Nelson and Colne College joined up with the Burnley-based Healthier Heroes team in 2021 – providing the amazing opportunity for Nelson and Colne College Group students to receive hands-on experience in mental health care.

For students looking to join the mental health sector and provide support to those with mental illness, this successful partnership enables students to access placements that wouldn’t usually be accessible to them as they are under the age of 18.

The Mental Health Cadet Programme designed by Healthier Heroes, offers students an excellent insight and bespoke opportunity to work alongside qualified experts and gain a broad perspective of mental health care. As well as a significant boost when applying for jobs, university or Apprenticeships.

Healthier Heroes mental health cadets

Jordan White on her placement with Healthier Heroes

We caught up with Health and Social Care student Jordan White from Nelson and Colne College to find out more about what it entails to be a Mental Health Cadet ….

“I became a Mental Health Cadet at Healthier Heroes after attending a lecture at college. I wrote a personal statement and was asked to go for an interview. The interview was really successful and now I attend placement every month.

“The experience has been enjoyable and I have been able to learn a lot about what it’s like to work in an environment with people who struggle with mental health issues in such a complex way. I enjoy working with everyone here because staff and residents have good relationships with each other.

“The thing that I have found most challenging is learning about how everything works and the systems in place – there is a lot to remember about each of the residents as well.

“Whilst I have been on placement at Healthier Heroes, I have been given multiple responsibilities and I have loved working with the residents and staff and offering my support. Every day is different – a typical day might include working on the front desk and communicating with outside services, taking referrals for future residents or making appointments. I have also been able to shadow support workers who have taught me about important paperwork and let me conduct my own ‘one to ones’ with some of the residents. This has helped me learn a lot about what they have been through and I am now able to connect with them and build positive relationships with them.

In the future I hope to be a mental health nurse or a support worker similar to what the staff do at Healthier Heroes.”

Photo: Jordan White and Devon Davenport – Health and Social Care students (and Mental Health Cadets) from Nelson and Colne College.

About Healthier Heroes:

Burnley-based charity, Healthier Heroes was established in 2018, directed by a husband and wife team with the forces close to their heart. Andrew Powell, the managing Director and ex Colour Sergeant, served 16 years in the infantry.  A phenomenal charity that supports military veterans who may be experiencing difficulties since leaving the forces. They provide help with housing as well as a range of mental health care services, from rehabilitation to social inclusion and counselling. Their amazing team of full-time staff, regulars and part-time volunteers are committed to helping others.

Healthier Heroes Mental Health Cadets 1

Healthier Heroes Mental Health cadets on placement

Are you a current student or applicant interested in becoming a Mental Health Cadet?

Contact Laura Barrowclough, Lecturer & Industry Lead in Health & Social Care at Nelson and Colne College

Find out more about our Health and Social Care Courses at:

Nelson and Colne College here

Accrington and Rossendale College here

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