Susan ApplebySusan Appleby (she, her, hers) – IPS (AD) Employment Specialist – Plummer Court – Newcastle

Susan started work as an Employment Specialist for the IPS Addiction Team in December 2021.

Prior to working in IPS, Susan worked as a Registered General Nurse (RGN). She has worked for various NHS trusts including Gateshead, Northumberland, and Newcastle Hospitals. In this role she gained experience of working with different professionals to support vulnerable people living in their own homes or residential care. She would often deliver holistic care to those with complex chronic conditions and/or a life limiting diagnosis.

Susan worked as an RGN in the East of the city for 5 years. She has witnessed first-hand the impact drug and alcohol addiction can have on a person’s physical, psychological, and social wellbeing. As well as the impact it can have on their families. These things can often lead to people struggling to find meaningful paid employment.

“It is a privilege to be part of a person’s journey; to help empower, raise their self-esteem and confidence. Supporting people to find meaningful paid employment and watching them develop their knowledge and skills is truly the most rewarding thing to be a part of. I feel very passionate about the work I do. I love how it brings positive life changes for so many people-not forgetting their families and the communities they live in.”

Sarah BittlestoneSarah Bittlestone (she, her, hers) – IPS Team Lead – North Tyneside

Sarah has been working as an IPS Team Lead since June 2019. Previously, she worked for various third sector organisations. Her background is in working with vulnerable adults who have experienced homelessness, domestic abuse and addiction. For three years, Sarah supported young people at risk of homelessness into employment. Following this, Sarah jumped at the chance to work for IPS. It combined her passion for supporting people to achieve their goals with her interest in mental health. Sarah enjoys seeing someone start to discover their worth and that they have something valuable to offer an employer, regardless of the challenges they have faced in life. Sarah feels lucky to be part of a dedicated team that all work towards the same goal. She enjoys supporting staff to develop their skills and confidence.

“I am passionate about supporting maternal mental health. After becoming a parent during the pandemic, I know how important it is to have a supportive working environment.”

Jonny BlytheJonny Blythe (he, him, his) – Employment Specialist – Palmers Community Treatment Team – South Tyneside

Jonny has been an Employment Specialist since Nov 2021.

“I feel lucky to be able to help the warriors that I work with to gain new jobs and navigate ways to make their current jobs work for them. I have held previous roles in our marvellous award-winning trust. I started out in Peer Support then moved over to the magical ReCoCo Recovery College.

I have a special interest in Addiction Services. Having used services myself in the past, I know how difficult it can be for people to overcome the stigma and judgment that can come with addiction and mental health. I am passionate about sharing the message that there is a life worth living and that it is easily achievable through the world of work! Paid employment worked for me and it can for others too! IPS ROCKS.”

John BollandJohn Bolland (he/him/his) – IPS Service Lead – St Nicholas Hospital

I’m John. I am the Service Lead for the IPS Service. I try my best to support and champion my IPS colleagues and people who use our service across the whole Trust. My first job in the NHS was as an office temp in an Adult Psychology Clinic. I experienced my own mental health difficulties but with love, support and a good admin job, I got through some tough times! I then worked in the brilliant South Tyneside Assertive Outreach Team as a Support Worker. I then moved to equally awesome Newcastle Early Intervention in Psychosis Team (EIP).

Newcastle EIP supported the development of IPS. In 2019 we were able to launch a proper, dedicated IPS Employment Support Service! Since then our service has grown from a small group of dedicated staff to a team of over 40 exceptional Employment Specialists. I absolutely love my job. I love meeting and working with amazing people, businesses and NHS colleagues.

My area of professional interest is actively changing culture to reduce stigma and discrimination. This will increase good employment practice, which will improve health and productivity, meaning everybody wins!

Danny CainDanny Cain – Employment Specialist – Northumberland

Prior to joining the NHS, Danny worked in the public sector for 21 years. He was also a company director of a wedding photography business for seven years.

