Meet Thai, Occupational Therapy Assistant
Originally from Vietnam, Thai relocated to London for his studies after being awarded a Chevening Scholarship by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations.
After moving to Gloucestershire and managing a women’s luxury fashion store at Gloucester Quays, Thai decided he wanted to take his career in a different direction.
Thai was already a regular visitor to the charity’s social enterprise StarBistro and the wonderful working environment of Ullenwood influenced his decision to join the team at National Star.
It was while working in one of National Star’s student residences for young adults with complex medical needs and behaviours that challenge that he observed the difference that occupational therapists were making to the lives of learners.
‘Working alongside occupational therapists really inspired me, especially when I saw them work with students with behaviours that challenge. It was fascinating to observe what interventions they would recommend to help students to manage their behaviours so they could go out into the community,’ said Thai.
‘Occupational Therapy taps into every aspect of a person’s life. It can be incorporated into their morning and evening routines and helps to manage their sensory needs. Supporting students to work on their hand function co-ordination, develop their fine motor skills and use switches all help to develop their independence,’ he added.
With one eye to eventually applying to join National Star’s occupational therapy degree apprenticeship programme Thai completed his functional skills qualifications in English and maths, passing with flying colours. And as soon as a role was advertised for an Occupational Therapy Assistant at Ullenwood he jumped to apply.
‘Working as an Occupational Therapy Assistant is a great start to becoming a specialist. The job has given me a chance to learn more about the skills needed to assess students and to come up with intervention programmes to improve their condition,’ added Thai.
There are four Occupational Therapy Assistants working at National Star in Ullenwood and Hereford many of whom started life as care and support workers (facilitators) at National Star.
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