25th Jan 2023

From Volunteer to Senior Case Manager in 4 years! Our Career Map Works

Alana Jury demonstrates how her career has progressed using The Alcohol and Drug Service Career Map.

Having worked at Aspire New Beginnings since 2019. Alana has moved along The Alcohol and Drug Service career map from Volunteer to Senior Case Manager in just 4 years.

Before starting a career in recovery, Alana, 35 worked with girls who’ve been sexually exploited. From school she started training as a hairdresser, and later as a receptionist for different businesses. Alana always knew that this was the type of work she wanted but at the time wasn’t aware of the opportunities that were available.

“I used to go to work and think to myself, there must be more to life than this. I wasn’t fulfilled and wanted to work in a role that really helped people. It was a chance opportunity through a friend that I was able to pursue my career in the recovery sector.”

The Alcohol and Drug Service career map shows her journey from Volunteer to Senior Case Manager. Alana began her career as a volunteer and was appointed as a Trainee Recovery Worker in April 2018. Completing her 12 months traineeship she qualified as a Recovery Worker in April 2019 and as a result received a pay band increase. Following her interest in group work she successfully applied for a position as a Group Worker. In March 2021 she was successful in her application for a Case Manager and as a result received another pay band increase and, in December last year she became a Senior Case Manager. Alana has successfully used her experience, the training she received and the career map to move through the structure and as a result has been promoted every year, each time receiving a pay band increase.

“I’ve enjoyed a lot of flexibility in this role, from trainee I went into the Group Work team as a Recovery Worker and I saw an opportunity to join a brand new team within the Early Interventions Team as a Case Manager. Along with my colleague Frankie, we built this team up from the ground and have been given freedom and support to make it what it is today.”

Having worked in a variety of jobs, and six months travelling around Europe, Alana’s friend who worked at Aspire New Beginnings in the detox facility suggested that Alana would like working in a similar field.

“I was actually away travelling at the time, but I got in touch with Aspire to find out what was available. When I got back to the UK I started volunteering for the service.

“I had thought that not having a degree would limit my options but I was pleased to find that I would be able to work with all of the different teams and train on the job.”

What is the best part of your role?

“There are two sides – I absolutely love working with this amazing team to support our clients. I’ve asked so many questions, as all I want to do is learn and my colleagues have all supported me every step of the way, helping me to progress.

“I also love working with clients to help them make positive changes in their lives. It’s a privilege to be part of their journey.”

Day to day, Alana works with clients on a 6-12 week early intervention programme. This is for people who need help to regain control of their alcohol use.

“We help people to make positive lifestyle changes and to recognise when and where their alcohol consumption might increase. The sessions are structured with a different topic each week. We have created our own workbook which considers; alcohol misuse and what that can look like, the triggers, the impact on family and relationships, mental health, physical health, employment and how small changes to routines and lifestyle can quickly offer benefits.

“With Early Interventions, clients are usually not physically dependent so with support to make lifestyle changes and manage triggers are able to prevent escalation.”

Training and Support

“The Training and support is fantastic at ADS. I am able to look for training opportunities myself and we are also offered a whole variety. Recently I’ve started to look at training for mental health and dual diagnosis. We have a very close-knit team and I am so lucky to receive so much support. I hadn’t long been a Case Manager when my line manager encouraged me to go for the more senior position. I was a bit nervous, but she had faith in me and asked what support I needed to feel more confident. As a result, I began supervising other members of the Group Work team to get more management experience and to help them work through their own traineeship portfolio.”

A number of people at ADS have changed career from the health and beauty sector. As a hairdresser, Alana felt she was offering a listening service and making clients feel better about themselves with a new hair do.

Career progression at ADS is all within the power of each employee to take qualifications, increase earnings and take on more responsibility. The career map is a great visual to stimulate ambition and realistic progression.

“For people who want to change their career, it is possible to make the switch into the recovery sector. Whether a banker, a hairdresser, or working in the trades it is entirely possible, as long as you are happy to take on additional training.”

Further Career Prospects

“I am really happy with the level I am at. I supervise two other people here at Aspire and as a new service with early interventions there is a lot of opportunity for me to expand the team and develop the service that we offer. We are going out into the community to run events, aiming to reach people who wouldn’t usually attend our services.

“There is still a stigma attached to attending a recovery service, but we are getting a great response from people who’ve been along to a GP appointment and referred to one of our clinics within GP surgeries.

“We are attending village fetes to help educate people in more affluent areas about the amount they are consuming and how it can affect their health.”

Early Interventions

“To say that our KPIs during the pilot year were 60 people, we’ve had over 100 in this first year with 50% positive discharge – excellent for this sector.

“People tell us that the service has completely changed their life, improved their relationships, work ethic and opportunities. This early intervention prevents substance misuse from causing any further problems in their life.

Switch Your Career

“There is a misconception that you need experience in health and/or social care. There are many opportunities within the recovery sector and if you’re thinking about it, get in touch with ADS to find out more.”

“I really find the career map useful as it clearly defines the stages and training requirements.

“When I came into this job I said if I could get to a Band E by the end of my career, I will be happy, but I’m already past that. I didn’t imagine that I would be band F within 4 years.

“I am so excited and passionate about this role and the team we are putting together.”

For further information about careers at ADS, click here