His interests include gardening. Danny feels that this is great therapy for your mental and physical health. He also enjoys walking in the countryside and visiting National trust properties.

Danny used to be a Senior Peer Support Worker, and has lived experience of mental health issues. He previously worked within a Sunderland Community Mental Health team. He also has experience of working in ward-based rehabilitation and secure care services. He is passionate about supporting the individual. Danny understands that meaningful employment can improve recovery.

Danny truly believes that with the best care and support, that anything is possible. Danny will enable service users to fulfil their dreams and guide them through their recovery journey. Danny is always willing to go the extra mile to help service users achieve their goals in life. He feels privileged to be part of the Individual Placement and Support team and will do his very best to achieve team goals.

“I have a passion for supporting people with addictions and a good understanding of how difficult it can be in breaking the cycle of addiction.”

Dan CampbellDan Campbell (he, him, his) – Employment Specialist – Cumbria Community Treatment Team

For the past ten years I have worked for a number of organisations in Carlisle specialising in supporting, empowering, and providing opportunities for people who are neurodiverse. This helped me gain insight into the barriers many people face in living their lives to the fullest. I strove to help people overcome these obstacles in their own way and thrive in their lives.

I joined the team at IPS in April 2023. I was initially attracted to the service as it was a good fit to my own approach to working with individuals. IPS takes a real world practical approach to engaging with people and helping them make positive changes to their lives. I genuinely gain a lot as a person by helping others to achieve in their lives. I understand that this journey is individual to each one of us in its approach and goals.

I have a personal interest in breaking down the barriers and stigmas that many people with mental health conditions face. The more we can raise awareness, the better off we all will be!

Rebecca CareyRebecca Carey (she, her, hers) – IPS Team Lead – Brookside Centre – North Cumbria

Rebecca started her career in teaching and became interested in working with people with additional needs. She moved into the charity sector and for 6 years worked with children and adults who have learning disabilities. Rebecca Joined the IPS team in September 2021.
‘I feel privileged to work in the IPS team. I am passionate about supporting people to realise their individual employment dreams and walk with them on the journey to make that a reality. Ill mental health should not be a barrier to employment and with the right support, anything is possible.’

Aimie CoburnAimie Coburn (she, her, hers) – IPS Team Lead – St Nicholas Hospital – Newcastle and Gateshead

Aimie began her career as a youth worker. She would often work with young people who were classed as Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET). This sparked a passion in supporting people to gain purpose in their lives, through the means of employment or education. Aimie started in IPS in August 2019, and works as a Team Lead in the Newcastle/Gateshead area.

Aimie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and dreams, regardless of their background or past experience. She feels grateful to work in such a motivated, enthusiastic and passionate team.

Mark CooperMark Cooper (he, him, his) – Employment Specialist – Northumberland

Mark has been supporting people with Mental Health difficulties for over thirty years. This has included working in forensic support roles and teaching young adults in a specialist education provision.

He joined the IPS team at the start of its journey in the trust.

“I am proud of the role that the team plays in supporting people to achieve their employment goals. I enjoy seeing the positive impact this has had for each individual and how it has laid the foundation for enabling IPS to reach more people.

I have a real passion for supporting people, with mental health difficulties to remain in work. This has led me to enhance my knowledge of employment and discrimination law. I am also an Employment Relations Act accredited workplace representative. I am proud to use my skills and knowledge, to enable those who access IPS to achieve their employment related goals.”

Alex CottrellAlex Cottrell (he, him, his) – Employment Specialist – North Cumbria East Community Treatment Team

Hey, I’m Alex. I am thrilled to be an Employment Specialist with the Individual Placement and Support service. I joined the team in April 2023. Prior to this, I spent nearly my entire career in support-based environments. This included Supported Living, Special Educational Needs, and Residential Support for young people with mental health difficulties.

