Staff stories

staff stories

Explore these extraordinary journeys

We are dedicated to showcasing the remarkable journeys and experiences of the incredible individuals who make up our healthcare family.
Each member of our team plays a crucial role in providing exceptional care to our patients. Through these stories, we hope to offer insight into the inspiring work our staff does every day and provide a platform for them to share their personal growth and lessons learned along the way.

My journey and role within mental health

Rachel Small.jpgMy first job with the Trust was as a business manager for Older Person’s Mental Health Services. I had just graduated from university, having spent the first two years commuting home at the weekends to help care for my nan, who had depression and dementia. I thought I would be able to bring my lived experience of being a young carer to the role and found that it was really valued by other colleagues. 15 years later I am really proud to be the Service Director for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, and Children and Young Person Services.

It is great to work in a role where understanding and supporting mental health is core to what we do, and it has helped me to think about how I look after my own mental health. I am also still able to draw on my experience helping to care for my nan when thinking about how we coproduce service transformation with local people. We have come a long way to reduce stigma since I started working in mental health, and no one should ever feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help.

Rachel Small

Service Director of Children, Young Person and Family Services, All Age Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Service

My apprenticeship and my plans for the future.

Sas Watson.jpgI knew that the apprenticeship route suited me from previous experiences, and it also meant that it meant I could keep working in the same place with my regular pay, with a team I knew well and was supportive. 

My confidence grew significantly during my course, I stepped nervously out of my comfort zone many times and came out of it a better person than I went in. It was a great experience to work in other settings, with other people, seeing how they work, and gain knowledge in that area. As well as all the experiences I had, and knowledge gained I also came away with new friends.

I would encourage anyone who is considering this apprenticeship to go for it, it is a great opportunity to study while receiving a regular income and begin a worthwhile and fulfilling career. There is a lot of support out there for trainee nursing associates and registered nursing associates.

What do I hope to do next? I have just become an Health Education England Nursing Associate Ambassador. This role is all about promoting the role of nursing associate, letting people know what the role is and where it can take them. I am also keen to support anyone who is doing their training or thinking about doing it. This is an important aspect to me as it helped me to have that support network.

Sas Watson

Nurse associate apprentice

The 111 service and helping patients receive the best care

Matt Cowan.jpgMy name is Matt, and I am a health advisor on the purple team.  I have been in my role since October 2022 after completing my training.

I applied for this role as I wanted to have some new challenges and equally a rewarding end to my working shift knowing that I had helped people to get the right treatment/ care, at the right time! 

The best bit about my role is working with a great bunch of people and the commitment to getting the best care for patients. Prior to this, I worked within the motor trade, but also volunteered for Samaritans which I found equally as rewarding.  

Matt Cowan

Health advisor, 111 service

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