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Social services and healthcare

John McVeigh

My name is John McVeigh and I have a few different roles. I’m a lecturer and a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) assessor and verifier for City of Glasgow College. I also volunteer with Alzheimer Scotland.

I started in social care about 15 years ago and to be honest it was quite by accident as it was never something that I had thought of as a job. I had worked in many different jobs including a postman, in building sites and ASDA, but then my friend’s mum suggested I apply for the job of support assistant with The Richmond Fellowship Scotland (TRFS).

I did apply, got the job and loved it from day one. In my TRFS career I started in mental health services (both care homes and supported living services) then worked with young people with learning disabilities. I have also worked in a forensic mental health service and then with older people (including people with dementia). I was promoted a few times and finished up as a manager in dementia services. I then moved to education and I’m now a lecturer and SVQ assessor.

Like all jobs in social care, a typical day isn’t that typical. I’m sometimes found in a classroom teaching different courses including HNC Social Services and PDA Procurement and Commissioning of Care Services. I am also lucky enough to spend quite a bit of my day outwith the college either giving training to companies in subjects like hidden disabilities, or assessing SVQ candidates in care services.

I started off my career with no qualifications at all but now I have my SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF levels 6, 7 and 9. I also have Professional Development Awards (PDAs) in both Teaching, and Leadership and Management. All of these qualifications were completed through workplace learning and I’m going to university this year to do my Masters in Leading People-Centred Integrated Care.

I love my job as I feel I’m never stuck in the one place. I get to meet loads of interesting people who I can support with qualifications, and other people who I meet on my journeys to different support services.

I never thought about a career in social care but I’m forever grateful that I ended up with one.

I would suggest a career in social care to everyone that has even slightly thought about it. I was really nervous when I first started but I soon realised I already had a lot of skills that I could use to support people with their daily lives. Everybody I have worked with in my social care journey has had one thing in common and that was they all had good personal and social values, everything else you can learn along the way including any qualifications needed for registration with the SSSC.

Image of John outside the City of Glasgow College.

I never thought about a career in social care but I’m forever grateful that I ended up with one.

John McVeigh Lecturer and Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) assessor