Pete Cowden – Business Admin Apprentice

Pete is the administration lead for the Older Peoples’ Mental Health Community Liaison Team at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

How has the apprenticeship impacted on you?

The apprenticeship has revealed skills which I wasn’t aware I had and, consequently, my self confidence in day to day matters has increased.

I now feel able to take on tasks which I previously may not have considered, such as a process audit of my team in order to identify further processes which could be improved.

How has the apprenticeship impacted on your organisation?

The NHS Trust which I work has benefited because of the enhanced skills which I now possess, which directly apply to the job which I do, and allow me to expand the scope of my duties.

How has Damar’s approach to training contributed to the impact of the apprenticeship on you and your organisation?

Damar’s methods of teaching particularly suited my approach to learning as I prefer to use online methods. The fact that the modules were delivered online, the meetings with my coach Sharon Brown were conducted online and (thanks to Covid) the EPA was conducted online made it easier for me to progress through the apprenticeship. This also resulted in minimal disruption to the team as I completed a significant proportion of the work whilst at my desk, during protected study time.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to undertake some training, such as enhanced IT skills, and my manager suggested that I look into the apprenticeship scheme. The level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship fitted the bill perfectly.

What activities do you do in your day-to-day role?

My day to day activities include all aspects of general administration such as filing, answering the phone, and dealing with emails, but I also undertake role specific tasks such as receiving referrals, maintaining Electronic Patient Records and discharging patients from our service.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The team I work with are mental health nurses and support workers who deal primarily with older people with dementia. They are all dedicated, selfless, caring people and I consider it a privilege to work with them. The team dynamic is exceptional and it genuinely is like being part of a big family. They always make me feel particularly valued and I very much enjoy supporting them in my role. I liken the working relationship to the Red Arrows; they are the pilots and it’s my job to keep the aircraft in the air.  

What are your future career plans?

I don’t really have any future career plans other than to continue working with the liaison team for as long as I can. I was 60 this year so don’t have a lot of working time left. I spent 30 years as a police officer and then had my own business as an independent collision investigator when I retired, 12 years ago. I came to work at The Meadows in 2013 and am very happy here. I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed every job I have done since leaving school and I think I’ve had a successful working life. I’m confident that I’ve made a positive impact on lots of peoples’ lives throughout my working life.