Have you undertaken any kind of further study since leaving Bedales and have you gained any further qualifications?
Following on from leaving Beadles in 2004, I travelled straight to Australia for four weeks to nanny for two small boys, arriving back the day before starting at Northumbria University to study physiotherapy. Not realising this was no ordinary university course of eight hours a week, but instead three years of not only 9am till 5pm university work as well as fitting in a thousand hours of clinic practice. Whilst fitting in these studies, I volunteered my nights and weekends for a wheelchair football team. I was later lucky enough to get asked to be the England wheelchair football team physio, accompanying them to their world cup in Japan.
What kind of work are you currently involved in, and how and why have you come to be doing it?
It is safe to say, I was rather relieved to graduate in 2007 with a BSc Hons degree becoming a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. Unfortunately, this was a time when physiotherapy jobs where few a far between. I therefore went to work as a carer up in Northumberland, Kielder Forest at an outdoor activity centre for the disabled. The only way to get experience to gain a job was to be a locum physio. This means, you go anywhere in the UK, at any time, and do anything required of you! This was a little scary as my first physiotherapy job!
I am the caring physiotherapist that I am, because Bedales allowed me to find who I wanted to be
I landed a permanent job back in the north east working in a hospital, where I undertook my core rotations including; cardiothoracic, respiratory, neurology, musculoskeletal, geriatrics and gynaecology. Unfortunately, this hospital could not provide the one rotation I wanted to do; paediatrics, however, I now work in the midlands with disabled children and their families, and am a member of theAssociation of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists. I also volunteer as a physio at a wheelchair basketball club. They have turned tables and taught me a few things by getting me playing in their league, terrifying stuff! I have also had the opportunity to work with the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team and hope to continue my experience outside the NHS as well as my day job!
Did attending Bedales help you in getting to where you are now and how satisfied are you with what you are doing?
You may be able to tell that Bedales influenced me a lot in the person that I am. From the age of 12, I was volunteering for disabled children in my Wednesday afternoons, I was babysitting for teacher’s children, setting up schemes for underprivileged children, doing lots of sports and arts. Not much has changed really, and to add the list, I have recently picked my paintbrush back up and started selling some of my artwork.
Bedales is such a fantastic place, the only thing wrong with it, is that is easily taken for granted. I am the caring physiotherapist that I am, because Bedales allowed me to find who I wanted to be (as well as putting in a lot of hard work!) When you leave school, you realise how good you had it, and how annoyed you are that you didn’t spend more time doing the great things that it offers.