This week is National Apprenticeship Week! We've had some great people join Step One through our apprenticeship scheme. Here, we share the story of our Mental Health Nurse Apprentice, Rachael.
Rachael's Apprenticeship Story
Hi! I’m Rachael and I have been working for Step One Charity for nearly three years. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to do a mental health nursing apprenticeship as part of Step One’s apprenticeship scheme. I went down the part time route so I am working at Cypress Hospital as a support worker for some of the week and then am at university studying for the rest of the week. I am in my first year so have only been an apprentice since September but so far am really enjoying it!
After studying Psychology at university, I was always really interested in Mental Health and was passionate about helping those struggling with it. Having worked for Step One on the BeWell Project by facilitating support groups and self-management courses, I got an insight into some of our local mental health services and felt like I wanted to get more involved. When the apprenticeship vacancy came up, I felt it would have been silly not to apply!
The apprenticeship has opened a whole new carer path for me. Without the apprenticeship I would not have been able to go back to university and get my mental health nursing degree. Doing the part time route has also allowed me to continue working and gain experience whilst still studying. I am currently out on placement which has also been helpful in building my confidence and broadening my experience!
One thing that I love the most about my apprenticeship is that whilst I am studying, I am still working and gaining experience in the field that I am going into! I feel a little more equipped going into placements having already experienced a hospital setting.
If you’re thinking about becoming an apprentice, I would say go for it – what do you have to lose?! Another great thing about being an apprentice is that you have so many sources of support. You have your employers checking in on you, your lectures/programme leads and the apprenticeship team! If you struggle at any point, there’s always people around to help.