Write to Freedom Trustee
My interest in working with people, how to identify our own needs, what changes we want in our own lives and discovering who we are, began by accident. I needed a job and found an admin role in a housing association near where I lived in Hackney. This was the 80s and I soon found myself campaigning alongside my peers for not only the miners but also rented housing, racial equality, women's rights, gay rights, workers rights and significant for my choice of future work, user participation. I moved on to manage supported housing for ex-offenders where there was an interest in resident involvement. I then worked with tenants participating in managing their estates and through the mediation skills I learnt there, helped develop and work in a pilot project providing mediation between victims of crime and young offenders.
Working in a co-op, I was allowed time off to train. Initially thinking I would become a probation officer, I trained instead as a dance movement therapist! As a therapist, I joined a programme designed to support drug users in Holloway Prison and a local hostel. On moving to Devon, I continued to work for some years with movement as a therapist, with groups and individuals in the NHS mental health sector. I now work in the community offering movement psychotherapy and somatic experiencing to individuals.
As a new trustee, I would love to bring what I have learned and experienced to support Write to Freedom and the team to continue developing this valuable resource. Write to Freedom appears to me as very much a place where participants are encouraged to identify their own needs and start to trust themselves. Participants have the opportunity to consider changes they want in their own lives supported by the environment offering the potential to feel safe and have fun. As I have found in an initial outing with Write to Freedom, connecting with nature and stories helped my inner nature to free up, and express itself in good company. I feel glad to know that there will be more participants each having their own unique experience of this miraculous unfolding in nature.