We asked our fab Foot Health Practitioner, Vicki Cooper, to tell share her story, and this is what she kindly wrote for us:
One of my favourites quotes is “Find something you love to do, and you will never work a day in your life.”
Well it took me a few years but finally found something I absolutely love doing.
At the age of 18 my friend’s mum asked me to help out at the care company she worked for. It was Easter weekend and there was staff shortage. I went to help out and loved it so much so I stayed in care for almost 20 years. I love working with people from all different back grounds but really enjoy the older generations – they have so many life stories to tell you.
In 2012 my father was taken ill with cancer. He was petrified of any one looking after him or of having to go to hospital. Having so much care experience behind me I decided he would come and live with me and I would look after him at my home. Sadly he passed away in 2013 at home surrounded my friends and family.
During the time of caring from my dad he encouraged and inspired me to take up nursing as a job role. So I set about a change of career. Not everyone thought this sensible decision as a single mum of 2 boys and my youngest being just a few weeks old. But I pushed though life and in 2013 I joined Abbey House Medical Practice in Daventry.
I took blood samples, checked blood pressures, monitored hearts (with ECGs) and all kinds of other things, but most of all my favourite job was the leg ulcer clinics. These became my passion – I would study and read best practice and attend all sorts of training days in my own free time.
It was a training day that I attended when I met my friend Jess. She suggested I took a look at the Foot Health Practitioners courses available as she knew lower limbs were a passion of mine. After a little time and research I decided to follow this path. It meant leaving my job at Abbey House after many happy years, but the FHP course meant working full-time with lower limbs and this is something I really enjoy.
In September 2021 I made the big step to leave Abbey House and became a self-employed Foot Health Practitioner. The upside to this was not only did I love the job but its means I get to spend more time with my two boys and dogs.
For many years I have wanted to help homeless people. I then discovered Forgotten Feet – a charity that offered footcare to the homeless. This was something I could now help with, so I offered my specialist skills to help.
This is where I met Jonathan Small, the lead Podiatrist at Health First Foot & Gait Clinic. He took me under his wing and has supported me from that day.
I am now very lucky to be able to work alongside Jonathan in his practice in Southam.