Lindsay McCafferty, Work Experience and Widening Participation Lead at the Trust talks about her 16-year career in the NHS, starting as a receptionist to leading a project that helps gives young people with special educational needs find work, including at the Trust.
Learn more about what Lindsay does:
I connect with local SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) students, schools and colleges and decide which internships we can offer within the West London NHS Trust, which can teach them skills to get ready for the working world.
Our students spend a year developing work skills in three placements. We train mentors in different departments and services so they can support the students while they are with us.
We are there to support the students in placement and I conduct fortnightly and end-of-term reviews to check on progress and offer support where needed.
I was working in my reception role and the deputy director was looking for a personal assistant. She approached me and asked if I was interested in doing a six-month trial to see if it was something I wanted to do as I had never had PA experience.
After six weeks she came to me and asked me if I was interested in applying for the role permanently. That was my start up the ladder.
I was asked to open and run an emergency childcare facility for frontline staff who needed support through the pandemic.
This was a massive change in role, but I really enjoyed the change and challenge and it worked really well. The parents were grateful for the support we offered through this stressful time.
I really love it. It makes me proud to come to work every day knowing I am supporting people to access new opportunities and eventually get them into the world of work.
I go to bed at night with a smile on my face knowing someone has learnt a new skill today that will help them in their future. There are also so many different career pathways and training opportunities to choose from.
The support from management is amazing, hence the amount of years I have stayed with them.
It's a bit of a family business too.
My daughter Madison is applying to start her nursing training, while my nephew, my sister-in-law and a couple of my cousins all work for the Trust.
I fit in the time to visit local schools to talk specifically about the various jobs in the NHS and why it is such a good idea to think about it as a career option.
I tell them working in a support role in the NHS means you get the rare chance to give back.
There is so much to choose from and they offer great development opportunities and have so many different career pathways. Just as importantly it is also a really lovely place to work.