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Think Ahead participant Iqra and our Strategy Director Matthew Brown have been featured in a Financial Times article exploring how the coronavirus pandemic has caused rising interest in public sector careers around the world.

The article looks at mental health social work as an example of a public sector career which attracts many young people motivated to “give back” and support those whose mental health and social circumstances have been affected by Covid-19.

“I wanted to use my experience to help others until they can help themselves.”

Iqra, Think Ahead participant

Matthew Brown, Think Ahead’s Strategy Director, told the paper: “The pandemic has shone a light on the importance of mental health, and is fuelling a surge in interest.”

The Financial Times also interviewed Iqra, one of our trainee mental health social workers. She joined the Think Ahead programme in 2020 and is now learning on the job with one of our partner organisations in the North of England.

Before joining the programme, Iqra studied Law and then worked at a high street bank. She also volunteered with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, supporting people with their finances, housing, and benefits – something that mental health social workers also do.

Her experience of volunteering, paired with her passion for mental health, are what motivated Iqra to join the Think Ahead programme. “I wanted to use my experience to help others until they can help themselves,” she says.

Read the full article on the Financial Times’ website (behind a paywall).

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