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Interview with Maddy Halliday, CEO of the Life Changes Trust

We spoke to Maddy Halliday, CEO of the Life Changes Trust, about employing 18 interns through Adopt an Intern, and how that has affected the organisation’s growth.

About the Life Changes Trust:

The Life Changes Trust was created to drive real and meaningful improvement in the lives of young people with experience of being in care and people affected by dementia.

How has the Life Changes Trust (LCT) grown since 2013, and how has Adopt an Intern (AAI) helped?

Interns from AAI have benefitted the Trust enormously. I chose to use interns as a way of supporting the organisation to get established in 2013, as we were growing our permanent staff team. I have used interns in the past, and have a particular passion and commitment to providing opportunities to make a real difference to young people’s lives and career prospects. This commitment also aligns with the work we do at the Trust.

To date, we’ve had 18 people come through AAI under a range of roles including HR, administration, finance, research, comms, events and programmes and – for the most part –  the quality has been exceptional. I’d say at least 16 of our interns have made a significant contribution to our business.

Two AAI interns have also gone onto permanent roles within the Trust. They came in as Programme Assistants and when we were interviewing for permanent, more senior Programme Officer roles, the interns were the strongest candidates under very competitive circumstances. I’m happy to say they are still with us now.

Another intern came in as PA and HR support to me and she was just incredible. I would have loved to have kept her on, but she wanted to travel.  I’m thrilled to hear through AAI that she was since landed a permanent position with Flexiworkforce.

The AAI intern I currently have is also absolutely superb. His internship is finishing soon but he is moving into a  continuing, albeit temporary role with us with longer-term prospects. I don’t want to lose him!

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to contribute to the development of 18 young lives and careers who have also helped us establish the Trust and develop its success.

What surprised you the most about using interns?

Their commitment, energy and skill. Our interns have learnt very quickly and exceeded the expectations of an entry-level staff member. They may not have a lot of work experience at the outset, but they bring motivation and skill, and are ready to make a real contribution.

What would you say to similar organisations that are looking to expand their team, but are unsure if a graduate intern through AAI is the right move?

It’s very important to understand that, as with any employee, you have a duty of care and a responsibility to help interns with their professional progression. Interns should not be seen as cheap labour. Temporary or not, they are still people who need to be supported and treated well, and we know that when you treat people well, they reciprocate and contribute positively.

It’s a win-win for everybody. Employers should see internships as an investment in a person who may turn out to be someone that you want to keep on. Even if there is not a permanent position at the end of their placement, they will have contributed to your business and you have the satisfaction of seeing them progress in their careers. What’s not to like about that?

What’s not to like about that?

Thanks Maddy!

More information on the Life Changes Trust, and the incredible work they are doing can be found on their website.


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