Stepping up

Newly qualified member Becca Knowles, shares her journey from student - to rep -  to Chair of East of England Regional Network.

Broadening your experience by getting involved is simple.

Tell us a bit about yourself

 

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I graduated from Oxford Brookes University in June 2016.

I've always had a passion for anatomy and physiology and went into physiotherapy with the stereotypical aim of being a 'Sports Physio', but then fell in love with the medical and clinical side of things. 

I'm happiest when helping people, problem solving/clinical reasoning and learning new things - so I think I’ve found the perfect profession for me.

Where are you currently based?

I work in a rotational post within the NHS at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St. Edmunds. I am a firm advocate for the NHS and its ethos. I'm inspired everyday by the patients I work with and the support of the multidisciplinary teams.

How did you become East of England chair?

Some of my favourite memories, and closest friends from uni came from my time as a CSP student rep. This opportunity really opened my eyes into the wider goings-on around not only the profession, but healthcare, the economy and international affairs. I was very involved within the student network, and managed to link up with my local regional network.

On graduating, I knew I wanted to continue working within the networks, and after chairing the South-East student regional network and vice-chairing the student executive committee, becoming honarary chair of the East of England network was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. 

I think so many members underutilise the CSP and their resources

I certainly hadn’t planned to step into the role so soon after graduating, but had always anticipated being involved and joined the core group after attending their 2017 AGM.  I took over as chair formally in March 2018.

What do you hope to bring to the post?

I still consider myself newly qualified, so hope to bring innovative ideas representing both my experience as a student and qualified member. I very much believe students are quite literally the 'future of the profession', so would like to work with more students/new graduates within the networks – if you’re reading this, please do get in touch! 

Equally, I value working with our more experienced members – both clinical and non-clinical - and learning about the history and development of our profession thus far, what has/hasn’t worked previously, as well as generally tapping in to their expertise.

Why did you launch a member survey for your network?

We are so lucky and unique in many ways to have the CSP.   They are visible, accessible and dedicated to listening and acting on member feedback.  

I think so many members underutilise the CSP and their resources. It’s important regionally that we prioritise and promote opportunities to develop or address concerns, gaps or regional variants specific to our members, so the more ideas, the better.

How can new graduates get involved with their professional body?

Follow your regional network or country board on social media to keep up with what’s going on

  1. Come and say hello! I think I can speak on behalf of all regional networks by saying we would love to have more students/newly qualified members engage with us. 
  2. Follow your regional network or country board on social media to keep up with what’s going on. 
  3. Attend one of our events. These are often free of charge and a great way to find out if being involved in a network is something you’d be interested in (there’s never any obligation to commit).

What are your future hopes - both personally and for the profession?

I think it's important and rewarding to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. I hope to continue to be able to push myself to develop and be the best individual, professional and clinician that I can be.

In terms of the profession, I think we have a unique opportunity to be able to shape physiotherapy regionally, nationally and internationally, both from within the profession and in the wider healthcare setting.

The ability to advance and promote physiotherapy is certainly something we can use the networks for.   We have the opportunity to transform, empower and influence all aspects of our work, from our patients to our personal development and our wonderful profession.

 

Becca Knowles is chair of the East of England regional network