Jim Lucas qualified in 2005 and he’s worked in the NHS including addiction services and psychotherapy.
When he first went to University, he didn’t know what he wanted from working life. His gap year sorted that out when he took on a volunteers post supporting people with long-term mental health problems back in to work. It was a real challenge that sparked his ambition to do something meaningful that would make a real difference to people’s lives.
He had a hand in setting-up one of the first social firms in the UK – a Garden Centre. From that moment on he found a new vitality to his education and when he got a 2:1 Combined Hons Degree he knew that health and social care was where he wanted to work.
Jim’s next big break came when he was working in a homeless hostel for single men. A colleague he’d come to know asked him to apply for a job as an Alcohol Support Worker. He was chuffed to bits at being asked and he didn’t hesitate to go for it. He got the job and this opened up new possibilities.
Within two years he was working as an Addictions Specialist in one of Birmingham’s inner city community drug teams.
There he completed his training in CBT and he was the first to complete the Diploma level in his whole directorate.
His confidence grew. He had the best line manager he has ever had and they are still mates today. He took on more responsibilities and supervisory roles. He pioneered the role-out of a service-wide training initiative and coached others in developing their practice.
After 6 years he decided to move to a full-time Psychotherapy role, which again brought new challenges.
Working with the NHS for 10 years has been so helpful. It gave me a great start to my professional development. It has many strengths and I am proud of our NHS. On the other hand, I knew that I needed to make a change. I was striving for greater variety and creativity in my work and I made the decision to leave the security of paid employment and an NHS pension to start up my own business. I am so glad that I made that choice and today I have the chance to achieve so much more.