Freddie Rain, a Health Advisor at our Luton and Bedford NHS 111 Contact Centre speaks to us about her experience at HUC and her role models within the contact centre.
Before joining HUC in October 2019, Freddie worked within the hospitality industry and was training to be a Mental Health Nurse. “I had a change of heart when I stumbled upon the Health Advisor advert. I have always wanted to work within the NHS and so this was very fitting,” she says. Now, just over two years later, Freddie is still pleased with the decision she made then. “Whenever I help someone, I just feel so rewarded, it’s almost like I am helping myself by making a difference in their lives. I don’t think I would get this feeling anywhere else.”
Role models at HUC have played a big part in her confidence and enjoyment of her job. “All colleagues were very welcoming when I first started, but there were those who made a difference in my early days. Our Clinical Advisor Richard Tuck and Health Advisors Karen Hamblin and James O’Brien especially made a massive impression on me. They told me about their own journeys and provided reassurance. Also, my coaches and auditors always had their door open and took time out of their day to help me.”
“I never thought I was someone who needed role models, but then again I guess I have never worked somewhere with so many inspiring people,” she says. Witnessing the career progression of her colleagues has been really insightful for Freddie, “HUC is full of people with very interesting careers. Knowing that there are so many opportunities to develop when you’re ready for them is amazing.”
It is clear that Freddie loves her job and looks back on many proud memories. “This may be an odd thing to say but, perhaps because of my interest in mental health, the most rewarding calls from patients are those of patients struggling with suicidal thoughts. I have had a few of them now, and helping that person by talking to them, finding the right words and giving them that hope back is the most incredible feeling – knowing you’ve most likely saved a life,” Freddie explains.
But not only that, she also feels the life experience that working in an NHS 111 contact centre brings with it has changed her as a person. “This job has given me confidence. I was very nervous when I first started taking calls. Now I feel very experienced and have applied the skills I have learnt here to general life.”
At HUC, our contact centres are the home of Health Advisors, Managers, Auditors, Managers, Team Leaders and many others who are all from different backgrounds and vary in age. All our colleagues contribute to the supportive atmosphere of our contact centres, and this is one of the reasons Freddie enjoys working at HUC, “I have never had a job where I genuinely enjoy working with my colleagues, it is such a great support network. Especially right now with the pandemic, it can be a little bit overwhelming, but because you go through things together, there is a sense of solidarity and comradery. There is no felt hierarchy, everyone works together at eye level. If I have a problem, I can go to anyone and won’t feel intimated,’ she says.
“Even now when I am home working, of course it’s slightly different, but the support mechanisms are still there. After a difficult call, I can still reach out to my colleagues, and they are there to support me.”
Freddie takes inspiration from the career progression of her colleagues, so when asked about her ambitions and future plans, she concludes by saying, “I want to develop a full-time career at HUC. I have already started doing despatch. I am also really interested in coaching and auditing, and I’ve applied to be a safeguarding champion. Maybe one day I will end up in management!”