I grew up and trained in South Wales and have worked in various parts of the UK and Australia. I spent my early career developing my clinical skills, before specialising in education, training, management and leadership roles. I’ve worked with some fantastic mentors and leaders me who have guided and inspired me along the way. We have some excellent networks in the radiography community, which is a real strength to enhance and evolve what we do.
I love to explore anything new whether it’s a new work project, a recipe, piece of music or travelling to a new place (pre pandemic).
In my personal life right now I’m figuring out how to home educate my children in a way that is healthy for them. Plus focussing on my own health and wellbeing and those close to me. It’s a genuine curiosity that often inspires me in all aspects of my life.
I don’t tend to use alarms I wake up naturally, often early about 6am. I get up as quietly as possible so as not to wake up anyone at home. This is my quiet time just for me. I nip outside, stand in my garden sanctuary and listen to the birds for a few moments. Then make myself a lovely good cup of coffee.
I’ve been working for the SOR on an Office for Students (Independent Regulator for Higher Education England) careers outreach project since 2018 so my commute varied greatly. The role was England wide. Some days I simply went to my desk at home. Sometimes zipping into SOR HQ in London to attend meetings. Other days, it was catching a train to anywhere in England. I might be visiting a school to deliver an assembly about radiography and AHP roles or presenting at a large corporate careers conference.
Before I was employed by SOR, I had no idea the breadth of miles, scope of work and projects covered by such a small dedicated and motivated team. During the first lock down we were able to get the virtual delivery of AHP careers outreach into schools quite quickly. This helped build momentum of the iseethedifference campaign and had far reaching results geographically including the devolved countries. As with any difficult circumstances something creative and useful happened that none of us expected.
This was the branding name of the digital marketing campaign to raise awareness of AHPs. The marketing company interviewed current students and experienced AHP staff. They discovered people are drawn into our professions and stay in our professions due to the inspiration seeing up close or strategically the difference made to peoples’ lives. I think this is key when we continue to raise awareness to anyone and everyone about what we do as radiographers. There is no harm in acknowledging the realities or challenges of our work when inspiring others to join us but it’s vital to focus on the benefits of our jobs.e.g high employability, training and research opportunities and rewarding work.
The outreach element of this iseethedifference campaign has now ended. Now it’s a new chapter. The marketing materials and website that SOR members consulted on, supported and endorsed over the last 2 years will handed over to The Council of Deans (the organisation that represents UK faculties engaged in education and research for nursing, midwifery and AHPs). This means our profession can continue to contribute and evolve these along with other AHP professions. This can be very powerful. I saw first-hand the great strength in aligning with other AHP professions to promote what we do. Now that I am in this new outreach role I will be building on the learning, continuing to work with members, various organisations and public to grow how we strategically raise awareness across both radiographic professions in the UK.
So many people will sadly be out of work. If we don’t share what we do, how will these individuals make informed choices about whether they might like to train in one of our professions or perhaps apply for support worker roles. How will young people make informed decisions about career choices or jobs seekers look for alternatives when they are already swamped with virtual online education, social media or advertising? It’s doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming. I’m using every opportunity I can to explain about what radiographers do and signposting to information about our work.
I ended up in therapeutic radiography by chance. I was on the traditional A level route. During my second year of A levels, I rebelled and discovered sleeping and not doing school work. I had a crazy perm. I spent most of my time listening to loud music, watching Neighbours on tv and eating gravy and chips. As a result I disengaged with A levels and didn’t achieve the results I was capable of. I had wanted to train as a physiotherapist. Mainly because I had only ever met this type of AHP or the fourteen other AHP professions. I didn’t feel I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor and I wanted to care and work with people.
Fortunately by chance perusal of teletext (perhaps some members are too young to remember it – pre internet), I saw there were clearing spaces at Cardiff University for Diagnostic radiography. Within two days I was meeting the Cardiff University diagnostic programme team. I met in the corridor the lead for the therapeutic radiography programme. After quick chat with him he suggested I consider therapeutic radiography. I’d never heard of it. No clue. If it were not for that corridor conversation with one of the enthusiastic Cardiff University team, I would never have ended up enrolling on the first of the therapeutic radiography degree programmes at Cardiff University at that time. The rest is history.
It’s a new role across the SOR organisation. I will be building all the learning and information from the last few years and evolving this. Standardising messages about our careers information is important. Many people will be sadly be out of work now and in the imminent future. I want to work with stakeholders to take advantage of this difficult situation to attract the right people into radiography professional. It could seeking new recruits or return to practice.
I’ll be working with SOR colleagues, members, public and the variety of organisations who are regularly giving advice to anyone and everyone about our career. If careers advisors and leads don’t know about what we do how can they suggest this to the people they meet? I am also very aware there continues to be lots of fantastic careers outreach work being led by the radiography community and individual members. Understanding this strategically so that we can share and minimise duplication of work is valuable. Plus strategically, planning tracking and targeting waves of activity.
I love anything and everything about being outside whether it’s pottering in my garden, walking around the river where I live or paddling in streams in the countryside with my sons when possible. Sometimes it’s simply curling up on the sofa with a good book and a glass of wine.
Raise awareness of our radiography professions and take advantage of every single opportunity that. Last week it was a simple conversation with the cashier in Sainsbury’s who asked me what work I did. This week a comment on Facebook about what radiographers do in response to my sisters Facebook post to her friends about the team (she didn’t catch their name) at Tiverton and Devon District hospital who compassionately and skilfully x-rayed my five year old nephews broken arm (following his avenger style launch off a sofa).Thank you whoever you were for your kindness and expertise that day.
I really enjoyed “Girls from Ipanema” on Netflix and comedies like “Motherland” and “Afterlife”.