I then joined CNTW in the role of clinical support. I worked this role in NHS community mental health teams on both the psychosis and non-psychosis pathways. I supported those with complex and severe mental health problems. I was privileged to work with and support people from various areas of life throughout my tenure in these services. This experience led me to IPS. In these roles I was able to form strong connections with those I worked with. I felt a sense of fulfilment from being able to assist them reach their goals, promote their independence and support them on their journey.

I have struggled with my own mental health. But thanks to companionship, encouragement, and a career that was rewarding, I was able to navigate through some tough moments. From this, I set my heart on helping others on their road to recovery.

I chose to work in IPS because I am passionate about promoting positive mental wellbeing and the advantages that employment brings to this. I love providing support to people, so that they have the best opportunity of reaching their job goals. The role of employment specialist allows me to continue working with a range of people, each with their own unique experiences. This allows me to build on my strengths in supporting others while also learning new skills. I love what I do. I love meeting and collaborating with fantastic individuals, organisations, and colleagues.

My professional focus is to actively help transform culture to lessen prejudice and stigma around mental health. Everyone will benefit from this. It will enhance excellent employment practises, which will boost productivity and positive holistic wellbeing.

Olivia CrommelinOlivia Crommelin (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – Brookside Centre – Carlisle

Olivia has 15 years of experience working for social services. She started as a team secretary and worked her way up to become a social worker. This involved working in a person centred way with adults who have health and social care needs, enabling them to live a better and more fulfilling life.

In December 2019, Olivia left social work to follow her passion and become a holistic therapist. She set up her own business, carrying out massage therapies and energy healing treatments. Olivia continues to do this in her spare time.

“I have been an Employment Specialist since Feb 2021 and work in the Carlisle area. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to find meaningful paid employment. Mental health should not be a reason or barrier to prevent this from happening. I am very proud and passionate about working in the IPS Team; supporting people with their recovery, helping to change people’s lives and making dreams come true. As a result of my own personal experiences with mental health and wellbeing, I know how important it is to find a job that is enjoyable and brings meaning to the person. This can be achieved by all who are referred to the team and want to find work”.

Rachel DriverRachel Driver (she, they) – Employment Specialist – Anderson Court, Berwick – Northumberland

Rachel worked in education, the civil service, and local government before joining the NHS 17 years ago.

“I am neurodiverse and I think sometimes this gives me shared ground for rapport and insight, other times I forget to tie my shoelaces.
I believe in self-acceptance and learning how to soothe and self-regulate. I also believe the world needs to be a better place, and we can help to bring that about through changing minds.”

Dawn EasthamDawn Eastham – Employment Specialist – Hawkhill – Northumberland
Dawn started her career in hairdressing. She went on to run a successful salon employing ten staff. She moved into Education and for 15 years worked with young people and adults supporting them to achieve their personal goals. Dawn has a vast understanding of Business and the Employment sector. She is passionate about supporting individuals to achieve their potential. Dawn Joined the IPS team in April 2022.

“I feel privileged to work in the IPS team. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to find meaningful, rewarding employment. Mental health should not be a reason or barrier to prevent this from happening. I am very proud to be working in the IPS Team. I’m passionate about supporting people to realise their individual employment dreams and guiding them on the journey to make that a reality.”

Dee EwartDee Ewart (she, her, hers) – IPS Team Lead – South of Tyne

Dee has worked in Private Sector and Local Authority services throughout her career. However, most of the time she has worked in NHS Mental Health services.
During Dee’s career she has undertaken a variety of roles. Dee was one of the original Employment Specialists when IPS first started in the North East.

Dee has also contributed to The Take Ten People Project. She supported the set-up of a service user led group known as Voices Empowered.
Dee is a registered Mental Health First Aid Course Facilitator. She is also a qualified Health and Social Care Assessor and an Internal Quality Assessor.

“I am passionate about improving access to opportunities for those who are living with Mental Health, Physical Health and Neurodivergent conditions. I believe in supporting progression, through increased hope and employment prospects. I also recognise the importance of educating employers and wider society.”

