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Experience of caring for dad helps Chorley teenager get dream job
4:44pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
A TEENAGER is using her experience of caring for her desperately ill father to inspire her dream of becoming a midwife.
Jessica Knowles, 18, is prepared to go the distance and join the maternity ward, despite a stuttering start to her education caused by caring for dad.
Television shows such as One Born Every Minute and Call the Midwife have raised the profile of this life-giving profession.
But organisations such as the Royal College of Midwives have warned that mothers and babies are being put at risk by a worrying lack of qualified practitioners.
Jess, of Pall Mall, Chorley, had to cut short a college course in hairdressing to nurse her father through a serious respiratory illness. After a one-and-a-half month stay in hospital including a spell in intensive care, dad returned home and Jess rose to the challenge of cooking for him and looking after the rest of the family, including a brother with learning difficulties.
He is now well again and working as a taxi driver.
Although she describes this time as, ‘very stressful’, it allowed Jess to evaluate her future and put her caring side to better use.
She said: “I was inspired by watching One Born Every Minute and would love to bring new life into the world. I know that it’s not always a happy job but it’s an important one.”
In St George’s Street charity Rathbone Jess has found an organisation to help nurse her ambitions.
With a volunteer placement under her belt with the Children’s Society, Jess now wants to move on to an apprenticeship in child care.
“I’m very practical and love the idea of earning while you learn” said Jess, “plus you get to prove to a boss that you can really do the job.”
Rathbone runs a range of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship courses for youngsters eager to find a career.