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EPUT celebrates National Careers Week

This week is National Careers Week, which is aimed at highlighting the opportunities available to young people.

Here at Essex Partnership University NHS University Foundation Trust (EPUT), we have different entry routes for a wide variety of jobs, whatever your age, background or interests.

We offer on the job training, rotational opportunities, career development courses and the chance to study whilst working.

Staff are offered supervision and support and opportunities to further their careers, such as further professional training and leadership training.

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Two our staff members have shared their career journeys to highlight the opportunities available.

Angela Forsdyke started working at EPUT as a domestic, 11 years ago on the Poplar Adolescent Unit. She helped to keep the ward clean and worked 25 hours a week while caring for her young children.

She worked on an agency staff basis for four years before joining the Trust on a permanent contract. She then took a job as a Support Worker from 2015 until 2018 before she was promoted to Senior Support Worker in 2018.

In 2021 Angela started her current role as an Associate Practitioner.

She said: “When I first started working at EPUT, I never knew much about mental health or anything about the Trust. 

“Working in the ward environment over the years and seeing how the staff supported young people in managing their mental health issues and even seeing how some of the young people have turned their lives around because of the support and guidance they received, encouraged me to want to progress in my career so I too could make a difference in the young people’s lives.

Angela has worked at Poplar for her entire career so far.

She said: “The team and management have always been very encouraging and supportive, allowing me opportunities to take part in activities and develop my skills and knowledge and move forward into different roles.”

Angela enrolled onto an apprenticeship, which allowed her to apply to become a Senior Support Worker. She went on to complete the HND Level 5 Healthcare Practice for England (assistant practitioner) apprenticeship, which helped her to progress into her current role.

During courses, Angela has completed placements in other services within the Trust to expand her knowledge.

She is now undertaking a nursing degree apprenticeship.

Angela said: “I love the team I work with, we are like a family. Although the job can be challenging at times, we also do have fun with the service users and do get a lot of support ourselves. 

“The Trust do a lot of good work.  Seeing the difference we can make in the service users’ lives, giving them the tools and guidance they need to support them with their mental health makes, it all worthwhile.”

Angela said the apprenticeships have given her the opportunity to work while gaining recognised qualifications.

She said: “I would encourage people to start a career with EPUT. There are so many developmental opportunities to further your career in so many different areas in healthcare and make a difference in people’s lives.

“Having the flexibility of working shifts has allowed me a monthly wage to support my family and not miss any of my children’s school plays and sports days.”

Emily Wood joined EPUT in July 2020 just after finishing university. Her original plans for after graduation had unfortunately fallen through due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so she was looking for a way she could get involved and make a difference.

She said: “I started on a 12-week contract as bank staff as a Communications Assistant. I worked hard and was proactive, always striving for the best results and looking at how we could improve our team’s overall way of working. I learned a lot from people around me and got to work with some really skilled and dedicated professionals, both corporate and clinical.

“Three years later, I’m still here, having gone from Communications Assistant, to Communications Officer, and now Senior Communications Manager.

“I’ve been given some brilliant opportunities for progression. A real highlight was working on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, where I was in charge of providing consistent and clear information about vaccines to both staff and the general public.

“With support from my manager, I’m growing in confidence at working with the media and external stakeholders such as MPs, councillors, charities and other NHS organisations.

“Above all, I love the culture of EPUT and the NHS as a whole. We’re supportive of each other, I’m able to talk openly and honestly about my thoughts and concerns, and patient and public wellbeing really is at the heart of all we do. I’ve always wanted to have a job where I can make a difference.

“I feel lucky to have found this so early on in my career and would really encourage anyone else who wants to do the same to consider bringing their skills to the NHS.”


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