Nat GlencrossNat Glencross (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – Brookside Centre – Allerdale and Copeland

Nat started working in IPS as an Employment Specialist, in 2021. Before this, she worked for 15 years at a charity supporting people with mental health and substance misuse issues.

Nat feels privileged to support people with their employment journey. She feels lucky to be in a position where she can instil hope to individuals who are struggling. She is passionate about promoting the benefits of employment and promoting the support that IPS employees can provide.

The role of employment specialist has allowed Nat to work with an array of different people, all with their own stories. It has allowed her to use skills she already had and has also provided her with new skills. She is continually trying to better herself through learning from her clients, and attending training. She strives to provide the best support and advice to the people she works with.

“To follow someone’s journey, watch them flourish, build confidence, and see that they are able to build a positive future for themselves; makes me feel so unbelievably proud to be part of the team.”

Jill GrayJill Gray – Employment Specialist – Empire House – Sunderland

Jill started her career as a Support Worker within an Early Intervention Psychosis team. After working in this job for 15 years, she decided to get a degree in Criminology & Sociology. While doing this, she also worked part time in retail. This gave her the opportunity to try a different job role. When she had finished her degree, she decided she wanted to work in Mental Health. She worked for 7 years as a Support Worker before applying for a job as an Employment Specialist. Jill believes that having a job gives her purpose and stability.

‘I joined IPS in 2020. I enjoy being able to meet new people and to support them on their employment journey. There is nothing more rewarding than someone being offered a job knowing you have supported that person.

I have a personal interest in guiding and supporting new staff in IPS. I have also completed training around Domestic Violence and found this to be useful.’

Rachael HeapRachael Heap – Employment Specialist – Greenacres – Northumberland

I started my working career at the ripe age of 16. I didn’t have any idea of the career path I wanted to choose. I then found my passion at 21 when I started a job working in the community, supporting people with Autism. I absolutely loved my time here and learned so much.

A role for a bank support worker caught my eye and I started working at St Nicholas Hospital on Greentrees Ward. This was a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. I stayed here until the day the ward closed before moving to St George’s where I spent the next ten years working on Embleton Ward.
I had heard many great stories about IPS from a lovely friend and then the job advertisement popped up on my screen. After hearing all the amazing stories, I had to apply. Being able to give hope to people and support them on their journey, is something I am very passionate about.

I joined the IPS team in April 2022. The support I have received since joining the team has been amazing. I am still finding my feet, but with the support from my colleagues, I am becoming more confident. Knowing that I am part of making a positive change in people’s lives is the most rewarding part of this role.

I am really interested in promoting our service to an Inpatient setting. I feel that we can work together with inpatient teams to ensure that everyone is aware of the support that we can offer. This can instil hope in an individual, early on in their recovery journey.

Daniel HughesDaniel Hughes – Employment Specialist – Dryden Education Centre – Gateshead

Dan has worked in Mental Health Services for over 15 years. Before joining IPS Dan worked in Neuro Rehab as part of a Social Therapies team. Dan has a master’s in Art and Education, which explored alternative methods of engaging with treatments.

Dan joined IPS in late 2021 to support the Gateshead Early Intervention Psychosis team.

‘I have a personal interest in helping people change their perspective on themselves and their situation to help them return to work.

Natalie MortonNatalie Morton (she, her, hers) – IPS Team Lead – Brookside Centre – North Cumbria

Natalie began her IPS career as an Employment Specialist. She valued the opportunity to walk alongside people affected by mental ill health, who were undergoing changes in their lives for the better. Through a use of positivity and hope, she encouraged people to turn their passions and skills into meaningful paid work. In 2021, Natalie became the Team Lead for North Cumbria. She now enjoys supporting her team to deliver a high quality IPS service to people in Cumbria.
“I believe that everyone has something unique to offer in the world and that’s what makes IPS so interesting! It’s important for a person’s identity that they are given the support to make a contribution and live a meaningful life. When you see the difference that successful employment can have on a person’s recovery it is hugely rewarding!”

