I started working for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in 2001, and have done a range of jobs whilst working here. These have ranged from managing a mental health day centre to being a recovery support worker based in the community. During this time I have studied to become an occupational therapist at London South Bank University and was given time off from work to complete my studies.
During my time working in Richmond, I have seen the change from building-based services for service users with mental health needs, to using a personalisation model where the support is individually based around the service users’ needs and goals. This has promoted personal independence for service users to gain autotomy over their lives and regain roles that they had previously lost whilst having mental health issues.
What I enjoy the most about working in Richmond is being out and about in the local community, and supporting service users to engage with local activities such as health walks around the borough or attending local community colleges. I would recommend working in the Richmond borough as it is a beautiful place to work with many voluntary services which support service users’ needs.
My proudest moment in my role is when I can see service users and carers participating in meaningful activities for them, which promote their personal and mental wellbeing. I feel my greatest personal achievement was moving a person who was living a very socially isolated life, without the necessary utilities, to an extra care housing scheme where she engaged with multiple social activities that took place there and had a support package to meet her needs.