Meet the Jigsaw Cork Team
My role as Clinical Coordinator is to collaborate with our Project Manager to develop the service of Jigsaw Cork. I also guide and support the Clinical Support Worker team in the work they do with young people.
Study: I studied Social Work at UCC and completed a four year Masters in Systemic Psychotherapy (Family Therapy) with the Clanwilliam Institute. I recently completed a Higher Diploma in Healthcare Management. I have also previously been a part-time lecturer and tutor in Social Work at UCC.
Work: My professional background is social work and family therapy. I originally qualified and worked as a nurse before becoming a social worker, where I have almost 20 years’ experience. I have worked in the area of youth mental health for the past 8 years and was previously a Principal Social Worker in an Inpatient CAMHS Unit in Cork. My area of interest is family and relationships and I strongly believe in the power and capacity of relationships to change lives for the better.
Fun Fact: I adore cheese, any colour, any flavour! I am currently listening to Ry Cooder and Amy Winehouse. If I could talk to my younger self – go easy on yourself, you are not on your own.
My role at Jigsaw is Project Manager, where I am responsible, with the Clinical Co-Ordinator (another Catherine!!!) for the smooth running of the Jigsaw service and, bottom line, 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 Clinical Support Worker
As a Senior Clinical Support Worker 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.
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.
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.
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.
Senior Clinical Support Worker
My job involves working with young people to figure out what has caused and is contributing to mental health difficulties they are struggling with, to support them to overcome difficulties, and to flourish in life. I have responsibility for some of our Clinical Coordinator’s role when they are away from the hub and work with the Jigsaw Cork team to ensure we are offering a great service to young people and families.
Study: I obtained a Degree in Applied Psychology at UCC and a Masters in Applied Psychology from Trinity College Dublin. I then went on to study Clinical Psychology at the University of Limerick. Throughout that time I had an interest in youth mental health, listening to the voices of young people, and working with the many systems within which young people are embedded, to support them to achieve better mental health.
Work: I have worked with people across the lifespan from toddlerhood to older adulthood. I have worked with young people who experienced social/emotional/behavioural problems, mental health difficulties, challenges in learning, and difficulties related to care arrangements. I teach Clinical Psychology at the University of Limerick and continue to read, research, attend trainings, and benefit from supervision to make sure I am learning all of the time. I was delighted to join Jigsaw, an organisation and colleagues with similar beliefs and interests as mine.
Fun Fact: I am a horse, dog, and nature lover. I play the violin for a local pop/classical orchestra!
Clinical Support Worker
My role as Clinical Support Worker 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!
Clinical Support Worker
As a Clinical Support Worker, my role is to work with young people on an individual basis, offering a safe space to explore their mental health, the challenges they are experiencing, and to facilitate positive changes to their lifestyle. I also have a role in co-facilitating workshops in the community.
Study: I studied Occupational Therapy (OT) in UCC. My interest in OT was sparked by my love for arts, crafts, fashion, and cookery and also my interest in psychology and working with people. My main interest was always in mental health and I continue to develop my knowledge through regular attendance at training courses to enhance my practice. I have a keen interest in exercise as an intervention, mindfulness, and sensory-based approaches.
Work: I worked in St. John of God Carmona Services with young adults with intellectual disabilities. I moved on to St. John of God Hospital where I worked with adults from 18-65+ with various mental health difficulties, both at individual and group level. I worked on a Community Mental Health Team in Adult Services. I have seen the significant role early intervention and prevention can have in enhancing mental health and improving quality of life. This is what ignited my interest to work with young people in Jigsaw.
Fun Fact: I have a secret obsession with perfume, I keep a bottle stashed at my desk, in my handbag, and on my bedside locker for before I go to sleep. I love a mindful coffee every morning and I everybody know I’m a foodie. I love cooking, particularly vegetarian dishes inspired by the Happy Pear. My favourite film is The Notebook, I watched it three times in one day and enjoyed every minute!
Clinical Support Worker
I am a Clinical Support Worker in Jigsaw 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
My job is to work with and for young people and communities in Cork. I make sure that young people have space for their voices to be heard, listened to, and influence our work by facilitating the Youth Advisory Panel. I also represent Jigsaw in communities and deliver workshops on youth mental health.
I studied Social Science at NUI Maynooth, where my main areas of interest were youth mental health and street art (yep, that’s right, graffiti!). I also have a Masters in Youth Work with Community Arts and Sports Studies from UCC, where I learned about creative and innovative ways to work with young people - basically I got to play games and have a lot of fun!
As a youth worker, I’ve worked with youth organisations in Cork, around Ireland, and all over the world (from Öland, Sweden to Los Angeles, California!). I’ve had the privilege of working with so many amazing young people and youth workers who have inspired me with their passion and creativity. I hope to bring this experience to Jigsaw Cork.
I play the banjolele (banjo/ukulele), I’m a trained barista, and I have two dogs named Ralph and Molly. Unfortunately, I think I might be a hipster!
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.
In my role as Administrator, I’m the first point of contact for young people and their families. I provide information on Jigsaw’s services, in addition to supporting the efficient running of the hub.
Study: I studied theatre and performance studies, and I have a specific interest in the relation between arts and mental health. As a regular yoga practitioner, I’m interested in somatic or body-based approaches to well-being.
Work: I joined Jigsaw Cork in January 2018. I have experience in administration and in research. Prior to joining Jigsaw, I worked in publishing and in libraries.
Fun Fact: I love to dance. I participate in ‘movement medicine’ workshops which unleash the creative and uninhibited dancer within! I’m also a big foodie and coffee lover. My favourite books include: ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ (for reflections on trauma and bodily knowledge) and ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’ (for poetic inspiration).