22 years ago, I was diagnosed with an atypical lung carcinoid tumour. Without the support of local organisations and volunteers, my young family and I would have hit rock bottom. Knowing how great the need is for counsellors in the field of supporting people being diagnosed with cancer and their families, it has always been my intention that one day I would give some of my time back to those who needed it. This NVQ is the stepping stone towards my future career.

My personal life experiences, alongside my employment history, have given me great strengths and the ability to empathise with those in need. Having worked both on my own and as part of many teams, the wealth of communication skills I have developed have provided me with the ability to converse with people from all walks of life. The levels of integrity, discretion and sympathy I show have helped to inspire people to reach their goals. During my three years of employment at Nuffield Health, there was a constant reminder of the very much needed lack of support for people in need. I felt, although the trust I built with the patients was second to none, the advice I could give them was limited.

Since I’ve relocated to Salisbury, I’ve realised I now have the stability I need to pursue my career for my greatest passion. I have been spending two afternoons a week in a newly appointed position as a Befriender at Wessex Cancer Trust. A tranquil area for cancer patients, friends and families alike to feel safe. Alongside this voluntary work, I am due to start as a receptionist in one of the outpatient departments. I will be working three days a week, giving me the time that I will need to complete my NVQ and secure placements.

Although the road to get to where I am has been tough, it has fuelled my passion to work hard to achieve all I can. Your support and the chance to further my studies is an opportunity I will grab with both hands.