Mental health experience inspires learner to change career

Switching careers is never easy, and often takes real determination. Adult learner, Jodie Parker, built up the courage to pursue a different role at 24 years old after working as a support worker for many years.

Jodie decided to change lanes to chase a career in social work, after realising her passion for making a positive change to people’s lives and supporting individuals with mental health difficulties.

Making a change

Seven years’ experience as a support worker gave Jodie insight into rehabilitation in mental health, which spurred her on to change paths to become a social worker.

“I’ve worked a lot with individuals who struggle with mental health challenges; being able to support and advise them has been something that has really motivated me. Helping people improve their quality of life is such a privilege to me, and I believe that becoming a social worker can support my journey in doing this for more members of my community.

“I appreciate that social work can be a difficult profession, however it’s also incredibly rewarding to know that you can make a difference to an individual’s life or provide a family with the support they need.”

Taking the next step

With a career in social work in mind, Jodie embarked on a new journey at Keighley College to study Access to Higher Education in Social Care Diploma Level 3.

“Returning to college as an adult was daunting at first, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. The course is challenging, however my tutors give me fantastic support and my peers are so encouraging; we always uplift each other in class.

“I’ve learnt that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for. Although it’s been challenging to study this course and work at the same time, I’ve managed to achieve distinctions and positive feedback for my work. The key to success is finding a balance and perfecting time management skills.”

Sights set on higher education

When Jodie completes the course, she’s hoping to study at university to pursue her dream career.

“I’m so pleased that I decided to take the step to go back to college; the prospect of university is incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to progress.”

Students are lifeline for those receiving care in the community

Five students from Keighley College have been providing tailored support to members of the community during the pandemic, as part of their health and social care work placement.

Taking on the role of complex care support workers, the students have been working part-time at community-centered organisation, Personalized Care Services, to support individuals with complex health and social care needs.

With the aim to help individuals live independently in their own homes, the students have been working throughout the pandemic to assist members of the community with medication, dietary needs, dementia care, companionship and respite for families with care responsibilities. 

Mazar Hussain, Managing Director of Personalized Care Services, said: “Each student has performed exceptionally well in their role, especially during these challenging times. The pandemic has had a significant impact on our services; we’ve all worked incredibly hard to keep people safe in their homes and ensure they have their personal care needs met. 

“Three students who completed the Health and Social Care Level 3 Diploma have continued to work part-time with us; it’s incredible to see how well their skills and knowledge have developed and the level of care they are providing is impeccable.”

Founded in 2019, Personalized Care Services was set up to support people in the community with their care needs in a flexible manner, allowing individuals to choose the support which best suits their needs. Offering 24-hour support to those who have experienced difficulties settling into a community-based environment in the past, the service enables people to live active lives. 

Rohima Ali, course leader at Keighley College, commented: “As a community-focused college, we’re dedicated to supporting local people as much as possible. It’s inspiring to see how quickly our students have developed admirable qualities and abilities through invaluable character-building real-life experience.”

The 38-strong team provides a wide range of support including domestic support, mental wellbeing, supported employment, learning disabilities, independent living and adult learning.

Keighley College student, Ghalia Fiaz, who works at Personalized Care Services, added: “This hands-on opportunity has been so valuable to my learning and development. It has not only highlighted the importance of this sector during the pandemic, but also allowed me to help empower individuals by providing them with the confidence to become part of their community.”

Personalized Care Services will be working closely with Keighley College to develop its curriculum, with a focus on employer and community needs. 

Healthcare Partnership Offers Apprenticeship Opportunities


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