About Alpha Wellbeing Associates .:
Belinda qualified as a state registered nurse in 1981 and having worked in general theatres then qualified as a registered midwife. Sometime was spent working in the Hammersmith hospital in London, after returning to Gloucestershire to work in sales with a local company who produced lifting equipment for hospitals and the community.
She then worked as a school nurse for 10 years during which time she introduced a number of initiatives and developed numerous resources. These included a comic for boys about growing up and a puberty magazine for girls. The certification for quality, personal, social health education was achieved.
Belinda completed a specialist practitioner degree in the health and well-being of school aged children at the University of Gloucestershire in 2001. During this time she was able to benefit from a wide variety experiences visiting services which provide for children and young people. The outcome was a considerable knowledge and understanding of what impact upon their emotional and mental wellbeing.
In 2002 Belinda returned to study for a post graduate certificate in higher education. She gained this also at the University of Gloucestershire and contributed to some of their health and social care study programmes. This included delivery of some training packages for students she continues to support the PGCE and BED students at Francis Close Hall.
Belinda joined the healthy schools partnership in 2004. This proved to be a very productive time developing and delivering training packages in a variety of settings. The training was to accompany an extensive number of publications on issues that affect mental and emotional well-being. The topics covered included bereavement, domestic abuse, self harm as well a resources for teachers and support staff to use with pupils tackling anger management and the whole range of emotions. She was the lead for emotional health and wellbeing and wrote the universal strand of the strategy for emotional health and wellbeing for the county. During this time Belinda acquired extensive knowledge and experience having attended many national conferences and training courses to develop some new resources for all key stages. The focus of the materials is to teach children and young people about mental and emotional health.
Following redundancy in 2010 Belinda established Alpha Wellbeing Associates Ltd to meet the increasing needs of schools and colleges. It made sense to utilise the range of experience acquired and Belinda now works in a wide range of organisations providing training and consultation.
2010 was also the year Belinda qualified as a mental health instructor with Mental Health First Aid England and soon after became a member of the national training team. She is passionate about delivering training that challenges the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness and has a very engaging facilitative style of presenting difficult information. Belinda gained recognition for her efforts and has won awards for this. She is particularly keen to develop the area of staff wellbeing as she appreciates its importance.
Belinda has played an important role in developing school based resources following a piece of work with the University of Bristol on Wellbeing in Secondary Education (W.I.S.E). The research demonstrated that when staff receive the training it not only increases their knowledge and understanding of mental health but also impacts on their levels of confidence and competence in dealing with the issues young people present with.
Belinda is and has been a member of the Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning Team. This is Gloucestershire’s new version of a healthy schools partnership and consists of a team of leading teachers who provide support and guidance for schools working towards gaining their award. She is the lead for mental and emotional wellbeing within the team and recently developed a package for all team members that they can use when promoting staff wellbeing. This has been very well received as it has increased the capacity within the team. Belinda is often called upon from within Gloucestershire County council by other teams. She has provided sessions to support schools following a bereavement or other sudden trauma as well as delivering parents evenings and facilitating classroom activities and assemblies to support health and wellbeing work in schools and colleges.
Belinda has also had two books published and currently developing some more resources. Belinda also wrote some materials for the Facts 4 Life team on mental wellbeing. Belinda has two sons and practises what she preaches, balancing work and home life by looking after her granddaughter and looking forward to welcoming a new member to the family in September.