Nicola Brister |Young Persons’ Counsellor
I have been working with children and young people for more than 15 years in both education and social care establishments, as well as being a mother to two teenage daughters. I discovered the part of my job I loved most was working one to one and seeing young people overcome their difficulties and flourish as individuals. I decided to go back into education and now hold a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I am also an SSAT Lead Practitioner in Social and Emotional Development as well as a registered member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy. I have spent the last four years working as a counsellor in local secondary schools and I often find other family members are also in need of some support. I wanted to form a service that offers people free, or affordable counselling, from childhood through to old age, in one place…… and with lots of help Don’t Lose Hope was established.
Mrs Charlie Norton|BA (Hons), PGCE, P.G.Dip. in CBT for CYP (seeking accreditation)
I qualified as a classroom teacher in 1991 and have specialised in working with children with Specific Learning Difficulties for the past 12 years, developing a particular interest in promoting positive mental health and emotional well-being.
Over the past four years I have retrained to be a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and in 2017 was awarded a Post-Graduate Diploma in CBT for Children and Young People from University College London. During this time I also became a qualified FRIENDS trainer, a manualised programme to promote emotional well-being and resilience in children and young people. Since then, I have worked with young people experiencing difficulties associated with anxiety, low mood and poor self-esteem in schools and in the wider community.
I believe every child deserves the chance to be happy, irrespective of background or personal circumstances. An inherently positive person, I’m optimistic about peoples’ intentions and abilities and am passionate about helping young people who are experiencing emotional and mental health difficulties to overcome them.
I am very pleased to be part of the Don’t Lose Hope team.
Angie Baynham |Adult Counsellor
I work as a person-centred counsellor, and my aim is to provide a safe, supportive and confidential environment in which you can talk about anything that may be troubling you. Talking about and exploring feelings can help you to understand them. The way I work is not to offer advice, rather to work with you to help you to find your own way forward.
I work with adults age 16+, and have experience in many issues, including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, stress, relationship breakdown, infertility, aging, suicidal thoughts, to name a few.
I graduated from uni with a B.Pharm (Hons) but then worked in the world of publishing for many years. It was while bringing up my two children that I developed a growing interest in what makes people tick and I then retrained as a counsellor. I now hold a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and am an Accredited Member of the National Counselling Society.
Making counselling more accessible to everyone is something I strongly believe in and Don’t Lose Hope provides a fantastic opportunity to deliver this. I am so excited to be part of the Don’t Lose Hope team.
Tracey Peplow – Adult and Young Peoples’ Counsellor
At times life can feel overwhelming and it can be difficult to see how we can move forward or make things better for ourselves. The reality is that we could all benefit from a little help from time to time. I work with both adults and young people (from six years upwards), helping with a wide range of mental health issues and supporting them through difficult life experiences.
l am particularly passionate about young peoples’ mental health and in helping young people to navigate the often difficult journey from adolescence to adulthood. The adolescent years can often be an emotional roller coaster, full of highs and lows and the perfect breeding ground for worry, anxiety and a whole host of other challenges.
I also provide support and understanding for those of us who have suffered the loss of a beloved pet. Sometimes, friends, family or colleagues don’t quite understand the upset that losing a pet can bring and grieving for a pet can be a very lonely experience. Sometimes it helps to share these feelings with someone who knows from personal experience how distressing pet loss can be and who will listen with compassion and without judgement.
I am an experienced, qualified counsellor and a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, working to their code of ethics. I am a humanistic-integrative counsellor, which means that I draw on a framework of different therapeutic models, using them creatively and flexibly in order to meet the specific needs and personal circumstances of each individual person.
I believe the creation of Don’t Lose Hope gives us the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people in our community and I am truly delighted and excited to be part of the team.
Vikki Lyon – Adult and Young Persons’ Counsellor
Hi, I’m Vikki. I have lived in the locality most of my life. I am mum to a teenage daughter and a son, who is just starting secondary school.
My background is in financial services, however, after I had my children I decided to return to education and fulfill my dream to be a Counsellor. During my twenties I faced my own life challenges, I know from personal experience how effective counselling can be, in all its forms and approaches.
I have been in private practice at Wake House in Bourne for 4 years, and regularly volunteer in schools and for another charity.
I work with adults and young people. As my son is Autistic and has ADHD, I also have a passion for supporting other parents going through similar experiences. I understand many of the challenges faced by parents of children with special needs.
I take a Person Centred approach to counselling, which means I consider every person an individual with unique experiences. My role is to support clients to uncover their wants and needs and move towards taking control of their life. As my approach is centred around the individual’s needs, it allows me to be flexible, so we can work with past and present issues and look towards the future if the client so desires.
When I was asked to be a part of Don’t Lose Hope, I didn’t have to think twice. The ethos of the charity matches with my own, in bringing counselling and broader mental health services to those who can’t access it through the NHS or privately. I am excited to be working with the families in our community.
Ruth Dawes – Play Therapist
I currently work with children in the primary & junior school setting, offering short and long term Play Therapy for children with emotional, social, behavioural, or developmental difficulties. I love this work, and am constantly amazed at what children can work through given the right therapeutic conditions. While it can sometimes be challenging, I feel passionate about the benefits of offering this service. Play Therapy draws on the creative arts, offering children a wide range of media for self-expression, including art, clay, musical instruments, puppets, movement, role play, and sand play. I also work as a supervisor and trainer in Cruse Bereavement Care, having previously volunteered as a counsellor offering both adult and child bereavement support within the agency.
I originally qualified as an adult counsellor in 2008, following what felt like a calling into this work. I became involved in the children and young people’s service within Cruse, and quickly realised that children need a very different kind of support if they are to be truly allowed to express themselves fully. This spurred me on to do further training in non-directive Play Therapy. I qualified as a Therapeutic Play Practitioner in 2013, and have been working in schools and private practice since then. I am currently in my final year of further training as a Play Therapist. In addition I have trained in clay and creative arts therapies, and have recently completed part 1 of a PQ Certificate in Sandplay Skills.
I feel excited about the service being offered by Don’t Lose Hope, and am delighted to be involved in this new initiative.
Dip. Therapeutic Counselling, PG Cert. Therapeutic Play Skills, PQ Creative Arts Training, PQ Clay Therapy Training, PQ Cert. in Sandplay Skills Part 1, Provisional Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy, MBACP, PTUK