Kevin Dixon

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Healthcare
Job title: Chair
Subject of study: Sociology
Year of graduation: 1990
Type/Level of study: Post graduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Healthwatch Torbay Devon Plymouth

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Community & Adult Education Manager; now Chair of Health & Social Care charity with statutory duties; Lecturer ; Author of a history book; community activist.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

An interest in community; the co-design of health and social care across Devon; anti-poverty initiatives; the linking of history to arts, culture and community development.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The ability to direct my own study; take part in action research; linking practice with theory.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The flexibility; access to resources and supervision for my PhD; for my part-time degree, the ability to choose direction and to accumulate credits at my own pace, working around my full-time job. No formal exams.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Location- I was in full-time employment. I wrote my thesis at night and weekends; my more personal interest degree was undertaken in increments. I did achieve a First; this could not have happened if I had to take a formal examination – I have a slight disability and can’t write for long periods. All assignments were by dissertation.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Analytical approach; negotiation skills; ability to fund-raise and design policies; ability to work with opinion-formers and politicians; ability to write and present ideas as part of a bigger picture.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

To choose something you enjoy rather than sticking with a specific option; things are moving quickly these days; seize opportunities; identify early on whether you are a thinker, a doer, a systems person, an innovator. Being in the wrong role can be soul- and health destroying.

What are your plans for the future?

Via Healthwatch and Engaging Communities South West to contribute to the reform, co-design, co-delivery of health and social care; the delivery of a wellbeing agenda across Devon; possibly a second book.


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