Anne Marie's journey as an Action for Children apprentice

Photo of Kelly Corcoran outside
Kelly Corcoran - Digital Communications Officer
Tuesday 13 February 2024
Anne Marie Connelly and colleagues sitting at an office table at Action for Children

Anne Marie began her career at Action for Children as an Apprentice Administrator.

Now a Local Campaigns Officer, we caught up with Anne Marie to learn how her experience in care helped her become the advocate she needed as a child.

If I could describe my experience of working as an Apprentice Administrator, it would be: busy!

Wanting to have a voice

Growing up in care, I had a difficult time. I was a very angry child and one of my biggest issues was an inability to explain what was going on for me or why I felt different to my peers. I always wanted to have a voice, or at least know that someone had a voice for me. I wanted to know that someone "got it".

During my time as an Action for Children apprentice, I’ve been able to bring that voice to the table and reflect on what I would've wanted people to say to me while I was in care.

My biggest achievement throughout my time here has been the ability to grow and become the advocate I needed as a child.

Joining a network of apprentices

I started working at Action for Children in one of our care-experienced apprenticeship roles in 2022. The first Teams meeting I attended was the launch of the Achieve network. I remember seeing all the people who were currently doing or had done an apprenticeship. It felt like I had joined at the perfect time.

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Feeling supported by my team and the wider organisation

One of my favourite things about my job has been the level of support I receive both from my team and the wider organisation.

Action for Children nominated me to join the National Implementation Board for Children’s Social Care. The board brings together strategic leaders and people with lived experience of the care system to advise on the reform programme for children’s social care.

Getting involved in amazing work opportunities

My colleagues encouraged me to apply for a place on the It’s Our Care round table. I used the opportunity to remind MPs of their legal obligations as corporate partners.

Being care-experienced myself, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the campaigns team on the It’s Our Care Campaign.

It was the biggest lobby of care-experienced young people Parliament has ever seen, and it felt amazing to be a part of it and assist with coordinating the day.

Learn about our work in the 'It's Our Care' campaign

I also worked on the Care Leavers Covenant project which saw Action for Children become an official Care-Leaver Friendly Employer. And along with my team, I assisted the launch of our Children and Young People’s Participation and Engagement Strategy called ‘Nothing About Me, Without Me’.

Its Our Care outside Parliament

Its Our Care campaigners outside Parliament

Getting a clearer idea of the career path I want to take

During my time at Action for Children, I have met other people who, like me, want to use their experiences to help improve the lives of others.

My time at Action for Children helped shape the direction of my career.

When I began, I hoped to complete my apprenticeship at Distinction level and to increase my knowledge and skills in campaigning and policy work. Working here, I saw the impact these areas have on the day-to-day lives of children and young people.

Now, I am a Local Campaigns Officer at Action for Children in the Campaigns & Public Affairs team. Through my apprenticeship, I have not only gained a Business Administration Level 3 Qualification. But built on my self-confidence and gained experience in a field I love.

I am immensely grateful for the opportunities this apprenticeship with Action for Children has given me.

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