What do you do at IUCSF?
I am a Support Officer and I provide emotional and practical support to those who have been bereaved and impacted by suicide. I cover areas in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Describe why you’re at IUCSF?
I have personal experience of being bereaved by suicide due to my Dad taking his own life in 2017. My Dad was a family man who showed no outward signs or warnings that he was struggling, so his death was a complete shock to me and my family and left us devastated. I didn’t just loose my Dad that day, I lost my hero and my best friend.
The grief and physical pain of his type of loss is like no other and it can be a very lonely, scary and confusing place to be in. I became anxious, convinced people were looking and talking about me and I just didn’t know who I was anymore. It was like I had lost my whole identity and I was now just the daughter of the man who took his own life and that’s how my Dad would always be remembered. I didn’t want that for either of us.
Then If U Care Share came along and supported me, my Mam and sister and the support and kindness that they gave us was incredible! I honestly believe that they saved me. I was able to be myself, I didn’t feel judged, alone and I now had people who understood how I felt and who helped me believe that I could smile again and survive and that this was OK.
Towards the end of 2018 I became a volunteer for IUCS and I continued to feel 100% supported and I gained so much in giving something to the charity and the incredible work that they do. I was honoured in February 2020 to become employed as a Support Officer and fully join the team and make it my daily task to help those in a place where I was. The pain of loosing my Dad will never ever go and not an hour goes by where I don’t think of him, but this is what gives me the drive to do what isn’t just a job to me, it’s a passion to give people the hope and strength to carry on.
I am the proof in the pudding that IUCS can change and save lives and that there always is a way.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Anywhere as long as the sun will be shinning and I can lie around the pool of a lovely all inclusive hotel.
What are some things that make you happy?
- Spending time with my amazing family and friends and my chubby dog Eddie.
- Booking lots of holidays and breaks away and then booking more before I’ve even come home.
- Prosecco and gin!
What is your favourite biscuit, and why?
Millies double chocolate cookie.
Anything else you would like to share with the world?
I LOVE flamingos!