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Stafford teacher Nigel retired to achieve his musical ambition

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: February 23, 2014

By Kerry Ashdown

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WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Edinburgh

WHAT WAS YOUR UPBRINGING LIKE? I had a happy childhood in a lovely Christian family with mum, dad and two older sisters and lots of pets. We moved to Buckinghamshire when I was 14.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU LEFT SCHOOL? I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, so I went to Southampton University and gained a degree in Psychology as I was interested in people and what makes them tick

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? I took a year out after university and went to Nottingham to work for a Christian-run café in the city centre. I decided to pursue a career which involved caring for people, particularly those who are disadvantaged by going into social work, and got a job as a social work assistant in Leicester to gain experience. I then studied for a MA/Diploma in Social Work and qualified as a social worker.

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HOW DID YOUR CAREER AND LIFE PROGRESS? I worked as a social worker in the oncology department of the City Hospital in Nottingham where I stayed for six years. In 2003 I moved to Shrewsbury where I took a career break for three years to focus on bringing up my three young children.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE SIGNPOST CENTRE? When I moved to Stafford in 2006 I was keen to get back into paid employment but had reservations about going back into the statutory sector. I heard about the Signpost Centre project which was in its early stages of development and became very excited about it as a concept and felt that it would combine my social work background and desire to help people, with my Christian faith, as the project was to be run with a Christian ethos. I got the post of centre co-ordinator with particular responsibility for administration when the centre first opened in 2007.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB AND WHAT IS INVOLVES. In 2012 I became deputy centre manager with overall responsibility for the day to day management of the Highfields centre. I manage, supervise and recruit staff and volunteers, collect data and report to our funders - and work directly with clients if the centre becomes very busy.

WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE?

I would like to continue to develop this community based project to more fully meet the needs of local residents.

TELL US AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF. I love to sing and am part of the worship group at my church - Rising Brook Baptist Church. I am going with a group to Russia in March to help build a church.

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