Craig brought experience from working in the NHS and his personal life into his career at Look Ahead.
I first started my career as an NHS carer supporting people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I worked in the NHS for about a year before Look Ahead.
I discovered Look Ahead while doing a health and social care apprenticeship, funnily enough, a colleague who would later be my team leader was in my class. The teacher worked at Look Ahead too.
After getting to know them, I decided to apply for a support worker role. I had the interview, and I’ve never looked back since. When I started, my role was initially focused on delivering supported living services for customers with mental health needs in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. No two days were the same, and there was always plenty to get involved with at the service. I especially enjoyed leading on side projects, like fundraising for the service. I’m pleased to say, I managed to secure funding to revamp the service’s garden and to hold special Black History Month activities.
In that time, I also went for another apprenticeship where I learned more about medication and person-centred care. After that, I got a promotion and became a specialist support worker, Look Ahead really values internal progression.
This was fantastic, as I got to run group activities, and specialised sessions like hearing voices workshops. I also supported art therapy sessions with a trained therapist and helped to facilitate others around health, wellbeing, and drugs with partners from turning point to the NHS.
Then after a while, I had the opportunity to visit Look Ahead’s head office in Westminster. I liked the fell of the place and thought I would quite like to work there. It inspired me to try something new. Later, a colleague of mine showed me some internal vacancies online, and I applied for a Customer Contact Centre Officer role.
I interviewed and was offered the job. I’ve been in the role for nearly a year now and I’m really enjoying it. I answer queries from customers and staff at Look Ahead’s services and direct people to who they need to speak to so they can resolve any problems. I oversee repairs too and raise work orders to get them done. This is my favourite part of the job as it’s satisfying to know that I’m helping someone to live more comfortably.
Another great thing about working in the Customer Contact Centre is my team. We’re a close-knit bunch and they are so supportive. I’ve had mild Autism throughout my life, and I take medication for my mental health every day. My managers are very understanding, and they have been supporting me. Sometimes my medication makes me feel drowsy, and they encourage me to take short breaks when I need them. That’s the best thing about Look Ahead, they go out of their way to help someone grow.