CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College team is made up of peer trainers (people with lived experience of mental health challenges) and mental health professionals.
Working together, we recognise that the expertise of people with lived experience of mental health difficulties is as valuable as the knowledge of mental health practitioners: both to the individual journey of recovery and to the development and delivery of services.
The members of the team that you may meet when you visit the CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College are:
Mary-Anne has been involved with the Recovery and Wellbeing College since its launch in 2012, but has actually worked in the College since March 2016 when she joined us full-time, as Project Manager for the ‘Recovery and Wellbeing College in Practice project’. The aim of this project was to replicate the College’s model within a general practice setting. The project has now ended but Mary-Anne continues to work in the College, recently taking up the post of Interim Deputy Manager.
Mary-Anne’s background is in administration and management and she is the peer trainer for the ‘Recovery and Wellbeing Focused Practice for Administration staff’ and ‘Discovering Self Compassion’ workshops. Mary-Anne has experience of using mental health services and uses her own personal experience of recovery within her work. She has previously worked for a young people’s counselling service, an occupational therapy department and as a personal assistant for the CNWL trustwide Recovery Lead.
Waldo Roeg is a Peer Recovery Trainer. After completing a four month placement within the Trust and he worked as a volunteer for two years. He played a key part in starting the Peer Support Worker program at CNWL and completed the first Peer Support Worker Training run by the Trust. Waldo is now employed by the Trust as a Peer Recovery Trainer at the CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College, where he has taken an active role in developing and delivering the courses there.
Wil has a background as an Educator in the field of World Music. For many years, Wil was the Education Officer for an organisation that toured African and Caribbean artists around the U.K. Wil has lived experience of using mental health services and has been a Peer Trainer at the Recovery and Wellbeing College since it opened its doors in 2012. As well as co-producing and co-facilitating training and workshops at the College, Wil is actively involved in local and national mental health issues (e.g. Day Service contracts, improving in-patient care and amendments to the Mental Health Act). In her spare time Wil enjoys writing, micro gardening in her patio and is a budding DJ.
Among other responsibilities she co-produces and reviews training support materials for courses and workshops, co-delivering a range of recovery focused courses and workshops and leads on the development of the Recovery and Wellbeing college volunteer programme.
Fi has worked within adult mental health services for over 16 years primarily in day services as a trainer. She feels strongly about the importance of an educational approach to recovery and in particular providing a warm, supportive environment where learning is both enjoyable and accessible.
Angela Kinn works as an Advanced Lived Experience Educator at the Recovery and Wellbeing College. As well as Peer Training, which has been Angela’s role for a number of years, she is now involved with development of the wider lived experience workforce, leadership of the peer team within the Recovery and Wellbeing College, and special research and community development projects. Angela has lived experience of bipolar disorder and associated problems and spent a long time ‘missing in action’ in the psychiatric system. Her lived experience of recovery from these difficulties, together with the lived experience she constantly learns from other recovering people working in mental health services, still strongly informs all aspects of her work. She is deeply committed to co-production with more ‘traditional’ mental health professionals and to wider community co-production.
Scott has worked within CNWL for over ten years. Since 2013 he has worked with the CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College admissions office, helping with enrolments of students and planning and distributing course material.
Beto started with the College in January 2019. He coordinates putting the College’s timetable together each term. Beto also work as a peer trainer using his personal experience and his background in fitness to help others.
Fiona has been working with the Recovery and Wellbeing College since 2020 and with CNWL since 2016.
Fiona is a jewellery designer and gemmologist by background, as well as having worked with higher education accreditation charity
After a long recovery from what was then named Borderline Personality Disorder, in 2016 she turned her creativity and love for supporting people to becoming a Peer Support Worker.
Fiona uses her extensive lived experience of recovery in her work as well as her creative skills.
I have been an Associate Peer Recovery Trainer with the College since 2013. I have lived with my bipolar affective disorder for almost five decades. I have learned how to manage my condition with the help from the mental health team making appropriate lifestyle choices to augment my medication for more than 20 years. I happily share elements of my personal recovery journey with students in our workshops. I look forward to having conversations with you, if you are a new student of the Recovery and Wellbeing College, when planning which workshops will benefit you.
Lucia Franco has been working as an Associate Peer Trainer for Central and North- West London Recovery and Wellbeing College for several years. She has a degree in psychology and a counselling diploma and has previously worked in mental health as a support worker. She is currently doing research part-time at Brunel University for a PhD on the causes of psychosis.
Santino Vassell has been a longstanding Associate Peer Trainer at the Recovery and Wellbeing College. He joined us from the beginning in 2013, where he was instrumental in co-developing our specific learning disabilities course and easy read document “Journey to self-Discovery” He draws on his experience in Learning Disabilities where he helps coproduce material for our courses. He also plays a pivotal role in making us a diverse and relevant team. He is often asked to speak to medical students and new staff members in Learning Disabilities, and runs our stalls at conferences and awareness days.
I joined the Recovery & Wellbeing College in December 2019 as a volunteer administrator. I have my own lived experience of mental health issues which I was diagnosed with in 2013.
I joined the College because I am interested in and have a passion for helping other people who have struggled with mental health issues. I also want to share my own experiences of mental health difficulties, in order to help others who have had similar experiences to my own.
While I have been here I have done research for College courses on coping with loneliness and isolation and for our Coping with Christmas workshop. I also do administrative tasks as part of the Admissions Office team.
My hobbies are music and movies. I am into football as I happen to be a Newcastle United fan. I am also interested in current affairs.