Woman who lost job and became 999 call handler during Covid lands tech role

Bethany Warren, aged 21 from Halstead, has got a new job with County Broadband after a spell of working for the NHS during...

Bethany Warren, corporate services executive at County Broadband, is encouraging more people to enter the technology industry, in support of National Careers Week 2021. - Credit: Bethany Warren

A Halstead woman who was made redundant when Covid hit and spent months of the pandemic working as an NHS call handler has landed on her feet in the tech industry. 

Bethany Warren described working as an emergency  call handler for the first six months of the pandemic as “very humbling” before joining Aldham-based County Broadband at the start of this year. 

The 21-year-old, who graduated with a Performing Arts diploma from Colchester Institute, had previously worked for a finance company and then a solicitors before the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The pandemic left her out of a job and led her to joining the East of England Ambulance Service Trust as an emergency medical dispatcher. 

She followed in the footsteps of her mother, who was previously a paramedic and now works for a local GP surgery, as well as her brother who worked for the ambulance service before becoming a firefighter.

“It was a very stressful but humbling experience,” said Bethany. 

“Knowing that you have helped to save someone’s life is a feeling quite unlike anything else.

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"It was eye-opening and there were some really rewarding moments. But you also took things home with you that you just couldn’t forget.”

She then took on a temporary role working in accountancy before spotting an advert to join County Broadband - in a role she first thought she was not qualified for. 

However, she has had an "amazing" first two months at County Broadband and praised the tech firm's “very friendly and supportive culture” despite the challenges of working from home.

Aldham-based community broadband provider and local employer County Broadband is rolling out Hyperfast full-fibre...

Aldham-based community broadband provider and local employer County Broadband is rolling out Hyperfast full-fibre broadband infrastructure across the region. - Credit: Warren Page/County Broadband

She works as a corporate services executive and said she has already learnt so much. 

“I’ve shocked myself," she said.

"I thought I wouldn’t quite have the right technical skills or experience to do this type of job or work in this type of field.

"But with technology there is so much you can get stuck into and learn and pick up as you go along. It’s been an exciting whirlwind so far – I didn’t need to worry at all and I’m really enjoying it."

Around 20% of County Broadband’s workforce is aged 16-25, with people moving from retail, hospitality, call centres and other careers to join the telecommunications company and sector.

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