Case Study Profile

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Branch – Andy Goodchild


When the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Mental Health Trust decided to become engaged in Bridges to Learning, Andy Goodchild a health care assistant and UNISON’s ULR on the project, could not have been better placed to lead the culture change amongst his colleagues. Like Andy, most of them were alarmed at the idea of aiming at a level 3 qualification when they had never studied for an NVQ before. Buoyed by the extra confidence, skills and qualifications that he has achieved himself as a Bridges to Learning learner, Andy has continued to work closely with the Trust’s workforce development team to make sure that all Band 1 to 4 staff get the chance to review their skills so that they are confident to start and achieve their Level 3. For some staff this means getting the information and advice they need to find the best learning opportunity, while for others it's about helping them to refresh their English and Maths skills. Given the fact that the Trust’s almost six thousand staff are scattered across County Durham, the Tees Valley, Scarborough, Whitby, Ryedale, Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire, Andy works closely with his fellow ULR Janice Featherstone to ensure that they attend staff induction days and offer learning roadshows, advice sessions and innovative learning events and workshops across all of the sites; it’s just as well that he’s a keen cyclist! As Andy says: “The reward for me now is seeing people get the same kick out of learning as me. I love to see them at the end of the course and looking for the next thing, because they’ve enjoyed it, and then it’s my job to use my skills to help them onto the next rung of the ladder.”

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