Meet the Jigsaw Cork Team
My role at Jigsaw is Service Manager, where I am responsible, with the Clinical Manager for the smooth running of the Jigsaw service and making sure that Jigsaw fulfills its commitment to young people, their families and their communities.
Study and Work: Born and raised in Dublin's Inner city, I am a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a BA hons Mental and Moral Science; and M. Phil Women's Studies. Since graduating in 1993 (that’s 25 years!!!!), I have worked in various management roles in both the community and voluntary sector, the public service and private industry. Most recently, I was Regional Manager with Anew Support Services and CEO of Exchange House Ireland National Traveller Service.
Favourite Book: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir is my all-time favourite – I still pick it up from time to time. I love the way she charts her journey from adolescent to woman and begins to start to recognise her potential.
Favourite Band: The XX are my "drive home and empty the brain" faves, on Sunday mornings - Cafe del Mar, Buddha Beats and Leonard Cohen – other days, anything, so long as it’s not glam rock or country!!!
Favourite Film: The Big Blue – which is basically the story of two Italian guys who love the sea and diving with amazing images of blue seas and skies.
If I was to give one piece of advice to my teenage self, what would it be? "You are more than you appear to be, all the strength and power of the universe resides in you"
Senior Jigsaw Clinician
As a Senior Jigsaw Clinician I work with young people one-to-one to help them understand how they think, feel, and act and look at ways to build on their strengths. When Catherine, our Clinical Coordinator, is out of the hub I stand in for her and help out with some of her work.
Study: I completed a Degree in Applied Psychology and a Masters in Counselling Psychology, both in UCC. Keeping up-to-date on new developments in psychology, attending training, and participating in research is a big part of my work and helps me make sure that the young people I work with are supported in a way that is evidence-based.
Work: I have worked in a wide range of mental health settings with different groups of people – such as counselling services for young people, parents, and students and residential settings for adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. I have also worked in private practice, delivered training workshops, and psychological support and mental health consultation. I worked in Jigsaw Offaly for almost two years before transferring to Jigsaw Cork.
Fun Facts: I have two Basset Hounds called Hugo and Sally who are the most affectionate dogs and regularly cover me in dog hairs and slobber! I love travelling and extreme sports and next on my to-do list is the highest bungee jump in the world in New Zealand. Playing music is also a big part of my life and I play the piano, violin, oboe and more recently the guitar.
My role as Jigsaw Clinician means that I work with young people who access our service for support. I provide assessments and one-to-one brief interventions and support. I also like to get out and about so I take part in workshops in the wider community.
Study: After realising my talents were definitely not in waitressing, I studied Psychiatric Nursing in NUIG which has given me a great basis for working in all different types of mental health settings. I always enjoy learning new strategies or approaches and have completed several different courses along the way – motivational interviewing being an area of particular interest.
Work: I have experience in a variety of mental health settings including adult mental health inpatient, day programmes and community services both in Ireland and abroad. Through these various settings I have seen the positive impact that empowering young people in regards to their own mental health and well-being can have.
Fun Fact: My favourite things to do are to cook and to travel. When I’m not doing these I’m usually planning my next adventure so if anyone has any recommendations let me know!
I am a Jigsaw Clinician and my role is working with young people providing one-to-one support. I journey with the young person to help identify their strengths, talk through their challenges, and explore ways forward.
Study: I originally studied Law and received a Degree in Legal and Business Studies in WIT. I went on to complete Law exams which allowed me entry to Blackhall Law Society. However, around this time I started undertaking volunteer work and I found it very fulfilling. I subsequently went a different route and went on to complete a Higher Diploma in Social Policy and a Masters in Social Work in UCC.
Work: I worked in Legal Aid and volunteered with the Simon Community and in an Asylum Seekers Drop-in Centre. I worked part-time in both Brothers of Charity and Children in Care at the same time. I then worked in CAMHS Limerick for over two years. I really enjoyed it and I had the privilege of working with young people and their families.
Fun Fact: I love cooking/baking and being outdoors. I really don’t like small cups (what a waste!) and my preference is always a big cup of tea or coffee to start the day! I was part of a debating team in college which I loved. I will always remember a particular lecturer there who encouraged me to dream big and step out of my comfort zone. My advice to my teenage self: Have confidence and dare to dream… You can do it!
Youth and Community Engagement Worker
As a Youth and Community Engagement Worker, my role involves working with young people through our Youth Advisory Panel so that young people’s voices are to the fore of the work we do. I also visit schools, community groups, and organisations all around Cork facilitating workshops on youth mental health.
