Peter James came to Derby College to study his Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. He agreed to tell his story to our Alumni Team, including his need to make a career change and his experiences of entering a profession which requires him to support the most vulnerable people in society.
“I was in the printing industry for most of my life,” said Peter. “I needed to change direction and re-train in my fifties. One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced is making a career change later in my life due to health issues relating to my previous career.
Peter is now an Advanced Support Worker for Nottingham Community Housing Association.
“I have supported people to sustain their tenancies in both private and social housing, as well as supporting people with addictions and social problems including people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical disabilities,” he said.
“With guidance from my employer and Derby College I was able to get where I am today. Their support in choosing the right course has helped me to develop and understand my roles in supporting vulnerable people.”
Peter also shared his proudest moment in his role as an Advanced Support worker during his interview with the Derby College Alumni Team.
“It was preventing an elderly tenant from being evicted at the 11th hour and getting his benefits reinstated due to problems beyond his control,” he said.
Peter plans to continue supporting people in the community to live independently until he retires in a few years’ time, but is considering working a few days a week.
He finally shared his words of wisdom for working in the Health and Social care industry: “The most important thing is to listen to people,” he said. “Work with them, respect them and empower them.”