Sonia Andre is currently an Occupational Therapist Assistant at Park House in North Manchester – however, Sonia’s journey at GMMH started four years ago when she worked as a Ward Clerk for one of the biggest inpatient wards at Laureate House in South Manchester.
By Sonia Andre
“Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for the opportunity to chase my dream of becoming an Occupational Therapist (OT).
“Within my initial role at GMMH, I developed a particular passion for working with people – I found myself spending more and more time with service users in my role as an administration colleague.
“I then moved into another role in North Manchester where I was in constant contact with service users. I really embraced my caring side and going that extra mile for service users, and always with a smile on my face.
“When I moved to Park House, my passion continued to grow, so I decided to approach the Occupational Therapy Team Manager. They gave me so much support and made me feel so confident that I said, “I want to become an OT, what do I need to do?”
“I was given some information and guidance on what I could and should do in order to become a qualified OT. Unfortunately, on my first attempt I was unsuccessful, but I did not give up.
“I had the opportunity to do some shadowing with the Occupational Therapy Team and covered some shifts as a Support Worker on the ward to get some more experience.
“Finally, an opportunity became available, and I was given the chance to be part of the team as an OTA (Occupational Therapist Assistant). I do not have enough words to say what this meant to me. I am so pleased and really enjoying my new role, and this is all because the Management Team supported me and gave me the chance to make my dreams come true.
“At the moment as an OTA, I go onto the inpatient wards for activities with the patients and for group sessions. The patients’ favourite session is the Breakfast Group and I am currently introducing healthy eating habits.
“I would advise people to go after the career that will make them happy. In the NHS, there is the possibility for you to follow your dreams and there are people who will be happy to help you and point you to the right direction.
“It makes a massive difference when staff are given the opportunity to grow within the organisation - thank you GMMH for investing in my future.”