Study: I studied a Degree in Sociology and Philosophy before completing a Masters in Health Promotion, both in UCC. Maintaining a strong skill set has always been very important to me and I have completed various training courses relevant to my work.
Work: I have worked with young people of all ages in various settings such as Youth Work, Family Support and the Early Childcare Sector through one-to-one and group work. My main focus in working with young people is empowering them to be active participants in their future and overall being the best versions of themselves.
Fun Fact: I travelled as a humanitarian worker to Minsk, Belarus in 2006 and 2008 working with young people of all ages and abilities. I have completed three half marathons which is good as I adore food/cooking and my thoughts are usually about what I'm going to eat next.
As a Jigsaw Clinician my role involves identifying with young people their goals and strengths to help them overcome mental health difficulties or struggles they may be experiencing. I always stress the importance of self-care for everyone and this is a feature of my input with young people ‘be kind to yourself first’.
Study: I studied a degree in psychology and sociology at the University of Limerick. From here I went to Edinburgh where I completed a masters in occupational therapy. Updating my skills and learning new approaches is important and I attend regular courses to enhance my knowledge and improve my practice.
Work: I was delighted to join the Jigsaw team in Cork in January 2019. Prior to this I have worked as an occupational therapist in both the UK and Ireland with young people, adults and older people in a variety of physical and mental health settings in both inpatient settings and in the community.
Fun Fact: My big loves in life are my dogs, Cosmo and Alfie. When I’m not spending time with them I can be found watching sports (Mayo for Sam), on the stage in a musical or researching my next travel destination
Work: I previously worked as a social worker with West Cork Social Work Department, working with families and young people, which gave me the opportunity to do Direct Work with children and young people which was rewarding and enjoyable. I also worked in a Marriage Counselling Centre in Cork City.
Study: I graduated from the Bachelor of Social Work in UCC. I also became a literacy tutor with NALA and work one to one with people who want to improve their literacy skills and I volunteered with Foroige, locally.
Work: Previously worked for the HSE within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
Study: Degree in Occupational Therapy from University College Cork. I am also a CORU-registered Occupational Therapist and member of the AOTI Child and Adolescent Mental Health Advisory Group.
Favourite Book: My many cookbooks
Favourite Film: Mama Mia so I can sing along!
My role as Jigsaw Clinician involves providing a safe space for young people to discuss any challenges they may be experiencing in relation to their mental health. In collaboration with the young person I support them in exploring what their current needs are, and help them in identifying ways to overcome these challenges and work towards achieving their goals.
Study: I completed a Bachelor degree in Social Science and a Masters in Social Work in UCC. After graduating I travelled to Perth, Australia where I lived and worked for five years.
Work: My professional background is in social work- I have previously worked with individuals of all ages- from early years up to adulthood in both Ireland and in Perth, Western Australia. I have supported Asylum seekers and newly arrived migrants as a part of Red Cross Migration Support programme in Perth WA. I then moved on to work with the Autism Association of Western Australia and subsequently with Autism Services in Cork where I provided support to children and adults with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.
Fun Fact: My favourite thing to do is eating out- I love trying new foods. I also enjoy art and travelling. I am interested in computers although whether I’m tech savvy in questionable.
My role as a service administrator involves supporting the team in the day to day running of the hub as well as being the first point of contact for young people and parents.
Study: Degree in International Development and Food Policy from UCC. Certificate in Counselling Skills from Cork Counselling Services CLG.
Favourite Book: The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne.
Favourite Film: The Way Way Back (& all the Harry Potters).
Fun Fact: I lived in Tanzania for 6 months and Toronto for 4 years… But there’s no place like home J
Senior Jigsaw Clinician
My role as Senior Jigsaw Clinician is to support young people to make sense of their experiences and help build their capacities to cope with challenges. It is a privilege to share in parts of young peoples’ journeys and I find myself continuously inspired by their stories, their creativity and the strength of their characters.
As a social worker, I have worked in various mental health and community settings in the past where I have offered support to individuals and groups and worked collaboratively to facilitate change and promote social inclusion.
Research and education are very important to me and I also do some teaching in UCC on programmes in mental health and social inclusion which I really enjoy. My particular research interests are in social justice issues, anti-oppressive practice and the meaningful inclusion of voices of lived experience in mental health research and practice.
My favourite book is The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists and favourite musician is Sinead O'Connor.