This is my first blog and, although I write and teach all the time, it feels a little daunting. I’ve been thinking and planning for some time but now it’s turning into procrastination. So, I need to get started. In this blog I will introduce myself and some of the themes I’ll be talking about.
I am an occupational therapist with experience working in the NHS, higher education and third sector organisations. My mission is to inspire, motivate and inform; enabling people to live life to the full. I believe that disability and disadvantage should not be a barrier to full participation and having a rewarding life. This passion will be woven throughout my blogs; I’ll tell you about occupational science and its potential to transform lives and address the environmental challenges we are facing. The work of my colleague Dr Mick Collins will feature over the summer as I read his book ‘The Unselfish Spirit’.
I worked in the NHS in mental health services, mainly as a part of interprofessional community teams for 20 years. I’ll have plenty to say about mental health, social inclusion and ‘Recovery’ – whatever that means!
Since 2000 I have worked at the University of East Anglia where I teach occupational therapy in mental health practice, psychology and qualitative research. I am now course director for the MSc Occupational Therapy and Associate Director of Enterprise for the Family and Community Health Challenge Unit in the School of Health Sciences. My teaching will inspire plenty of content on my blogs. I’m also known to rant about compassion and professionalism; too often missing where they are most needed.
I worked as a volunteer managing social media for Race2Recovery from 2011 to 2014. Race2Recovery is an off-road racing team; the first and only motorsport team with combat injured members to twice enter and complete the Dakar Rally. I’ll be talking about recovery from combat injury and telling you about the research that demonstrates the benefits of sport, particularly for recovery from PTSD. With the Invictus Games coming up this will be very topical. I’ll also tell you about the research just being published on both sides of the Atlantic showing how powerful surfing is in recovery from PTSD. Surf Action will get a mention, doing fabulous work with veterans in Cornwall.
I now work, still as a volunteer, as a PR and media consultant with The Baton; an awesome charity that supports the military family and remembers their sacrifice. I’ll be talking more about the inspirational journeys, both actual and spiritual, that people undertake carrying The Baton. In the meantime you can find out more at http://www.thebaton.co.uk
I’ll have plenty to say about military charities, volunteering and social media. After years of working in the public sector my desire ‘to make a difference’ remains undimmed. Please follow my blogs and join in the conversation.