After studying Ancient History at university, I worked in the City as a head hunter for banks but I didn’t find this fulfilling. My second job was working with young people with learning difficulties, which I really enjoyed.

While I was there, I met a social worker who I found really inspiring. That was when I decided to go back into education to study Psychology. When I graduated, I applied for the Think Ahead programme because it offered the perfect opportunity to study for an MA while also being paid to work in mental health social work.

Being on the programme has given me the opportunity to work with people who have a wide range of mental health problems. The Think Ahead programme has given me a deeper understanding of the impact that mental health can have on both the individual and the people who care for them. I’ve also gained insight into the impact of housing, benefits, poverty and deprivation on people’s mental health, and the plight of some people in London.

What makes this programme stand out is that you are training with like-minded people who all want to achieve the same goals.

We are all driven by the desire to work in this sector and, if possible, help improve existing services for the benefit of our clients, utilising fresh ideas and new ways of working. Overall, we hope to have a lasting impact.

It is exciting to think that the work we are doing isn’t just confined to our team or even our region; it is happening all over England.

Jan – University of Edinburgh graduate and 2017 Think Ahead participant.

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