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Developing a career passion

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Staff, as well as service users, get to shape their careers at Brierley Court. Samantha O’Loughlin shares her story of how she realised that occupational therapy was her future.

“In March 2011 I started at Brierley Court as a rehabilitation co-ordinator. My colleague, James Valentine, progressed from doing the same role as me to become an occupational therapist assistant and then onto studying occupational therapy. Learning about occupational therapy and seeing colleagues like James develop their skills and careers led me to decide to take the same path.

So when James moved on to studying in September 2012, I applied for the occupational therapist assistant role, and got it. I was now able to develop my experience and prepare myself for a career in occupational therapy. 

I applied to study a Masters in Occupational Therapy and attended a pre-registration interview. I was put on a waiting list in case anyone dropped out, and was delighted to receive a phone call from the admissions department offering me a place. I begin my pre-registration course at the Carlisle campus at University of Cumbria in September. 

Seeing the work that my colleagues at Brierley Court do has inspired me to make this move.  I’m ecstatic to be studying occupational therapy, but I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of my colleague Stacey Hylton and the encouragement from the team and service users at Brierley Court.” 

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