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Meet the team

Welcome to the first of our  ‘meet the team’ features! 

We’ll be showcasing some of the colleagues that work for our partners within the NHS Talking Therapies, Kent and Medway collaborative, so you can get to know them a bit better. 

First up, let’s meet Angela Shaw (She / Her), Clinical Lead for Everyturn Mental Health

How did you get into this area of work?
After being a post lady, I wanted to be more of a listening and supportive ear in my next role. I was a mum with two young children (aged one and three) and I wanted to have something that would challenge my brain cells too. I investigated adult education and found that they would provide financial support to embark on the Counselling Skills course through my local college. I went to the introduction course, one term, and then they offered a condensed years course in 2 terms, which meant I obtained my level 2 and 3 in Counselling in one year. I then made the risky decision to get a business development loan and self-funded the Level 4 course, whilst being a parent, keeping a part time job in a supermarket in the evenings and visiting students to support funding my course, supervision, and my own counselling as a requirement to the qualification. I had to juggle to also fit in the voluntary counselling hours as part of the course but it was all worth it.

If you could describe your role in three words, what would they be?
Challenging, rewarding, exciting

What is it about your work that gets you out of bed in the morning?
No one day is ever the same and it’s never dull. There’s always such variety in my role and it keeps me on my toes. It feels incredible to support people and I love that I’m helping staff to support people too. I can share my knowledge and experience of working with clients from all walks of life, having worked with children in play therapy and adults within the probation service, a university wellbeing department and with survivors of rape and sexual abuse services, from my time as a volunteer when training too.

What is the most fulfilling thing about your work?
Watching the people I support develop and learn about themselves, but also the staff in their self-belief to support others in good times and bad too.

What is the most challenging thing about your work?
Having to prioritise many tasks and switch between being a therapist, a supervisor, and a clinical lead across varied departments; it can be a bit of a juggling act sometimes.

What has been your most memorable moment at work?
The collaborative working of teams when the team lead was off sick for a lengthy period. Everyone came together to share the role to support a clinically safe growing service; it made me feel so proud.

What would you say has been your biggest achievement in your role?
Diversifying into Couples Therapy for Depression; it’s been a new area for me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning something new and being able to help more people with this talking therapy.

What piece of advice or encouragement would you give someone who was thinking of doing a role like yours?
Be open to challenge yourself, put yourself out of your comfort zone and offer to support something you haven’t done before. The rewards you’ll get back from this are worth it.

What are your intentions for your role?
I’d love to reach more people in Kent and Medway who haven’t accessed a talking therapy, sooner – there’s a real myth around waiting until you’re at breaking point to get professional help with your mental health and that’s simply not true. If more people talked more openly about how they were feeling and accessed a talking therapy sooner, it really would be more beneficial to them.

What is a day in your life like?
Very busy! I’m a working mum juggling all the things in life managing a full-time job, children, and a home. I have two teenage sons, two stepchildren and often have visiting students too from Germany or Holland. I also like to get out in the fresh air and walk my rescue dog; it’s important I look after my mental health too.

Outside of work, what can we find you getting up to?
I like to keep busy so have enrolled on courses in Dementia and Autism awareness to enhance my understanding and knowledge in these areas. I’ve recently also volunteered to be a marshal at my local LGBTQ+ Pride events and thoroughly enjoyed getting involved. I also love walking and meeting friends and family for coffee or meal.

Angela Shaw

Published date:

20th January 2023

In partnership with:

Jo Armstrong

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