Meet the team

Meet the team

The SWEDA Team celebrating the 2021 GSK Award win

The small and friendly SWEDA team celebrating winning the 2021 GSK Impact Award!

 

Leadership

Senior Leadership Team

Circular image of a close-up of CEO Paula

Chief Executive Officer
Paula Blight
paula@swedauk.org 

For the past 18 years, I have worked within the voluntary sector leading two organisations through turbulent times, bringing my skills, experience and strategic vision to guide SWEDA to greater success. This culminated in me leading the design, implementation, and management of a complete digital system, which paid dividends during the pandemic. The past few years have seen exponential growth for this eating disorders charity with a further five years’ funding from the Lottery, culminating in 2021 as a winner of the GSK IMPACT Award.

 

A circular close-up of COO Sam

Chief Operating Officer
Sam Best
sambest@swedauk.org 

I have been actively involved in the voluntary and community sector and community development in Somerset for over 20 years.  As Chief Operating Officer at SWEDA, I am  responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, ensuring the wellbeing of our staff and volunteer team and that the charity has the correct policies, procedures and systems in place to operate in a legal, safe and ethical manner.  I work closely with the CEO and Clinical Lead, developing and directing new projects and ensuring the sustainability of our core work.

 

A close-up of Clinical Lead Nerissa

Clinical Lead
Nerissa Shaw
nerissashaw@swedauk.org

Being the Clinical Lead at SWEDA is something I am very proud to be doing. Having had my own difficulties with my mental health, including an eating disorder, looking after an amazing charity like SWEDA feels like such an important and meaningful way to use the skills I have. It is very important to me that we can offer people with eating difficulties a knowledgeable and compassionate service. Outside of work I spend lots of time hiking and in nature, things which I find make me happy. 

Management Team

 

A circular close-up of Bristol Clinical Lead Sue

Bristol Clinical Lead
Sue T

 

Circular close-up of Hannah M outside the SWEDA premises

Children & Young People's Lead
Hannah M

I have worked with CYP for all my working life.  I enjoy working at SWEDA because it is such a positive, progressive, and professional organisation.  I love being outdoors and my happy place is anywhere by the sea – somewhat controversially, I prefer a pebble beach to sandy one!

I am one of the Champions for Autism within SWEDA.  With a significant link between Autism and Eating disorders, SWEDA has worked hard to become more Autism friendly, and our client led approach means that we are always striving to provide the best experience for our clients, adapting what we do to suit different people’s needs.

 

A circular close-up of Therapeutic Services Manager Claire

Therapeutic Services Manager
Claire R

My background is working in the Leisure industry: fitness, education and working with athletes. You will often find me playing tennis socially and competitively in my spare time. 
My SWEDA Champion area is LGBTQIA+.

 

 

Support Workers

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

A circular close-up of Bristol Support Worker George G

Bristol Support Worker (Inner City & East)
George G

 

A circular close-up of Bristol Support Worker Hannah S

Bristol Support Worker (North & West) and Nutritionist
Hannah S

 

Bristol Therapeutic Support Worker (South)
Lisa B

 

Bristol Therapeutic Support Worker (South)
Joey J

My interest in eating disorders came from a friend who had suffered during university, which inspired me to join the SWEDA team. My Champion Area is Domestic Violence, which feels such an important area to learn about with 1 in 5 adults experiencing it during their lifetime. 

 

Bristol Therapeutic Support Worker (Woodspring)
Kat C

I am an integrative counsellor and I love doing anything creative! I feel passionate that early intervention in eating disorders is so important, and my hope for anyone accessing support from SWEDA is that they feel heard, understood, and empowered. I have experience as a counsellor supporting pregnant women and new mothers, so I am really pleased to be a Perinatal Champion for SWEDA.

 

Bristol Therapeutic Support Worker (South Gloucs)
Martha C

I am a therapeutic support worker at SWEDA and a fully qualified counsellor. I have struggled in the past with an eating disorder myself, and I want to show people that with hard work, a trusting relationship, and a bit of hope it is possible to recover. I know first-hand what it feels like to be in in the grip of the illness, and I want to help others be free from this just as I have learnt to do with the right support that us here at SWEDA can offer you. I am a living example that recovery is possible, and I want to show people that you can live a life free for the grips of an eating disorder! 

 

Bristol Therapeutic Support Worker (Weston & Worle)
Natasha P

I work for SWEDA as I am passionate about supporting people affected by disordered eating. I have previously worked in acute and residential eating disorder and addictions services. Outside of work, I love being with my family and dogs. 

 

Somerset

A circular close-up of Mendip Support Worker Mel N

Mendip - Community Support Worker & Qualified Counsellor
Mel N

I started with SWEDA as I wanted to volunteer for a charity who helped people affected by eating disorders. That was 5 years ago and now I am a therupetic support worker for the Mendips and a Children and Young People Counsellor. I love SWEDA's ethos and it is such a supportive place to work. Outside of my SWEDA work I love dancing and anything Disney!

My Champion Area is Grief and Bereavement.

