0.00.03 My name is Bobby B. I’m a Connexions Personal Advisor. I’m actually working within the voluntary sector of Birmingham Connexions and what that means is that I actually do a lot of the intensive work with young people who are quite disengaged from getting on with their education, training or employment.
00.00.29 My family is a traditional orthodox family but they’re very progressive, especially in how they view education. It’s definitely fully supported but on a practical level, I came here when I was 11 and for me, not having my extended family here there was mostly just my mother and myself and that kind of left us having to cope with a lot of situations by ourselves really. My mother had an accident shortly after arriving here which left her with mobility problems. But more than that, it was just her confidence that was shattered.
00.01.10 So my school years, college years and subsequent university time was taken over by caring responsibilities really. But at the time, we didn’t recognise it as that even though I went to university when I was about 22/23. So I was slightly older but I didn’t realise that actually it was caring responsibilities towards my mum which were getting in the way of me of just focusing on my studies.
00.01.45 I lost my mother in my late 20s and it was until really afterwards that I realised the situation that she’d been coping with and her personal journey really. I didn’t really have the insight into that because obviously my world was very insular in lots of ways. I’d experienced a lot because of travelling and so on and my family are very broad minded in lots of ways so I learnt a lot but in terms of my personal development, it’s a journey and I’m still on it.
00.02.15 Having been a young carer from a young age and actually recognising that in my late 20s when the opportunity came up to work for Connections and be seconded out to project that was supporting young carers, I really welcome that and I had the insight of knowing what it’s like to be a young carer and also by that stage I had developed the professionalism to be able to do a job like that without getting too involved. So it was an emotional thing for me necessarily but it was an area of work that I was interested in and that was absolutely great, I really enjoyed that.
00. I don’t have any regrets about it accept that really with the Bachelors, in humanities, you haven’t really got a professional qualification and ideally I would have gone on to do a Masters or may be another professional qualification straightaway. I’m sort of thinking about either going back to my first love and trying to do psychology but I would have to start from doing a Bachelors and going through that which will take something between 5 – 7 years. But I’ve also done one year of homeopathy training and I’m also considering completing the remaining three years and actually becoming a homeopath. And my focus on that, in homeopathic practice, to be to actually sort of emotional support and mental health really.