Caring is a career for Nashville native Bob Martin – now manager of new autism school in Swansea

Making a positive difference to the lives of others is what attracted Bob Martin to the job advert for Orbis Education and Care after relocating to south Wales from the USA in 2011. Three promotions later, he is now running Orbis’ new flagship autism school in Swansea and is encouraging others to reap the benefits of a job in care.

Bob explained: “I had not long moved to the UK when I saw the job with Orbis and felt I could make a positive difference in the lives of young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), so I applied to become a support worker and the rest, as they say, is history.

“After three years in the role I was promoted to team leader and then joined the clinical team as a behavioural specialist working across several Orbis sites. This, coupled with previous work experience at a similar facility back in Nashville, led me to where I am now. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Bob Martin is the residential manager at the newly opened Dan Y Coed specialist school and residential unit, which continues to welcome new learners in following a multi-million refurbishment project to create a state-of-the art care and education facility.

Located in West Cross, Swansea, the school at Dan y Coed has been open since late 2017 and can educate up to 30 children. Now the residential part – a former outdoor pursuits and training centre purchased by Orbis from Swansea Council – can house up to 20 young people and will require 120 staff to run it at full capacity.

Bob now manages a team of 23 at Dan y Coed and loves seeing his staff progress and gain so much from their work at Orbis: “At Dan y Coed we have a fantastic team who really come together and support each other, and always keep their focus on supporting the young people here to achieve greatness.

“Now we have the capability to care for students residentially as well as educationally, the drive to find like-minded people willing to share in this vision and help us bring it fully to life is on. There are real opportunities here for anyone with a caring streak, and a compassion for others.”

Bob added: “The favourite part of all my roles within Orbis has been seeing a young person who may have been struggling with an area in their lives make remarkable progress and the fact that I helped to make that happen – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Orbis Education and Care now runs 16 schools, residential homes and facilities for children and adults around Wales which support people with complex needs associated with autism and employs around 650 people.

2018 was the second consecutive year of considerable growth for the company with the launch of two adult homes as well as its multi-million-pound refurbishment of Dan y Coed, among other things.

Orbis is currently recruiting specialist staff to join its schools and care homes around Wales, including Dan y Coed. Visit Orbis’ website for more information about the group and the vacancies: