Nathan’s story

Nathan's background in psychology inspired him to work at one of our forensic mental health services.
Nathan, a Team Leader at one of our mental health services

Nathan is a Team Leader at one of our forensic mental health services.

“There is a clear pathway for progression at Look Ahead”

Following  my Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and some related volunteer experience, I was really keen to work in a forensic setting. I was looking for work that would not only help me further my own goals of working in the mental health sector but also had a strong focus on recovery and rehabilitation.

When I arrived at my interview I was impressed that a customer was included in the recruitment process. Even at that very early stage, it represented a clear partnership between Look Ahead and their customers.

I started at my service in February 2015 as an Assistant Support Worker and was later that year promoted to a Specialist Support Worker. One of my personal highlights in that role was when one of the customers told us that he was ready to move from a high support to a low support flat. For someone who has been in supported accommodation or hospital from the age of 18, this represented a huge growth in self-confidence.

Applying my studies to my work has been invaluable. As we take a recovery-focused approach with a forensic customer group, we need to have a very high awareness of risk and risk management procedures, which was the focus of my Master’s. I feel very lucky to be able to apply my previous experience to my work.

I still have a lot of contact with customers in my current role as Team Leader, but I also help lead and develop a very experienced and diverse team of staff. I ensure the rota is covered for at least the next two weeks, respond to internal and external colleagues, check over and sign paperwork and ensure the project is running smoothly.

Look Ahead has provided me with the experience of working in a very specialist service with a customer group that I hope to work with for my entire career. In the future I hope to continue to develop my management skills; there is a clear pathway for progression in the organisation and I’m excited to follow it as far as it will take me.