 

A circular close-up of Sedgemoor Support Worker Catherine E

Sedgemoor - Community Support Worker & Qualified Volunteer Counsellor
Catherine E

I came to SWEDA as a volunteer counsellor and was immediately hooked by the friendly team and collective desire to look after people. Outside of work I like country dog walks and playing board games from our huge selection!

As Perinatal Champion I focus on our care of pregnant women and new mothers who are struggling with their eating. I was interested in this after supporting a counselling client and seeing how important specialist help was for her during her pregnancy.

 

A circular close-up of South Somerset Support Worker Emma W

South Somerset - Community Support Worker & Qualified Volunteer Counsellor
Emma W

I started at SWEDA in 2018 on my counselling placement, I then choose to continue working for SWEDA as I felt the work that SWEDA does is empowering, enabling, and so invaluable to our clients and I wanted to continue to be part of that. My favourite thing to do when I am not at work is going to the beach – I find it so peaceful and a good reset.

My Champion Area is Sexual Assault / Abuse. I choose this area as I have an interest in supporting and helping people who have experienced sexual assault / abuse. I want to support people who may have developed an eating disorder / disordered eating to cope, to feel empowered, to feel in control and try to support them to move back towards their bodies.

 

A circular close-up of West Somerset and Taunton Support Worker Amanda K

West Somerset & Taunton - Community Support Worker & Trainee Volunteer Counsellor
Amanda K

I joined the SWEDA team in 2020 and now work as a Therapeutic Support Worker and Counsellor in Somerset. Having spent my career in industry and education but always related to food, analysis of eating, nutrition, and wellbeing my interest and knowledge of disordered eating evolved.  I love my job - it is an absolute privilege to work 1:1 and rewarding to see how with a little guidance and support clients can improve the quality of their lives.

 

 

Therapist & Supervisor

SWEDA was an obvious choice when I was looking for a placement as a volunteer counsellor back in 2016 as I have been interested in the prevalence and treatment of Eating Disorders for a long time. I continue to enjoy the collegiality and positive atmosphere within the team and our joint efforts to make a difference to our clients. It is very rewarding work; whether it is witnessing (baby) steps, strides, or leaps towards recovery.  Despite being anything but a light traveller, I enjoy visiting foreign countries/cities, learning new languages and outdoor pursuits. If possible all at the same time!

Children and Young People

 A circular close-up of CYP Support Worker Zoe

Children & Young People's Therapist
Zoe C

I love working with Children and Young People and particularly enjoy being creative in the therapy room. Lots of mess is always fun. I absolutely love being part of the SWEDA team, It’s a real privilege to be able to offer a safe place to those who need support, understanding, and to be heard.  Outside of work, I love being outside, spending time with my kids, and generally just being a bit silly and sharing lots of laughter!

 

Children & Young People's Support Worker
Georgeana G

I am passionate about advocating to increase awareness of eating disorders amongst society and I love the team aspect of working at SWEDA very much.
Fun fact: I have attended a silent meditation retreat for 10 days, despite liking to talk a lot!

 

Children & Young People's Therapist
Serena Mitchell

In the past 11 years I have worked to deliver therapeutic services to both children and adults in voluntary sector organisations, schools, and the NHS. I have helped children, men, and women from a variety of backgrounds to cope with a broad range of issues. Supporting families affected by Eating Disorders is close to my heart, and I have seen how engaging in art-making, creativity and the imagination, can help to young people to heal and attend to painful and difficult issues that cannot easily be communicated verbally. Yoga has helped me personally to befriend my body, and I love to be in nature, ideally with animals!

 

 

Children & Young People's Counsellor
Shelley Allen

I am a person-centred counsellor. I enjoy working with both children and adults. I began working as a volunteer counsellor whilst completing my counselling training a few years ago and I'm still here. I enjoy working at SWEDA where I feel supported and appreciated. When I'm not at SWEDA I'm normally found either walking my dog or with my nose in a book!

 

 

Children & Young People's Therapist
Becca Prince

I choose to work for SWEDA because I love working with teenagers and Eating Disorders is an area that can massively impact their lives. I love working here because everyone is super friendly and supportive, plus I think all of my clients are awesome! I have lots of hobbies, but my favourite ones are roller skating, my spiritual circle, paddle boarding and walking with my dogs! 

 

 

Clinical Supervisor & Children & Young People's Counsellor
Sarah Stevens

I have been part of the SWEDA team for several years now and am currently working as a Clinical Supervisor and CYP counsellor. SWEDA has been a big part of my life for about 25 years and I value working for such an inspirational charity.

 

 

 

Administrative Staff

Support Team

Communications & Fundraising Officer
Caitlin Curtis
My role focuses on fundraising, communications, and SWEDA's social media (be sure to give us a follow!). The fundraising team is a new addition to the SWEDA family as the demand for the charity's work grows and grows, so I am very excited to be joining at such an energising and transformative time in the charity's story. 

Administrator
Chris Ellsom
As one of Sweda’s administrators, and the SLT PA, I enjoy trying to keep everyone organised so they are equipped to support our service users. I work remotely for SWEDA but it’s such an inclusive organisation that I don’t feel 150 miles away!

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