A UNIVERSITY graduate is set to become one of the youngest employees at a care home near Darlington after joining a graduate programme.

Emily Bowering had previously worked on a placement with staff at the Middleton Hall Care Home in Middleton St George before being selected to join the 'Skills for Care' graduate management programme.

The 21-year-old from Harrogate in North Yorkshire and studied psychology at Newcastle University was selected to join the programme before New Year.

Describing how 'ecstatic' she had been when she discovered the news, she said: "I’m pretty sure my parents told the whole world before I got a chance to.

“I applied for Skills for Care because I knew I wanted to go into Health and Social care, but I didn’t know where to start and their programme had by far the most holistic approach to developing a graduate’s skills.

“In my role at Middleton Hall every day is so different, and I’m doing a wide variety of things, including writing newsletters, running social media, designing leaflets, editing website code, hosting events, organising surveys.

"The change is what keeps me on my toes.”

Jeremy Walford, Managing Director at Middleton Hall, said: “Middleton Hall was selected by Skills for Care as a host employer that could offer suitable support, training, learning and development for a graduate placement and we’re delighted to welcome Emily.

“In the short time she has been with us she has already made a valuable contribution to life at Middleton Hall and we are looking forward to supporting her to develop her skills and potential.”

Ms Bowering's appointment into the graduate scheme comes as the care home is set to hold its first recruitment fair of the year offering a potential jobs boost for the area.

Mr Walford said the open day would offer a chance for potential employees to meet its team of service managers, see the facilities on offer and find out about career opportunities.

Last week, Mr Walford promised the care home would improve after a poor inspection from the Care Quality Commission saw it downgraded from a 'good' to 'requires improvement' rating.

At the time, Mr Walford told The Northern Echo: "The inspection was very different from what we've had before – we had the worst outbreak of D&V (diarrhoea and vomiting).

"We had 28 employees off during that period of time."

In the inspection, it had been found that medicines had not always been managed safely and relatives felt there weren't always sufficient staff on duty, inspectors discovered there had been an "increased risk" that residents could be harmed.

However, Mr Walford said the care home would never score poorly again, and added: "I would absolutely fully accept that we won’t be requiring improvement again.

"We have always achieved a ‘good’ one and that should always be the case."