Liz's story

From volunteer to a member of the team

When Liz began volunteering with The Chantry she hoped to regain a sense of identity, but she never imagined it could lead to a full-time role.

"I first began volunteering at The Chantry in May 2014. After taking a 4 year career break to raise my two children, I desperately wanted to gain my identity back and use the occupational therapy skills I had trained for at university. Due to my two children being young, I wanted flexibility and choice about the days and hours I worked, so volunteering as an Activities Assistant at The Chantry allowed me to do this.

"Being able to provide individuals with the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities is very important to me. The Chantry tries extremely hard to facilitate this for each of its residents and this is one of the reasons that I wanted to volunteer with them. Volunteering also meant that the time I spent there was solely dedicated to the residents and was not compromised by the completion of other task a professional is responsible for. The benefits of volunteering can work two ways; for the resident and the volunteer. In my experience, I felt like I was part of society again and it gave me a chance to just be 'myself' and I hope I was able to contribute to enhancing the wellbeing of the residents I worked with."

Developing knowledge

"My exposure to neurological conditions was limited, so working in a voluntary capacity gave me the opportunity to learn about the different conditions and build my confidence in this area. After volunteering at The Chantry for a couple of months, there was a vacancy for an Occupational Therapist. Because of my career break I was no longer registered as an Occupational Therapist and was not considering applying for the role until I was encouraged by other employees to apply"

One of the team

"After an in-depth interview I was very pleased to receive a phone call telling me I had got the job, subject to re-registering with the governing body for Occupational Therapists. The Chantry waited for me to complete a 30 day period of retraining and assisted where they could with study days and organised a practice placement at a local hospice. On the 1st December 2014 I started working as the Occupational Therapist at The Chantry and am thoroughly enjoying my work."

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