Oli, why did you accept the opportunity to be redeployed?

I had completed all the forms for redeployment in the NHS forms, as I was keen to help in any way I could. Like many people across the country on furlough, I was unable to work, unable to socialise, unable to maintain my fitness levels and I found this incredibly tough. I was informed I might be able to help our Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital, which is supporting the NHS, and I was excited to do. I’d been there before and so I knew how lovely the staff were. I also realised that working alongside the NHS team for Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital would mean that I could have the greatest possible impact.

Tell us about the role you are doing? What do you enjoy about it?

I was working as a Corporate Wellbeing Advisor in Brighton and within the South East. I was enjoying that role and had been doing it for around a year before the COVID-19 pandemic happened. I was redeployed at Brighton Nuffield Health Hospital from the start of October last year (2020), I’ve gone from strength-to-strength and I instantly saw how much more I could do here (at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital). After less than two months, I was offered a permanent contract in my new role as Physiotherapy Assistant & Personal Trainer, and I could not be happier! I look after the physiotherapy team, provide the staff with one-on-one HIIT classes. I have also taken a central role in our Wellbeing Workshops and continued support of the hospital team. My new role is a perfect fit for me as it offers me a lot more responsibility and variation. I’m an Emotional Wellbeing Champion and recently helped to set up the hospital's Wellbeing Workshops, which take a holistic approach to the happiness of our teams by offering advice and guidance on topics such as fitness, nutrition, resilience and sleep. I’m incredibly passionate about bringing free one-on-one personal training to colleagues here and so far, it's been a great success.

How is your new role different to your previous role as Corporate Wellbeing Advisor?

My new role is very different compared to what I was doing in the corporate gyms. With running the fitness classes at our Brighton Hospital, there are similarities and skills which I’ve been able to carry over. However, the majority of what I do is very different to what I did before. I absolutely love the variety of activities that this new role brings and I feel lucky to have been given this opportunity. The corporate role that I had before was fun and I received a lot of job satisfaction from it, getting to meet a lot of amazing people. But I don’t think I would have been able to move into a role with so much responsibility, purely within corporate fitness, as I have done here at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital. And I also don’t think I would have thought about coming to work in a hospital as I have no formal medical training. I’m glad I put myself forward for redeployment here and moving forward I’ll also be able to become much more ‘hands on’ with the patients and provide them with support such as our Recovery Plus programme, which excites me. Sometimes these things happen for a reason and I do feel proud of myself that I jumped right out of my comfort zone to try something new.

How did you get on with your Brighton Hospital colleagues?

From day one I really felt part of the team here. Dan Sutherland - my line manager, was very welcoming and his approach was perfect from my point of view; passionate and full of ideas to discuss with me, yet he was very laid back, supportive and understanding that this was a very new path for me. The whole team at our hospital are great but especially my direct team around me – the physios and the guys in health screening – we are a little family here and generally the communication is incredibly good. It’s great to know that we’re doing well, exceeding targets and always looking forwards, trying to embrace new ideas wherever possible. I’ve given my all to improve the health, fitness and wellbeing of my colleagues, and although at times it’s been somewhat testing, I will continue to do so, especially with everything that’s going on in the world.