Inspirational Teen to start on Front Line

Afan College student Aiden Daniel from Seven Sisters has made the brave decision to join the battle against COVID 19 by becoming a Health Care Support Worker (HCSW) for Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUH) at the tender age of 16.

The Level 3 Sports and Massage Student has dreams of becoming a physiotherapist or sports therapist, but before starting the next stage of his training for the Level 4 in Sports Therapy, he has chosen to give up his summer holidays and dedicate his time to caring for others.

Healthcare support workers are an essential part of a health or social care team, providing high quality and compassionate care to individuals. They carry out well-defined routine clinical duties and essential fundamentals of care such as taking temperatures, making beds, supporting patients, changing and caring for patients.

When asked why he chose to apply for the role, Aiden explained: ”I decided to apply for the role of HCSW as I really enjoyed the placement I had in a hospital through the Army RCN Nursing Cadets Scheme. I’ve always wanted to work as a physiotherapist because I had a big operation at the age of nine where I spent six weeks in hospital, and I admired all the staff there who looked after me. I’ve always wanted to give back in any way I could.”

The RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme gives young members of uniformed organisations an introduction to potential careers in nursing.  Supported by HRH Prince of Wales, the scheme aims to develop and prepare them for life and to support them towards employment in nursing.

With all his college studies now completed and his current role as a lifeguard at Freedom Leisure Ystradgynlais was put on hold, Aiden didn’t want to be sat bored at home, instead, Aiden found the job online, and after a successful interview will now start training to be based either in Neath Port Talbot or Morriston Hospitals.

He added that his time at NPTC Group of Colleges (which Afan College is part of) and where he is a student ambassador and student rep, had also shaped who he is today: ”Since starting my course I’ve gained so much confidence, knowledge and experience.  I’ve made so many friends and can’t believe how lucky I am to study something I’m so passionate about.”

NPTC Group of Colleges’ Chair of the Corporation Board, Gaynor Richards MBE, was delighted to hear the news and said: “I have always been immensely proud to be part of the College and the community that it serves, but I am exceptionally proud of Aiden and all the other NPTC Group of Colleges students who will soon start with the NHS and other providers of care during what is an extremely critical time for the country.’’

Corporation Board Member Professor Donna Mead OBE, is the chair of Velindre NHS Trust in Cardiff, and was also named as one of the top 70 most influential nurses in the NHS in the last 70 years: “I am humbled to see the work and contribution of all working in the NHS through this pandemic. It is rewarding to see young students like Aiden wanting to get involved.  He is an incredible young man and I have no doubt has a very bright future within the health sector.”

Mark Dacey, CEO and Principal of NPTC Group of Colleges commented: “Hands-on experience is a key component of all our courses and it is with this in mind that we have absolute confidence our students are well-prepared to lend an important hand in supporting the NHS and others on the frontline at this time.

“Each and every one of our students should feel incredibly proud of themselves and know that NPTC Group of Colleges  is here to support them every step of the way.”