Lamp strengthens team to deliver mental health advocacy services
Lamp, the Leicester-based mental health advocacy charity, has made four new appointments that cover roles in community mental health advocacy, fundraising, and information and advice support. The appointments of Kirsten Davies, Eleanor Spirrett, Aideen Newman, and Abigail Proctor will strengthen the Lamp team and help the charity to broaden the delivery of its community-based mental health advocacy support.
Kirsten Davies, a student at De Montfort University, has been appointed as a new Community Mental Health Advocate. Kirsten worked for Lamp over the summer as part of the Leicester Graduate City Project (LGCP) internship scheme. She was involved in events and fundraising, and this encouraged her to apply for a part-time job with Lamp. Kirsten said:
“The staff were so welcoming and the work that Lamp does is so valuable that I really wanted to be part of the team long term.”
Eleanor Spirrett has joined Lamp as a Community Mental Health Advocate and Information and Advice Officer. She works two days a week as an advocate and has been getting to know her clients and how best to support them. She spends the remaining two days contacting people who have reached out, to help them establish how Lamp can best support them.
“I always wanted to work in mental health, that’s why I did a degree in Psychology. However, I realised that there are lots of options out there for mental health support, but what most people don’t have is someone supporting them to have a choice in that support. I wanted to work in an organisation that sees the person and their wishes, not just a diagnosis. I knew Lamp was the place I wanted to work at during my interview! I met my current manager and another colleague, and they were just so friendly and clearly wanted to bring out the best in the interviewees. I knew that if this was how Lamp treats prospective employees, this would be how they treat clients too, and I wanted to be part of that.”
Kirsten’s and Eleanor’s appointments strengthen the mental health advocacy team, which now consists of eight specialist advocates who help clients in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland to access mental health care and support if they are unable to do so for themselves or if they face challenges in doing so.
The fundraising team welcomes Aideen Newman, who joins Lamp as a new Fundraising Officer. Prior to her new role, Aideen worked at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for 21 years. She is currently reaching out to companies and businesses to build up the charity’s contacts, as well as attending key events such as the recent Leicestershire County Cricket Club ‘Clear Your Mind, Clear The Boundary’ initiative, which was held in collaboration with Lamp.
“I am excited and looking forward to the challenge of bringing in money and spreading the word about what Lamp does as an organisation.”
In addition, Aideen is also working on recruiting more volunteers for the charity. “We are in the building up phase now. We get a lot of queries from people who want to be mental health advocates, but we need volunteers who can share their expertise in fundraising and help to manage events,” she added.
The fourth new member of staff is Abigail Proctor, who joins the charity as an Information and Advice Officer. She said:
“I joined Lamp because I wanted to help people and make a difference, whilst also gaining more experience in the field of mental health care. Having the opportunity to work for a small charity that makes such a big difference to the local community feels really special. It’s clear to see that everyone at Lamp really cares about the work that they do and the difference they make to people’s lives. With Lamp, I work in the triage area of advocacy which means I get in touch with people who have made online referrals for themselves or others, or speak with people who contact us over the phone. I assess whether we can provide advocacy support for them or, if we can’t, I signpost them to other organisations or charities that can help them with the issue(s) they are faced with.”
Richard Kotulecki, Lamp’s CEO, commented:
“I am delighted to welcome all the new members of our team. They will add value to the organisation through their skills, experience and expertise, which in turn, will directly benefit our clients, supporters, and stakeholders. Nurturing and investing in our own talent is one of Lamp’s key values. Our newly appointed colleagues will help to prepare us for growth as we strengthen our service offering to provide the full range of mental health advocacy and support to all people experiencing mental health issues (including carers) of all ages in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.”