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Decisions that make a difference

Kathryn Bailey  |  24 August 2017

It’s that time of year again… GCSE results… A-Level results… We all know what this means… Strictly Come Dancing must be starting soon! On a serious note, it’s time for a lot of young people to make big decisions about their future. Move away from home and go to university? Take a gap year and travel the world? Or go straight into the world of work…

A year on from receiving my A-Level results and having spent a year at university what I have realised is that it’s absolutely ok to make a career decision that is completely different from your original plan. OK I’m not in Hollywood making feature films, but I am developing the filmmaking skills I already had to fit into a totally different industry and I am progressing in a different way.

I’ve recently been working on a series of patient films for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT). One of the stories is about a father who developed an app to make his daughter’s respiratory physio for cystic fibrosis into a game, rather than a tedious daily task that she endured and that caused constant family quarrels. ACT kick-started the funding for it, and the prototype was eventually trialled with a couple of other families, including a little boy called William, for just a few weeks.

When I filmed his interview, it was clear what a difference the device made to him. No more arguments with mum about doing physio, and he was being told to play games every day!

However, when he was asked how he felt when the prototype had to be taken away, he used the word ‘heartbroken’ without prompt. That was a really hard-hitting moment, and I knew that would be the line that would get viewers to donate to ACT to help transform the lives of these families and hopefully many more.

I learnt a lot while working on this project, and I feel like it’s shown me how we can all learn alongside the people that we’re helping and working with. I’ve been working at C+C for four months now, and I already feel like I’m making a positive difference. It’s a brilliant feeling just knowing that I was part of the process that will ultimately make the device become widely available to children like William.

I crave meaning in the work that I do to know that I am helping and connecting with people, and this desire makes a career in healthcare very rewarding. Above all, being able to use my creativity to make real change to others is incredibly fulfilling… And totally not the career decision I made when I was still at school!