Gap year: Wesser
Tom works for Wesser, which raises funds for St John Ambulance. He and his colleagues go around knocking on doors and asking people to support St John in whatever way they can, be it through funds or volunteering.
Tom says Wesser is a great company to work for, even if only for a month or two. The experience teaches you a lot about yourself, he says. He has now been promoted to team leader for the Manchester area.
As well as employing people such as Tom doing gap years before their degree courses, Wesser also takes on those who have already graduated. Tom says that if you’re prepared to work hard you can pay off your student debts in a couple of months.
What motivated you to apply?
I’ve always wanted to do some charity work. I grew up in Manchester and wanted to put something back into the community
How are you funding the year?
We get paid well – it is so good there’s no need to do extra work to supplement my income.
What will you do after?
I’ve applied to study product design at university, which will be a sandwich course, so I will get a job during my penultimate year. With the funds raised this year, and with the property development I’m doing, by the time I leave university I will be financially stable.
What do you hope to gain from the gap year?
I’ve already gained a lot. It is a great experience – we get to speak to everyone from millionaires to really poor people. I now know how to deal with people. It is good for my CV, especially now I am team leader – it’s unusual to be in that position at 19.
What is the best bit?
I saved someone’s life. An old lady fell over and was knocked unconscious, and I had to bring her round and tend to the wound on her head. Wesser sends us on first aid training courses run by St John Ambulance. Also, knowing that 10 years after I leave Wesser, the funds I have raised will still be having an effect. And that I earn enough to stop me getting into debt.
What is the worst bit?
The lack of free time – you work six days a week. But I’m treating this year like a whole different lifestyle, and it’s what I was expecting. I am busy all the time.