A warm welcome to our profession

We all have a part to play in welcoming new physios into our profession, says Ishmael Beckford, honorary president of the CSP’s SRG  

Ishmael Beckford
Ishmael Beckford member of CSP Council and director at Vita Health Group, an independent provider of physical and mental health service

Through the challenges of the last two years, a consistent positive has been my interactions with physio students and new graduates. The enthusiasm and passion I have seen for the profession, as well as insight into issues around social justice – impacting us in both our work and personal lives – has been refreshing and inspiring. 

This has been particularly visible through supporting the CSP’s Student Reference Group (SRG) in my role as honorary student president. Their work as volunteers who use their time to promote and represent the views of the CSP student population has been impressive to witness. 

Whether it be their submissions of motions at the Annual Representative Conference, shadowing at the CSP Council or the curation and delivery of education events, this group has demonstrated that leadership is not about experience, it is about will and drive to positively influence and affect those around you – something for us all to reflect on. 

Now, our students and new physios face several challenges where established members of the profession demonstrating these leadership traits can make a crucial difference. Whether it be changes to student financial support, accessing student placements or the difficulties of being newly qualified and entering services where workforce pressures may appear insurmountable, it is important we all do our bit to invest in and fight for our future physios. 

Thinking about my own time as a student, there were many highs and some lows that came with it: from setting me on a professional pathway with so many opportunities, to enabling me to build relationships I still hold to this day; versus experiences of discrimination, low confidence and feeling as though I didn’t belong in an academic environment where I was minoritised. 

All these experiences helped mould me into who I am and guide how I choose to live my life. The experiences our future physiotherapists have as students and as new physios has a massive impact on their life journeys. Let’s all make sure as CSP members that we are contributing to their experience positively. 

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