Meet the Team – Emma

Meet the Team
This week’s blog is introducing one of our Staff Team Members.

Emma’s role here with us at Designs in Mind is Listen and Connect Facilitator / New Referrals Support. She has been with the team for around 2 years plus.

I asked Emma: What led her into this Designs In Mind role?

“I began my journey working in the shop as a volunteer, before moving into the studio, in a listen and connect role.”

When I interview our Team, Members or Volunteers, I’m always interested in how people find our studio, what leads them into Designs in Mind?

Emma said: “I was looking for something voluntary to do, as I had left my job when pregnant with my daughter Harriet. I found myself missing the company of people, I wanted to find something where I could use my Textile Design background or, to support my journey in becoming a qualified Counsellor. I came across Designs In Mind online and emailed Catherine who was the CEO. She said she had just put an advert out for a Listen and Connect role and I felt it was meant to be! Combining both of my passions it really was the perfect role!

I left after a year to pursue a career as a Counsellor however, I needed an income. I jumped at the chance when I saw an advert for a paid role and quickly applied.”

I asked Emma: What are your favourite things about being a Team Member with Designs in Mind?

She lit up and shared: “The people without a shadow of a doubt! The comforting feeling I get when I walk through the alleyway and up the steps towards the studio alongside the genuine pleasure I gain from listening and supporting members.

Being a part of an organisation that makes with purpose, whilst helping people experiencing a variety of mental health difficulties. I love it!

At Designs in Mind, it’s not just our Members who experience mental health challenges, our staff do too. When we look at the world at large, most people will go through challenges with their own emotions.

Life can be a rollercoaster. Therefore, I wondered if Emma’s role had a positive impact on her mental wellbeing.  Emma was happy to share that:

“It has been a two-way role, in that I have been able to offer support and warmth and have undoubtedly received this back, during times that have been personally difficult.  I believe that half the battle of having to go to work is enjoying the job that you do and so it’s a ‘win, win’ for me”!

I was keen to hear more on how the other Team members support Emma and her on-going wellbeing in the role?

It was refreshing to hear how positive Emma’s experiences have been, she said: “Other staff members are always on hand to offer support for one another, when needed. We all have personal things that crop up from time to time and Designs in Mind allows for this such as their continued support with my studies.

Now I’m a qualified counsellor, I hope to remain in my role at Designs in Mind and continue to pursue my desire to practice privately, outside of my role, when I am not working at the studio”.

Our Team members get really involved in the studio sessions and the items we produce. I asked Emma, if she has a favourite product or project we’ve been involved in? 

She shared: “I love being a part of the New Referrals groups, watching people grow in confidence and interacting with one another.

It is very humbling to then witness new referrals become members and become part of Designs in Mind, where their joining in with studio activities, focus groups, singing, gardening and so forth.

I love to see the positive impact Designs In Mind has on members health and well-being and enjoy the banter enormously.

Even outside of Designs In Mind we enjoy music nights, meeting up and even wild water swimming, brrr!”

I asked about the creative side of the studio sessions, seeing what wonderful things Emma may have created in her time with Designs in Mind.

She was happy to say “I tend not to do much creating! I much prefer listening to others and helping out where I can.”

I can totally vouch for this statement as Emma has been of a great support to me during some difficult times. Her listening ear has played a vital part in me coping with my mental health challenges and helped me face up to facts and keep on going.

Emma shared that a highlight of her time here at Designs in Mind was:“I won a cushion in the raffle we hold. It was particularly special to me as that piece was hand embroidered by one of our long-standing members Alison, who sadly passed away last year.

It’s my pride and joy and is in my kitchen, it makes me feel happy and calm when I look at it.”

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Thank you for your ongoing support and sharing your story with us Emma, its greatly appreciated.

Blog Written & researched by Willow,  Member & Social Media Coordinator