Case study

Onesphoro Makau

Onesphoro Makau

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Apprentice

I joined Hampshire County Council in 2019 as a Team Leader in Reablement. Whilst not the start of my journey in social care, it has provided a huge leap forward in terms of my professional development.

I was born and brought up in Tanzania, coming to the UK in 2008 as a student studying Business Management. I was limited in the hours I could work on a student visa so felt guided to social care as this could be accommodated around my study. Social care was not what I originally planned as a career but I think it must be in my genes; my mother is a university lecturer in midwifery and I have other family members in the medical professions.

When I acquired my settlement visa and was able to gain full time employment, social care was what I wanted to do. My first role was working in a home, catering for those with physical and learning disabilities. I progressed to senior carer and gained a wide range of experience, working with a variety of conditions. I had a desire to progress my career, but I didn’t want to move into a management role as this would take me away from the frontline of care that I valued.

I accepted a role in neuro-rehab, bringing me to the Surrey/Hampshire border and eventually secured a Team Leader role in a Physical Disability setting. This became my steppingstone into Hampshire County Council when those running the home decided to downsize, prompting me to look for opportunities elsewhere.

I had an established career in social care with a broad range of experience which fitted perfectly with the Team Leader opportunity in Reablement. I hit the ground running and felt very much at home working in a friendly, supportive team.

When I saw the email highlighting an opportunity to train as an Occupational Therapist I was excited. I had been working in partnership with OTs and felt inspired to find out more. I read up on what the role would entail and spoke with my manager. I was pleased to be selected. I’m now working three days a week in my OT Assistant role and studying on the other two. I’ve never stopped learning, this is just a continuation of my professional development.

Everyone’s journey will have twists and turns and mine may have more in the future. I remain committed and driven. Right now I am focused on gaining my BSC (Hons) Applied Occupational Therapy qualification, registering with the HCPC and practicing as an Occupational Therapist.

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