Inspirational Story

Kwesi Gyan

Name: Kwesi Gyan

Role: Occupational Therapist Assistant, Becklin Centre

What did you do following school?

I finished secondary school in Ghana then I worked as a radio presenter/radio DJ for almost 8 years. I also worked as a DJ in nighclubs and in a restaurant. I then made the decision to move to the UK.


What did you do once you had moved to the UK?

When I came to the UK, I did Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young People’s Workforce: Social Care Pathway and also Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Early Learning and Childcare (City&Guilds).

When I came to the UK everything changed but I did a bit of Djing at Leeds Town. I also worked with children with disabilities in a company called UBU as an Enabler.


When did you start working for the NHS?

I began working for the NHS in 2013. I worked at Newton Lodge (medium secure mental health unit) in Wakefield as a health care support worker.

After two years I moved to a new post job at the Becklin Centre, also working in mental health.  I initially worked on one of the female wards but have been lucky to work around all the wards at the Becklin Centre as a support worker.


When did you become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

After a couple of years working as a health care support worker, I moved to the Newsam Centre Ward 4, male mental health ward, as an Occupational Therapy Assistant or ‘OTA’ for around a year and then I moved to Ward 3 in the Becklin and I have been there for 3 years now.


What influenced your choice of role?

I moved straight to Leeds as my wife lived here.  I was lucky to visit BBC Leeds because my sister-in-law used to work there.  I couldn’t understand the accent at all so it made me change my mind to not to work as radio broadcaster.

However my wife encouraged me to work in the care sector. I had worked with children in Ghana already as an assistant football coach. That is the reason why I chose to work in the care sector which I am pleased about – I have no regrets.

It is lovely to see the progress of patients and that makes it a very rewarding job for me

What do you love about your role? 

I have been lucky to get tremendous support from every team I have worked with in the Trust.  They always challenge me because they know where my strengths are and I enjoy it.

I have brought music and DJing to all my jobs in the UK.I have had a lot of support from all the managers I have worked with, funding equipment and things needed to run groups/activities.

I love running activities/groups such as a walking group, morning get together groups, out & about, music/DJ group, Art & Crafts and many more.

Also it is great when the Occupational Therapy (OT) team come up with a show like the Christmas concert, Summer fair, Show us your Talent, Open Mic Night and much more.

The patients enjoy it and the impact on them is positive which I am really pleased about.


What does your role look like day to day?

It varies from day to day.  That way we meet the needs of our patients. It is a job whereby anything can happen.

Even though I am a positive minded person I am also always ready for anything that comes because it is not easy job.  I use a variety of therapies and de-escalation techniques to de-stress patients.

I run groups and activities most of the day and have one-to-one chats with patients when required.

I also work as a team with the ward staff to carry out patient safety assessments, home visits and so on.

It is lovely to see the progress of patients and that makes it a very rewarding job for me.