Support your support workers

With the right backing and by developing their own confidence, support workers can contribute even more, says Robert Minter 

Robert Minter
Robert Minter band 5 support workforce lead at Hull University Teaching Hospitals, a CSP workplace rep and a member of the Associate SWRG

I started my NHS carer in 2015 as a band 2 physiotherapy helper. Since then, my career path has taken me through a variety of other roles and, most recently, to a secondment at Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) as AHP support workforce lead. 

I wouldn’t be where I am now with the support of my physio colleagues who believed in my potential. After starting my career as a band 2, within six months I’d applied for a band 3 physio assistant role after being encouraged by a couple of team mates.

Similarly, in 2017 I decided to apply for a level 5 foundation degree higher apprenticeship. Being dyslexic, I was worried, but with support – from the college and a colleague – I successfully completed the foundation degree and apprenticeship with a merit. 

My story and the stories of other support workers building their careers are included in this month’s lead feature, exploring how we have developed our own aspirations and confidence, as well as highlighting the support registered colleagues can give, to move ahead. 

My ultimate goal is to become a registered member of staff and become a physiotherapist – and as well as developing my skills in the workplace, I have experienced first-hand how getting involved with the CSP can develop your skills and self-confidence. 

I’ve become a CSP workplace rep and as a support worker I understand their roles better. I believe this will enable me to offer more support should they require it. I’ve also been involved with the support worker reference group, representing associate members and supporting work to enable them to become the best that they can. 

Talking of getting involved, there’s still time to make your voice heard for this year’s elections to the CSP Council – more details on how (and interestingly also why this needs to be by post). 

So, to fellow support workers, for those of you looking to build on where you are now in your career my advice is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You might just be surprised where it might come from. Finally, those of you who are registered staff: support your support workers! You’ll be surprised what we can do. 

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