Natalie has a background in Adult Social Work. This prepared her well for a role as an employment specialist and Team Lead. IPS champions personalised support, disability rights and human rights at all opportunities. Natalie feels excited for the future of IPS in The Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Trust.

Kate LancasterKate Lancaster – IPS Team Lead – Primary Care – Northumberland and Newcastle

I have over 16 years’ experience working in the Mental Health sector.

I have had the pleasure of working within IPS for the past three years, working alongside an amazing team. During the challenges of the pandemic, we continued to support people into meaningful paid employment. It was an extremely rewarding experience to see people regain their confidence and hope.

In addition, IPS strives to make positive cultural changes within the workplace to prevent sickness and work related stress. I am proud to be part of this team’s journey and to see it expand into the incredible service it is today. I am beyond excited to have been appointed Team Lead of the new IPS service being delivered into Primary Care.

I am passionate about supporting those who have experienced difficulties into employment. Employment can be a really important recovery tool. I specialise in helping people identify their employment hopes and dreams. I then support them back into employment and provide ongoing support until they regain their confidence.

Ian MartinIan Martin (he, him, his) – IPS Team Lead (AD) – Plummer Court – Newcastle

Ian has worked in employment support in mental health care settings for 4 years. Prior to being an IPS AD Team Lead he was part of a successful Government Project called Trailblazer. This project supported people accessing primary mental health resources back into employment.

“I love supporting people back into employment. I feel very privileged to be part of their recovery journey. I enjoy watching people develop their confidence and grow individually. I love receiving the call from clients to say they have gained employment and listening to the pride in their voice at this achievement.”

Kartik PoojariKartik Poojari – Employment Specialist – Hopewood Park – Sunderland

My career started in India with roles in Sales, Marketing and Media. I have worked as a marketing consultant for an Agro Firm. I also taught Tourism and Hospitality in the private sector in the United Kingdom.

I was keen on exploring a career in mental health. This led to me working part time in CNTW inpatients services with Adult, Elderly and CYPS. After working extensively with CYPS, I realised that a sense of purpose in life is of the utmost importance. This sense of purpose found its way for me through IPS, where I was able to provide a purpose for individuals. Providing employment opportunities to people with mental health difficulties can be a positive incentive for their recovery and contributes to their overall wellbeing.

Employment can help build confidence and self-esteem by providing a sense of attainment and purpose. I am passionate about supporting people into employment and feel a sense of achievement watching them fulfil their dreams.

Steve ReidSteve Reid – Employment Specialist – Teleport House – Sunderland

Steve has worked in NHS Mental Health Services for over 20 years. He started his career as a Nursing Assistant in inpatient services. He then became a Support Worker in Assertive Outreach and Community Treatment teams. Following this he worked for 6 years as an Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioner. He supported service users in the Community with accessing training, education and volunteering. Steve started his role as an IPS Employment Specialist in March 2021. One of the things he loves about the job is supporting people to regain their belief in themselves. This belief then helps them realise their goals in achieving meaningful paid employment.

Tina RichmondTina Richmond (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – Greenacres – Sunderland

Tina has worked within the NHS for over 13 years. Initially she worked in the School Nursing service. She then moved into a role within the Therapies team in a Specialist Adult Autism Inpatient Service and then on to IPS.

Prior to this Tina worked in both primary and secondary education. She was given the opportunity to pilot the Cover Supervisor role within Northumberland. She then set up an early intervention programme to support young people at threat of exclusion from School.
Tina has a keen interest in developing services that enable individuals to gain a sense of achievement and purpose.

“It is an honour to be part of someone’s journey. It gives me a great sense of personal pride and satisfaction.”

Jannene RutherfordJannene Rutherford – Employment Specialist – Fairnington Centre, Hexham – Northumberland

Before working as an employment specialist, Jannene worked in a large secondary school as a Pastoral Head of Year. In this role she would interact with other professional organisations, and support students with their mental health and wellbeing.

