“Completing my A-levels marked a significant point in my life, but it also left me with a rather uncertain future. Without an offer from university, I decided to explore local volunteer opportunities. I didn’t know that this decision would shape my passion for physiotherapy.
I came across a QEF charity shop in Ashtead. I then looked them up online and decided to apply for a volunteer role as an activity assistant. My aim was to give back to the community while I figured out my next steps. Looking back, I can’t help but think how lucky this seemingly ordinary decision was.
I then had an informal interview and was greeted with a very welcoming atmosphere. It was less of an interview and more of a conversation about what I wanted to get out of the role. During the conversation, I shared my aspiration of pursuing a career in medicine, but I also showed my curiosity about physiotherapy.
I began shadowing the physiotherapy team and gradually integrated into being an activity assistant. Over time as I became more established in the role I found myself presented with a great opportunity – a role as a physio assistant.
In the following months, I committed myself to the team, forming strong bonds and gaining invaluable experience. Working closely with the physio and occupational therapy teams, I witnessed the profound impact we had on the clients. Their progress and transformations were not only remarkable but also deeply motivating.
What really inspired me was the combination of the teams of physios, occupational therapists, nursing staff and everybody else all coming together to provide the best care possible. It really is one of the things I enjoyed most about my time at QEF. Everybody here is working towards the same goal, there is no bias or personal agenda, just a team trying their best to help people.
I then reached the renewal of my contract, however I had planned to go travelling during my gap year, and so I went off to Australia and New Zealand for 3 months. Everyone at QEF were very supportive of this and expressed that I would be welcomed back once I had finished my travelling. That is exactly what I did, once I was back I reached out and came straight back into my role as a physio assistant. It felt like I had never left, the team was so welcoming. There were lots of new staff but it still felt the same.
I am now heading off to Cardiff University to study Physiotherapy, and I am really excited about it. I never knew that a volunteering role would end up being how I found my passion but that is the beauty of it, inspiration comes from the most random places. I have been told again that I am welcome back anytime and I genuinely believe I will be at some point in the future. Until then I want to thank everybody at QEF for making me feel so welcome and helping me open the next chapter in my life.”