer Martyn Bell is now my mentor and has been carrying out teaching observations and guiding me through the learning process.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching the HSDC students and will be back in September 2020 to teach again. I am still currently serving and due to leave the Army in February 2021. At which point I hope to be able to get employment within FE. I would love to continue teaching at HSDC if a position became available as everyone I have met has been extremely friendly and made me so welcome.”
Martyn has enjoyed mentoring Amber:
“It’s been great having Amber onboard with her expert and current knowledge of the Armed Forces. She has been an inspiration for our Year 2 students and relates the topic she teaches with her own experiences. We look forward to her return after the summer.”
We value our volunteers and the assistance they provide and wish Amber much luck with completing her studies and obtaining her dream job.