“I am passionate about mental health. I am proud to be part of an amazing team. Our job is to break down barriers and overcome stigma. Sadly, this is still happening in the workplace. Supporting Service Users to reach their goals in employment is very rewarding. Employment plays an essential role in a person’s recovery. It is a privilege to be part of an individual’s journey to better mental health.”

Kirsty SmithKirsty Smith (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – Palmers Community Hospital – South Tyneside

Hi, I’m Kirsty. I first joined the NHS in 2001 as a Therapy Radiographer, before taking time out to be a full-time Mum. I returned to work after retraining as a Physics Teacher. Since the age of 17 I’ve worked in both voluntary and paid roles alongside young adults with learning disabilities. With this area of interest, in my Teaching role I gravitated to working in school SEN departments before graduating and working as an Education Mental Health Practitioner.

As a service user myself, I was supported by IPS during a time I found my work life and mental health particularly challenging. In February 2021 I successfully secured a role as an IPS Employment Specialist and have brought with me a drive and passion to give others the same level of care and support IPS provided me with, which turned my life around.

Now I work collaboratively with individuals on their recovery journey. I get to see people grow in confidence, self-worth and independence. I get to share knowledge of mental health and wellbeing with employers. I get to challenge discrimination and promote fair practice. I love my job!

Deborah StokerDeborah Stoker (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – Molineux Centre – Newcastle

“You take my life when you take the means whereby I live.”
William Shakespeare.

Deborah joined IPS service, as a service administrator in 2020. She is now, an employment specialist. Deborah’s past jobs included;

  • Newcastle Social services: working with children with disabilities, young people and older people’s services.
  • Research and Development with Newcastle city council working on many projects including those with Sport England.
  • NHS Trusts including; Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals and Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Mental Health and Learning Disability Trust.

Deborah is enjoying her new role with the IPS service and is part of an amazing team, the best team ever! Their main objective is to help service users gain meaningful paid employment. Deborah is committed to helping people with mental health conditions, to achieve their employment goals which ultimately enhances their lives.

Darren TateDarren Tate – Employment Specialist – Fairnington Centre, Hexham – Northumberland

Darren started his journey with the IPS team in June 2022. Before this he worked for a charity supporting people with Mental and Physical barriers move closer to work. Previously, he worked as a Brain Injury Support Worker for 13 years. In this role, he gained experience supporting individuals to meet their personal related goals.

“I enjoy connecting with like-minded people and businesses. This allows me to grow my network within the North East and build positive working relationships. My specialist role allows me to adapt to best suit the individual’s needs. I support people to become more confident enabling them to reach their full potential in whatever area they choose.”

Louise TindillLouise Tindill (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist (AD) – Plummer Court – Newcastle

Louise has worked in the IPS Employment Support team since 2019. Previously, she worked for a charity supporting armed forces veterans into employment.

“The most rewarding part of my role is seeing people turn their lives around, overcoming challenges and recognising their own unique skills.

I strive to support the recovery communities around the North East. I see paid, meaningful employment for all individuals as being crucial to health and wellbeing.

I’m proud to be part of this award winning team and look forward to continuing to work with those who access support from IPS.”

Jose Vicente-HerreroJosé Vicente-Herrero (he, him, his) – Employment Specialist – Newcastle

José has over 20 years of experience working in recruitment and customer-focused Human Resources (HR) in the UK and around the world.

When Jose learned about IPS in 2020, he knew that he wanted to join the team. He enjoyed learning about the positive difference IPS can have on an individual’s recovery journey.

“I am tremendously proud and honoured to be part of this team. It is a privilege to be able to assist people on their journeys to recovery, supporting them to achieve their ambition and make their dreams come true.”

