Susan ShawA Day in the Life with Susan Shaw

– Wellbeing and Recovery Worker for South Lincolnshire

Describe a typical day for you at Peterborough and Fenland Mind

The fun part of my job is getting to travel to three different communities every week. I provide services in Bourne, Boston and Stamford. I try to bring light and a little sparkle to my client’s day.

A day in my life goes something like this:

7:00 am: My alarm goes off and I have a 10-minute cuddle with my cat Charlee. I hop out of bed and head downstairs to begin my yoga practice.

7:30am: I make my breakfast and lunch for the day. As I get ready I love to play one of my inspirational playlists I have put together on Spotify. When I work with my clients, we often talk about how to use music to relax or inspire ourselves. Music can be a vital tool to a person’s wellbeing.

9:am: I get into my car, put on Spotify and away I go. If it’s Tuesday, I am off to Boston. Wednesdays I am headed to Stamford and Fridays I am in my home town of Bourne.

9:30am: I arrive in Stamford and begin my heartfelt search for parking. My first group of clients are seen at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. I arrive and greet the hardworking receptionist, give her my list of clients and meeting times and make my way to my meeting room.

10:00am, 11:00am and 12:00pm: My client arrives and I see them for one hour sessions every two weeks. We begin our time together by checking on how their week has gone and any changes that have occurred. We work with clients for six sessions on a 1 to1 basis, addressing issues like Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss. The client decides the focus of the work that takes place, while incorporating the Recovery Star Model.

12:30pm: Time for a break. I usually try to find a place outdoors to enjoy my lunch, if possible, and the occasional sunshine. If not, I am intentional about closing my laptop and doing something small that I enjoy; text with a friend or do a word search app on my phone.

1pm: Make my way by car to the second session of my day at St. Mary’s Medical Centre.

1:30pm-3:30 pm: I see two more clients and if I have any cancellations I check my emails or update my client notes. I also reach out to new possible clients and do referrals over the phone. I listen to their stories, suggest signposting opportunities and book them in for their initial appointment.

3:30pm: I set off home. I love the drive from Stamford to Bourne – beautiful country roads and fields filled with sheep. When I moved here from America two years ago, I fell in love with taking photos of sheep in the English countryside.

4:30pm: I arrive home and I am sweetly greeted by my cheeky cat Charlee. I feel accomplished by my day because I love working with clients and supporting them on their life’s journey. I enjoy watching a show on Netflix while I wait for my husband to come home.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love meeting with clients and helping them navigate their way through the difficult chapters in their lives. As a mental health worker, I strive to educate clients, families and the community to begin to shift the stigma that negatively impacts the clients that I serve.

What would you say is the most challenging aspect? The challenges are two- fold: We have a growing list of clients that are in need of support services, so our waiting list continues to grow. Secondly, there is just a lack of community resources that are available for the growing needs of our clients.

Finally, what do you do to look after your own mental wellbeing?

I love travelling to different seaside towns across England and I enjoy creating fairy gardens in the spring and summer time.