Hi Alan, thank you for speaking to us again, what have you been up to?
Well, I’ve won an award
Yes, I’m over the moon with it.
I first heard that I’d been nominated in March, and it was just an honour to be nominated because the [ALGEOS/ British Association of Orthotics and Prosthetics (BAPO) Technician of the Year] is a national award for my industry. But then I ended up winning it, which is an achievement really! When I got nominated, I thought I was in with a chance, but I never thought that I would win it because what past winners have achieved is amazing. So, to be up there with them, is … amazing.
Can you tell me more about the work you were nominated for?
Well it was really for me work, always going the extra mile to make sure that the patients get the products that they need. It was also for my work with the campaigns: yourselves, Technicians Make it Happen and This is Engineering and trying to increase the profile of the industry.
It’s not a very well known industry, especially Orthotics. People think it’s just off-the-shelf rather than custom made stuff. So I like to do my bit to raise its profile.
I wanted to get my hands dirty! When I realised I could develop my expertise and do that as a technician, I was very interested.
Five years ago, would you have thought that by 2020 you would have done two national campaigns and won an industry award for it?
I know! It’s mad because I remember when I first filled out the form and you came in, I thought it would just be someone taking a picture, I never would have imagined how far it could go. It’s amazing and it’s really brought me on in my confidence and everything. It’s really done wonders.
That’s wonderful to hear! What would you tell someone thinking about being an ambassador for technicians in their industry?
Well I know when I was a kid and looking for a career to go into, I didn’t know what there was out there. When I went to the school’s career centre, there were just roles like telephone marketing and stuff available, which wasn’t for me.
I didn’t realise how much was out there, especially with technicians’ jobs – I thought technicians could only be found in schools as that was my only experience. However, when you look into it you realise that there are technical roles in nearly every industry – I think it’s important for people to share their stories and give a glimpse into what’s out there and what you can do. At first I thought that people just went to school, studied reading loads of books, then went on to University. I wanted to get my hands dirty! When I realised I could develop my expertise and do that as a technician, I realised I was very interested.
To read more about Alan’s story, click here and watch the video below. If you're a technician with a story to tell, click here to get in touch.
The Algeos/BAPO Technician of the Year award has been running for over 10 years and we are always astounded by the standard of nominations each year. Alan’s nomination stood out to us due to the fact that he has overcome his dyslexia to complete an apprenticeship and uses his design skills to manufacture his orthoses. He also goes that extra mile to make sure that the mobility of his patients is improved by the devices me manufactures. It is very easy to take our mobility for granted but Alan fully understands how important this ability is to his patients and the devices that he hand crafts allow them to lead a better life.
The story of the lady who had not been able to stand for over 5 years being able to stand at the alter for her own wedding due to an orthosis Alan had manufactured is totally heart warming and must have given him fantastic job satisfaction. We are delighted to pick him as this year’s award winner.
BAPO Technician Committee Chair