I am the Lead Health & Wellbeing Caseworker responsible for managing the HIA service and also hold a client case load. I have over 30 years, experience within the voluntary and community sector. I am a qualified counsellor and have managed a range of projects including a trauma project for young people who experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse, a cross community project for young adults impacted by trauma, supported adults with physical disabilities and individuals who were long term unemployed with complex mental health. My work has taken me to Canada, USA, South Africa and Europe. I love the work I do and value my role in providing professional support services to Survivors of Historical Institutional Abuse.
I joined WAVE trauma as a HIA caseworker in May 2023. Previously I worked for Inspire Wellbeing for nearly 14 years within a community wellbeing setting and also in a leadership role. I organised and facilitated group activities and supported individuals with addiction and mental health issues. I have experience within the voluntary sector working with children with learning disabilities and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). I originally studied Applied Arts and have a BA (Hons) and Masters. I have my QCF Level 3 and 5 in Leadership for Health and social care. I am both passionate and committed to providing a service that empowers people and enable them to build resilience and work towards recovery.
I joined WAVE trauma as a Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) caseworker in May 2023. I have over 30 years’ experience in the voluntary and community sector. I have a BA (Hons) in Education, and qualifications in Counselling, Gestalt therapy, Complex Trauma and Childhood Abuse, Mental Health, and Wellbeing Coaching. I have worked with all ages from young to the young at heart. I managed a part time youth centre for 18 years and loved working with young people. I started my journey into counselling when the mental health of young people was being adversely affected by The Troubles and their environment and have continued since then. In WAVE I hope to build trust and help clients to make positive changes in their lives by identifying their individual needs.
I joined WAVE as a HIA (Historical Institutional Abuse) Caseworker in March 2023 and I’m based in Derry/Londonderry. I work with my clients to provide person-centered care that empowers them and promotes good health and well-being both mentally and physically. I also provide an outreach service that enables my clients to navigate their daily lives with any support they may require. My first career was in journalism; I worked in a local newspaper for almost 13 years and have a BA Hons in English and an NVQ4 in Journalism. I then retrained as a social worker; I attained a First Class Honours in BSc Hons Social Work and received the Dean’s Award from Ulster University. I worked as a community social worker in Primary Care of Older People on the NHS and spent some time as Communications Officer with Foyle Hospice. I am extremely passionate about my role as an advocate for survivors of Historical Institutional Abuse. I enjoy building good relationships with my clients and working to achieve the best outcomes for their emotional and physical health and well-being. I aim to empower clients through respect, empathy and understanding and work towards helping make positive changes in my clients’ lives.
I am the Advocacy Support Worker in the HIA Team. My primary role is to support & facilitate clients through the legal process of seeking Redress along with creating their supporting ‘Statement of Lived Experience’. Having worked with vulnerable service users specifically within the fields of mental health, learning difficulties, suicide prevention and sexual trauma, I know how painfully stressful it is to be faced with having to revisit very difficult memories and details of the past, particularly within a potentially intimidating professional setting. Having worked both as a service manager & therapeutically within clinical services, and with particularly vulnerable service users presenting with complex needs since 2009, it became apparent that the natural progression for me would be to have a more proactive support role, whilst remaining committed to practising a trauma informed approach. I have a hybrid skill set of managerial/operational experience and clinical qualifications alongside experience in multiagency working and a keen awareness of the psychological well-being of our service users. I hope that my empathetic, trauma-informed approach combined with a genuine desire to ensure survivors are making informed decisions and have their individual needs met comes through. Most importantly I strive for survivors to feel empowered, informed, heard and respected throughout the process, no matter how long that may be.
I joined WAVE as a HIA Caseworker in September 2023. Previously, I was a Witness Service Coordinator with Victim Support NI, supporting victims of crime through Magistrate or Crown court processes. Through this role, I have experienced first-hand how difficult it can be for survivors of crime to retell their stories. I hope that in my role as a caseworker, I can help survivors feel comfortable, heard and empowered throughout the process. My passion is working hand in hand with survivors and more specifically those who have experienced abuse under those who had a duty of care. Prior to this, I have experience with Restorative Justice and health and wellbeing support. I graduated in 2019 from Queen’s University, Belfast with BA (Hons) Theology and History. In 2020, I graduated with a Master’s of Science in Peace and Conflict Studies from Ulster University. I am committed to provide a service that positively impacts, builds on resiliency and helps survivors feel empowered.
In September 2023, I became a part of the WAVE Trauma Centre team, taking on the role of Administrator for Historical Institutional Abuse and Mother & Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries, and Workhouses support projects. My academic background includes a BSc (Hons) in Therapeutic Communication & Counselling Studies, which I completed in 2018 at Ulster University. I possess a strong passion for trauma education and aspire to contribute my skills to assist WAVE in their innovative and impactful initiatives throughout Northern Ireland.
I joined WAVE as a HIA Caseworker in September 2023 and I am based in Belfast. I am a qualified social worker since 2014 and have completed additional training in psychological trauma, mental health, domestic violence, addictions and community rehabilitation. I have worked in the voluntary and community sector since I qualified, initially with victims of domestic abuse & sexual violence before moving to refugee resettlement and most recently supporting men involved in the criminal justice system who had been adversely affected by the Troubles. From this I am aware of the importance of trauma-informed practice and how difficult it can be for survivors of trauma to share their stories. Through WAVE I hope to take a pro-active role in supporting survivors to access suitable services to improve their mental, emotional and physical well-being.