I first became involved with WHY (then known as PAC- Positive Action on Cancer) 15 years ago when I joined the charity as a counsellor. At that time we were only able to offer a handful of sessions to clients in Frome.
Over the next 12 years, when I worked for WHY as a counsellor, clinical manager and bid writer, the service expanded to offer many more sessions in a range of venues across three counties and to include support for children and young people as well as adults.
I now work as counselling co-ordinator at Dorothy House Hospice, have a small private counselling practice and also work as a freelance health journalist and book editor.
After many years spent working with people affected by cancer I have seen at first hand the profound impact of WHY’s support on people’s emotional health, their ability to cope with their illness and to move forward with their lives.
I believe passionately in the value of WHY’s work so I was delighted to ‘come back’ two years ago as a trustee and support the development of this vital charity .
I have worked in the creative industries since my graduation from UWE Bristol in 2001. I currently run a branding agency, a web hosting company, and a cycling and coffee brand. I specialise in building and accelerating high-growth businesses and organisations through brand strategy, business consultancy and change management.
My branding agency, Hello, works pro-bono with one charity every year. This initiative gives us an opportunity to work with charities that otherwise couldn’t afford us, and allows us the creative freedom to work on meaningful projects that make a significant difference. WHY (PAC back then) approached us and we set about re-branding them. During this project I lost my best friend to cancer, which brought a whole new dimension to the work we were doing with the charity. It was after completing this work, and gaining a real understanding of the importance and uniqueness of the emotional support offering, that I became a trustee.
Outside of work — with the little sliver of time I have spare — I am an oil painter, with a small studio in the Silk Mill in Frome. I’m also a keen cyclist and coffee enthusiast.
I first became aware of WHY... when I was working for Dorothy House Hospice Care. I was Finance Director of Dorothy House (for 10 years) and provided a little financial advice on occasion to PAC (as it was then).
I qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in 1977 and initially worked in private industry in both manufacturing and service sectors. After 20+ years in the private sector, I then became Finance Director of a Further Education College, followed by a Housing Association and finally with Dorothy House. For me, working in an organisation where profit is not the main objective has been very rewarding.
Like many people, I have known someone close with cancer and working for Dorothy House, in particular, has shown me the fantastic work that health and social care professionals and volunteers carry out and the invaluable impact they have on people’s lives. Until recently, I was a Governor of our local Primary School for eight years (for five of which I was Chair).
I retired in 2014 but still prepare the accounts or examine them for a number of other Charities. I hope that I can use my experience to help WHY... by my input as a Trustee.
I grew up in southern Africa but came to England in 1990 as backpacker seeking alternative options to the experiences of living in a racially divided South Africa. After traipsing round Europe, working in Israel as an archaeology assistant and doing some other interesting jobs in Amsterdam and London, I trained and qualified as an adult nurse in 1994 and have since worked in the NHS for the past 23 years in one role or other. My passion now is working to create meaningful partnerships and services that enhance the care people get at the end of life and I am lucky to have spent the past 13 years working in palliative and end of life care at Dorothy House Hospice where I am the Executive Clinical Lead for Community Services.
Having lived in Frome I knew of and supported PAC and had a family member directly benefit from the counselling on offer after the sudden death of their father from cancer and as they said afterwards: “They gave me the time to reflect and the skills to cope with Dad’s death”
I feel fortunate to be offered the opportunity to be a Trustee with WHY… at a time when they are developing and expanding the work and role of the organisation.
I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and have spent much of my career providing specialist support to people affected by physical illness. I have particular expertise in the areas of cancer and palliative care and have worked in two UK cancer centres, a London hospice and a community end of life care team. I have also worked on a Macmillan funded project developing new and innovative ways of addressing the specific psychological needs of teenagers and young adults affected by cancer.
In addition to my clinical work I have a longstanding interest in the wellbeing of frontline staff. I have extensive experience in supporting, supervising and debriefing staff as well as providing training in communication skills, stress, burn-out and compassion fatigue.
After 20 years working within the NHS I recently set up The Bath Psychology Clinic. This has allowed me to continue my clinical work whilst giving me the opportunity to contribute more broadly to my fields of interest.
I believe passionately in the provision of high quality, compassionate care for people affected by serious illness. A key part of this is making sure they feel psychologically supported. I am therefore delighted to be a trustee for WHY and look forward to doing what I can to help the charity develop, grow and flourish.
I started my early career working within Universities delivering and evaluating international research projects. I was involved with budgeting, quality assurance, building partnership networks and working on sub projects to communicate research. I also worked within a small sub team supporting bid writing for large scale project grants through organisation such as the Department for International Development.
5 years ago my career changed directly slightly, I became interested in counselling and addictions and took a position at Action on Addiction as a learning Coordinator. My role is to work in partnership with the University of Bath to deliver a BSc in Addictions counselling. I am responsible for teaching academic skills in writing and research and responsible for the day to running of the programme, including quality management, curriculum design, virtual learning environment design etc. Where this role is particularly rewarding is in that I have been able to develop a theoretical knowledge around training and supervising counsellors.
As part of my quality management hat within this role, I sit of numerous committees and Boards at the University of Bath.
On a personal level it is very important to me to be able to support this essential service. WHY’s work is vital in helping with people’s psychological challenges in the face of life threatening illnesses.
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