Joe Duncanson – Modern Matron

When did you join St Andrew’s?

I joined St Andrew’s in January 2002.


What were you doing before joining us?

I was a Store Manager in retail, having started off working for Aldi and then moved onto bigger outlets, including Tesco.


What were your reasons for joining the charity?

I knew I wanted to work with people in the healthcare sector, however initially I wanted to work in social care. I started a part time social and health care course which required me to undertake vocational working in a linked practice.

I then applied and joined the volunteer service at St Andrews in 2001 as a ‘befriender’. It was working as a volunteer that helped me decide to leave the retail sector to work as a Healthcare Assistance with the long-term aim of training as a mental health nurse.


What has your experience been since joining?

I found my time at St Andrews rewarding and fulfi lling – both personally and professionally. The Charity has been extremely supportive and has encouraged my professional development. I was successful in achieving sponsorship to undertake my nurse training and have been fully supported whilst gaining my MSc in Management and Leadership.


What gives you job satisfaction here?

Having the ability to infl uence good quality care and treatment.


What training and development have you received?

In addition to all my mandatory training I’ve been supported in my professional development, including being seconded to complete my nurse training, level 5 management and leadership, living leader and a MSc in Leadership and Management.


What career progression have you experienced and what do you see in the future?

My progression so far has been as follows: Volunteer ‘Befriender’ > Healthcare Assistant > Senior Healthcare Assistant > Staff Nurse Senior Staff Nurse > Health Promotion Practitioner > Deputy Ward Manager > Ward Manager > Clinical Service Manager > Lead Nurse > Modern Matron

And in the future I plan to work towards becoming a Service Director.


Why should people join St Andrew’s?

I have found St Andrew’s to be an extremely supportive employer that off ers its employees extensive opportunities to develop their careers.


Are there any more comments you’d like to share with potential employees?

If you want to progress in Nursing, St Andrews will support and invest in you to achieve your goals.



Erin Riley – Staff Nurse

Staff Nurse Erin Riley took the big decision to relocate from Glasgow to St Andrew’s in Northampton. Here she looks back on the move – and forward to a rewarding future.


In the first place, why did you decide to relocate to Northampton from Glasgow?

I decided to move because as a newly qualified nurse, it was a great opportunity to experience life outside of Glasgow and start my career within a new and exciting environment. During university I had always liked the idea of trying something new when I qualified, so when this opportunity arose I was quick to take it as it was something that had always stimulated my interest.


How have you found it so far? Has settling in been easy?

All the staff I’ve met have been lovely; they have made me extremely welcome and I feel like I have fitted well into the St Andrew’s team. The shift pattern I work has benefitted me considerably, as I know when I am working and when I am due to be off. This allows me to plan my trips home and organise a full social life. There are many perks to the job – I’m enjoying exploring Northampton and the surrounding area, as there is something for everyone to do.


That all sounds very positive. Is there anything you’re not particularly keen on?

The only down side to moving that I can think of is missing family and friends. But due to the shift pattern, I can plan visits home on my time off.


Why was St Andrew’s the right move for you?

I chose to work for St Andrew’s because it was a great opportunity within Adolescent Services. It’s an area that’s always interested me, and there aren’t many services that are similar within the Glasgow area. Early on, I visited the St Andrew’s grounds and was surprised at how much bigger this charity was compared to Glasgow’s. There are loads of opportunities for the service users to engage in that are beneficial and therapeutic at the same time.


The move itself must have been pretty daunting. Did St Andrew’s offer you much in the way of help?

I had loads of support. When I decided this was the right move for me, I was allocated a key person to contact – someone who would help me if I had any questions and who would also help me with relocation fees. They met me when I first visited Northampton for the day, and this made the reality of coming to a new place less daunting. They also kept in contact throughout the whole moving process, which helped me dramatically to overcome any uncertainties I may have had in the beginning.


Now you’ve settled in, how do you feel about the whole relocation process?

It has been great, I honestly couldn’t have asked for it to go any better than it has. Now I am a qualified nurse on the ward. All the staff have been lovely and helpful whenever I’ve needed them. St Andrews has an extensive list of training courses you can choose.

from. I genuinely feel like I have settled in well and that it was the right decision. Although it was very daunting and scary at the beginning, it was worked out for the best in my case.