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Posted on Dec 8 2021 by Fiona Bailey

A former Healthcare Assistant has landed her “dream job” at St Andrew’s following a successful stint as a volunteer Assistant Psychologist (AP).

Regina Pinto first joined the charity working as a Workchoice HCA on medium secure within Men’s services. Although she enjoyed the job, Regina felt like she needed to do more.

She said: “I loved my job and got a lot out of it, but I knew something was missing. Deep down I wanted to work as an AP.

“At the time I only had the qualifications, but was lacking in having the actual on-the-job experience which was holding me back from applying for a role. It was important to me to gain more insight into different mental health presentations from a psychology perspective, as I felt like this would help me make a decision about which path I would begin to pursue in my career.”

Regina set about researching the best approach she should take and ended up talking to other people who had previously volunteered at the charity.

She said: “I only heard great things about the volunteering opportunities available, it really sounded like the best route for me so I signed up and I’ve not looked back since.

“Over the course of my volunteering stint I developed report writing skills and I also got to administer psychometrics, scored them and carried out risk assessments. I also helped deliver group therapy and mindfulness techniques, which helped me develop my communication skills further.”

Regina volunteered for four months and then decided to apply for an AP role, of which she recently found out she has successfully secured.

She said: “I was absolutely over the moon to hear I had landed my dream job and I firmly believe it was the volunteering opportunity which helped set me apart from the other candidates.

“For anyone who is thinking about a change in career direction, have a look to see how volunteering with the charity might be able to help make it possible. It did for me and now I feel like I’m fulfilling my professional purpose.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at St Andrew's, click here.