In January 2014, I emigrated from the United Kingdom to Malta to pursue my career as an English Language Teacher and bring Recovery-focussed practice to the mental health services here. But, I hear you cry, what is your professional background and how did you get there?
Some professional background
In my more mainstream work, I was the lead moderator of Gumtree’s forum for two years. I was also providing technical and web support for small and local businesses, ranging from Internet consultancy, designing, optimising, and maintaining websites through to hardware and software support and training.
TLAs: NGOs & CICs, plus the NHS
I helped set up and manage two CICs: facilitating art workshops and exhibitions for marginalised and socially excluded artists in London and providing web development training for adults with mental health experiences.
From my experience with SW London Recovery College, I helped South London, and Maudsley NHS Trust set up their new Recovery College to design and run mental health, self-management and wellbeing courses. At The UK’s first Recovery College, at South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, I worked from 2010 to 2014 as a Peer Trainer, Developing, writing and delivering Mental Health and Recovery training courses for service users, carers and professionals. To co-facilitate all classes with a Mental Health Practitioner Trainer. Recording of statistical data regarding training. KUF Trainer, providing staff training in the NHS Framework (KUF) for Personality Disorders.
Academia and the like …
Before that, I spent a little over five years as the Computer Officer for the History of Parliament Trust., London (United Kingdom), where I undertook the following: Analysis of computer systems requirements for the upgrade from NT4 Server and Workstation to Windows 2000 Advanced Server and XP Pro (2003). Production of systems specifications. Installation of upgraded networks and computer systems (1999 and 2003). Analysis of computer systems requirements for the upgrade from Novell Netware 4.1 to NT4 Server (1999).
… more like hard work!
Continued maintenance of Netware server and network connections to assist in storage, document transfers and publication of the set of volumes (1690-1715). Data migration to MS Office 2000. Liaison with Cambridge University Press and Institute of Historical Research for electronic maintenance, editing and delivery of (around 2500) articles for the 1690-1715 volumes. Production of Institute of Historical Research membership database. Design, testing and implementation of 1604-29 Constituency database. Redesign and management of extant databases. Creation and maintenance of the website. Systems, database and procedural documentation. Training of staff and providing technical presentations. I wrangled a doctorate, and a mention in despatches, out of my time there.
For seven years at the National Missing Persons Helpline, London, I was responsible for all technical and IT services, training staff and giving presentations to statutory bodies such as the police, Europol & Interpol. Design, management, and training in the use of databases related to missing persons. We helped to make contact with Stephen Fry when he went AWOL in 1995, as well as helping the police to identify a number of Fred West’s victims.
Leading up to my work with NMPH, I was an IT Consultant & Contractor for eight years, self-employed in London, working with clients ranging from small businesses to multi-site companies, initially providing hardware and software support through systems design. I ultimately worked in a consultancy capacity, specifying computer systems, working practices and providing relevant training.
Mother tongue(s) English.
As an IT Consultant with over 30 years of experience, I combine rapid resolution of IT problems with a commitment to user satisfaction and the professional provision of IT solutions.
Having undertaken the “Train The Trainer,” delivering Recovery, Wellbeing, and Mindfulness seminars and courses at South West London Recovery College, I am pursuing providing personal and professional expressive development in my steady career path. That has included Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL), the NHS Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) for Personality Disorders, and providing Mindful Wellbeing courses in Gozo.
I am also an Abstract Expressionist artist & Art Teacher. Works exhibited and sold at Together Gallery, London EC1; Atlanta International Airport, Georgia, USA; Wimbledon; London Borough of Merton, and online.
I have undertaken the following professional training within the National Health Service: KUF Personality Disorder Awareness Training, NHS Governance & Good Practices, Conflict Resolution – Breakaway, Deaf & Disability Awareness, and my Continuing Professional Development.
ELT Council (Malta) Teaching Permit: No. 5101.
- Lead Moderator – Merton Freecycle / Merton Freegle from Jan 2006 – Jul 2010 for 4 yrs 7 months, I ran the regifting network in Merton, maintaining the site, delaing with appropriate signposting, and enforcing the rules and policeis.
- RethinkTalk Forum Moderator for Rethink Mental Illness, from Jun 2010 – Jan 2013. RethinkTalk is an online community for everyone affected by severe mental illness to exchange ideas, opinions, artwork, and support. My roles there as moderator, guide, advocate, activist, friend, mordant artist, and occasional wit, have hopefully also helped others explore their situations in a safer, more supportive environment.
- Computer Resources at Missing People from Nov 1992 – Jun 1994 where I had responsibility for the design and production of National Missing Persons databases. Production of databases to manage fund-raising administration. Programme for creating full-colour “Missing” posters. Design, production and maintenance of political lobbying database. Setup and maintenance of Novell network. Liaison with police forces to create information exchange protocols
- Rethink Member of the Year 2011
- Rethink Mental Illness
- Active involvement in Rethink for instance campaigning, speaking to the media, governance, fundraising, research, Time to Change or supporting Rethink in their local area
- Outstanding contribution to Rethink’s work
- Involvement which has made a real difference to the lives of people affected by mental illness
- Awarded for lead moderation on the Rethink Talk community forum