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Woodbridge High School

Woodbridge High School

Wellbeing Team

Meet our Wellbeing Team!

Contact our Clinical Lead Counsellor, Mel Stephenson: MStephenson@woodbridgehigh.co.uk 

Mel Stephenson  

Lead Counsellor: Mel Stephenson BA(Hons) with QTS, PGDip, MA Counselling & Psychotherapy

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?
Mainly enjoying working with young people, I also volunteered for Childline for about 4 years and found it so fulfilling. Mental health is so pivotal to wellbeing. 

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School? 
I started in the summer term of 2016.

What were you doing before you joined?
I had opened a small therapeutic school with a friend/colleague in Bedfordshire, so was providing therapy to those students and local schools as well as running the school! 

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I’ve a research interest in trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences or ‘ACES’. My masters thesis was centred around this, it’s always best researching something you’re authentically interested in given how immersed you have to become in it!

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
I remember on my first look around the school, someone commented how amazingly warm the school is relative to how big it is...I feel that too! It's so dynamic and forward thinking; the atmosphere is full of energy and the students are exciting and incredibly fulfilling to work with. I've also been so lucky to work with some amazing colleagues and to make some good friends at Woodbridge, I definitely feel part of the family.

Did you know?
I once walked the great wall of China for nine days for charity!


 

Joanne Board 

Well Being Officer: Joanne Board, Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (cpcab Counselling & Psychotherapy Awarding Body) NCFE cache certificate in Understanding Autism.

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?
I enjoy working with teenagers and feel that there is a huge need for access to help with the wellbeing of students within schools.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School? 
I started at Woodbridge in 2018.

What were you doing before you joined?
I was volunteering at Place2Be in a secondary school in Barking and at an adult counselling agency in Dagenham.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I have an interest in ASD in teenagers as I have a child with special needs myself and each day I learn something new from him. I have also gained lots of knowledge around resilience and social skills.

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
There are many things I love about Woodbridge, the feeling of being part of a school family, the trust the students have in the staff and the happy buzz that is in the school each day.

Did you know?
I have been to Surf School in Cornwall and have also been part of the Tomatina in Valencia which is a tomato throwing festival in Spain!

Paula Grant 

School Mentor Co-ordinator: Paula Grant  

What sparked your interest in mentoring?
Growing up I used to regularly attend a youth club, where I received great mentorship from the youth leaders. Their guidance and support played an instrumental role in my life, and developed my interest in working with children and young people, which I have been doing for the past ten years.

I believe it’s very important for young people to feel heard and understood. I love that I am able to provide that support, and can be a listening ear at such a crucial time in their lives.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?
I started Working at Woodbridge back in November 2017 (time flies when you’re having fun!).

What were you doing before you joined?
I was working as Pastoral Manager in a primary school.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I strongly believe in building the resilience of young people, and aiding in equipping them to excel in their personal and educational goals. The vast majority of work I do with young people tends to focus on self-image. The way we see ourselves dictates our decisions and how we communicate with the world.

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
Woodbridge has a great atmosphere and sense of community, it’s a very supportive environment that encourages growth and embraces new ideas. I am proud to work here amongst such amazing colleagues.

Did you know?
I travelled to the Australian Outback!

 

Ben Crawshaw 

School Counsellor: Ben Crawshaw BSc (Hons) MA Psychology And Counselling.

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?
Volunteering with disabled ex-service men, realising how important mental health is for our well being, wanting to understand more about how to help and what can get in the way sometimes.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?
I came on a temporary contract in January 2018 and have been lucky enough to stay.

What were you doing before you joined?
I worked for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) in both inpatient and community services.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I’m especially interested in very early development of babies and children and how our early experiences go on to effect emotional development across the lifespan.

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
It’s a friendly, warm place, which doesn’t always happen at a school. Committed, enthusiastic staff that love their jobs and make working easier. I’m constantly impressed and inspired by the students.

Did you know?
I went to school with Chris Martin (from Coldplay) and played drums in his first band! We were called ‘Electric Thunder …'