Senior Therapy Assistant
Name: Kathryn Bacon
Role: Children’s Therapy Assistant
Time as AHP support worker: 2 years
Where I work: South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust
What was your experience of school?
I didn’t mind school. I worked hard and did quite well in all of my subjects. I then went on to college to study Psychology, History and French. My first year of college went well but it required a lot more work than school ever did!
I then got ill in my second year of college and spent a lot of my time at home trying to pass my exams despite being really poorly! I eventually left college with 3 B’s!
What was the next step after school?
At school and college I found a love for Psychology and decided to head to the University of Derby to study this further. I was determined that I wanted to be an Educational Psychologist and worked really hard to complete my degree. I eventually graduated with a 1st class (honours) degree in Psychology.
In the last few months of my degree, I had applied for an Assistant Educational Psychologist position, but unfortunately did not get this. However, I was offered the opportunity to go and learn more about the role and what would be required should I wish to apply again in the future.
This experience really opened my eyes to what the job role would be and I decided that it wasn’t for me! It was very behind the scenes and I was really passionate about working directly with children and young people and supporting them in this way. I then just found a job after Uni to get on the job ladder while searching for a new career idea!
How did you find out about a role as a AHP Support Worker?
I had a close family friend who was an Occupational Therapist in the Children’s Therapy Service and I would often speak with her about her job. At school and then at college, I did a few weeks work experience shadowing OT’s and Physio’s within a couple of services within South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust.
My brother was a Therapy Assistant and the area he worked in was closed down, he then ended up doing bank work over the summer for the Children’s Therapy Service. The position he was covering became an open full time vacancy and my close family friend was now the manager of the team and informed me of the vacancy should I wish to apply! I really didn’t like the job I was in and really wanted a chance to work directly with children so I applied!
I love that I can make a difference to a child and families life and help them to be the best they can be
What has been your career journey so far?
I started off in a pension administrator role which wasn’t for me! After finding out about the Children’s Therapy Assistant position, I knew it was the role I was looking for. I’ve now been in that role for 2 years and have really enjoyed the time.
What have you learnt during this time?
I have learnt to always put the patient first, and that every child is different. I have learnt to work with patients, families, professionals and colleagues and also learnt to trust in my own abilities. When I first started I would question every decision I made, now I trust in what I know and am confident in my job.
What do you love about your role as an AHP Support Worker?
I love the variety that the job provides. Every child I see is completely different and the support given can vary hugely. I love that I can make a difference to a child and families life and help them to be the best they can be. You get joy out of the little things, one time I nearly cried with joy as I watched a child tie her shoelaces for the first time after working on this with her for weeks.
Any advice for those interested in this type of role?
The job is so rewarding, and I would recommend it to anyone. If you want to make a difference to someone’s life then working as an AHP support worker is extremely fulfilling.
There can be challenges, both with the service users but also working with different AHP’s. Every AHP works in a different way that suits them and that is what makes them so good at their job.
As a support worker, you have to adapt to the different ways of working so that you can support all of them equally. I would definitely recommend working in an AHP profession.
Take a look at the variety of roles and the value they bring to the Allied Health Professional workforce here: