Introduce yourself and your role at Gaddum
Hello! My name’s Abby, and I am the Coordinator for the Getting Help service in Rochdale. We work within HMR Talking Therapies providing support for practical issues which are impacting on peoples mental health, including housing, finances and employment (among many other things!).
In a nutshell, what does your job involve?
It’s difficult to fit in a nutshell! My role is so varied – I work 1-to-1 with clients and run community outreach sessions, as well as reviewing the referrals that come into the service, overseeing the work of the other members of the team, supporting placement students, working on ways to improve the service we offer and providing ad hoc consultations for colleagues across Talking Therapies.
We also work with 5 partner organisations, and once a month I pull together the reporting they provide along with the Gaddum team to evidence the work we do, which is also a great opportunity to share client stories from across the partnership – and shout about the incredible things we are able to achieve together!
How do you start the day?
Always, always with a coffee and a podcast in the car. I am not a morning person, so this is required to get me out the door and fully functional by the time I get to my desk.
Describe some of your morning duties, any meetings you attend etc.
I like booking one-to-one client appointments in the morning – this is an opportunity to connect with people about the difficulties they’re having and support them to form a plan to meet their goals. This could be making a budget together, helping them to understand how to bid for council properties or working together to make a phone call they know needs doing but feel like they can’t do alone, while keeping their wellbeing at the forefront of our conversations. Working with Getting Help has really highlighted to me that it’s impossible to separate someone’s mental health from what’s going on in their lives, homes and communities, and we’re able to bring all of these things together and help people to start feeling in control, sometimes for the first time.
A lot of our community outreach takes place earlier in the day, including our sessions at Rochdale Foodbank, where we’re available to speak with their customers about their own mental health and the treatment options available from the Talking Therapies team, as well as the support our team can offer. We’re also in a great position to give immediate advice, linking people into specialised services across the borough. I’ve had so many conversations with people who had no idea that there was anything out there they could access, let alone for free, and so easily!
What do you normally do for lunch? (go for walk, favourite place to eat etc)
I try to take a proper lunch break and detach from my laptop every day, and always have the best intentions to bring lunch with me but this is definitely not a strength of mine! My favourite lunches are when we manage to bring the whole team together and get out of the office to catch up and connect, often over a Nandos.
Describe your afternoon duties, workshops, groups, tasks etc.
Supervision and case management sessions with the team often take place in the afternoon, which are a great opportunity to offer advice and encourage new ways of approaching their roles, but also to check in with their wellbeing and discuss how they would like to progress and develop. I also use this time to contact people who have been referred to Getting Help but might benefit from a conversation about what they are looking for and the support we offer, or more immediate signposting in crisis situations (such as homelessness or requiring access to a foodbank).
How do you like to wrap up or spend the last hour of the day?
Because I condense my hours, I usually finish my day after my son has gone to bed (meaning that we get a day off every week to go on adventures). I use this time to reply to emails and polish off my client notes, safe in the knowledge that because of the time it’s unlikely that anything unexpected will land in my inbox before I log on again in the morning!