Sarah WallaceSarah Wallace – Employment Specialist – Dryden Education Centre – Gateshead

Sarah started her career in the charity sector in 2013. She worked in education for 5 years supporting adults with Autism. In 2017, she started working as an employment specialist supporting individuals who are neurodiverse into employment, volunteering, or education. Sarah then joined IPS in June 2022.

“It is an honour to work in IPS. I enjoy supporting amazing individuals to identify their aspirations and dreams. Then helping to create opportunities for them to secure employment. I believe that with the right support and values anyone can work.

The best part of working in IPS is seeing people develop skills, grow in confidence and secure their dream job.”

Edward WarringtonEdward Warrington – Education and Employment Specialist IPS-Y – Newcastle and Gateshead

Ed leads the new IPS-Y service. This new service works specifically with young people. He works with the Newcastle and Gateshead At Risk Mental State (ARMS) Team at Benton View and The Dryden Education Centre.

Ed works with young people between the ages of 14 and 25. He supports them with both education and employment. He has supported young people to achieve a range of outcomes since the start of IPS-Y in January 2022. This has included in-education support to both young people and education providers.

Ed is a veteran of the UK armed forces. He also has experience of teaching in secondary education. This is where he found his passion for working with young people. Ed enjoys finding solutions to problems that affect the youth population of the North East. He is also passionate about working with trust partners to promote opportunity.

Mary Warwick-GreerMary Warwick-Greer (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – Oxford Centre – North Tyneside
Mary has worked in employment support within mental health services for 13 years. Prior to working for IPS, she was part of a successful government project called Trailblazer. While here she worked as an Employment Coach. This involved helping people who were accessing primary mental health services back into employment. Before that, Mary worked as an Employment Advisor at a mental health charity. Her focus here was on retaining and regaining employment for the people she was working with.

“I feel inspired when the people I support have found a way forward in their employment. Whether this is finding a new role, managing their present employment or returning to work after a period of ill health. I am passionate about helping people and employers in managing mental health in the workplace. This often includes overcoming stigma and misunderstanding.”

I am always learning and developing my skills. I have a specific interest in employment negotiation and mediation.

Nicole WeightmanNicole Weightman (she, her, hers) – Employment Specialist – West Farm House – Northumberland

Nicole started her career working in education as an English teacher and in the Special Education Needs Department. This is where she gained an interest in mental health due to her own experiences and also those of her students. It was while working in schools that Nicole realised what a large impact the workplace can have on your mental health. This motivated her to join the IPS team.

Nicole has a special interest in retention work.

Jamie WhiteJamie White – IPS Team Lead – Greenacres – Northumberland

I have worked in mental health services for the past 13yrs in different roles. This has included Service User Involvement within the Addiction Services. During my time here I was awarded The Shining Light on Excellence Award. This award was for my commitment to supporting people on their recovery journeys from substance misuse. I have also worked as a Peer Support Worker where I was able to relate to service users due to my own personal experiences.

In my current role as an IPS Team Lead I believe that helping people find employment is a good foundation to maintain long term recovery.

I have a special interest in different recovery models including 12 steps.

DianaDiana (she, her, hers) – IPS Service Administrator – St Nicholas Hospital – Newcastle

Diana started working in IPS in December 2022. Since joining the team she has enjoyed learning about IPS and its values. She enjoys being able to support a team that is so invested and passionate about what they do.

Elsa WrightElsa Wright – Employment Specialist – Gateshead and North Tyneside

Elsa has worked in Mental Health services for 12 years. This has mostly been in Employment Support. She has experience of working for charities, Local Authority and the NHS. Elsa believes that every person has the right to fulfil their potential. She is an advocate of the recovery model way of working. This is why she is proud to be able to support the people she works with to achieve their goals.

“I am very passionate about this role. It is an honour and a privilege to help support people back into employment. I enjoy seeing first hand the positive difference that this can make to their lives.”

Elsa has a current interest in developing her knowledge around working with people who are Neurodiverse. This will help her to better support those with Neurodiversity and their employers.