Introducing – Jo

Post by: Lucy Walder  |  February 4, 2022

Jo & Conor are our new Health and Wellbeing Coaches

We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know a bit more about us, Louise previously introduced us, we are the new Health and Wellbeing (HWB) Coaches whom GRIT are hosting.

We have certainly hit the ground running and have started running sessions in the Hitchin Secondary schools, as well and one to one sessions outside of school. The feedback so far has been extremely positive, and we are very grateful for the warm welcome that we have received from all the schools.

Setting up a new service within the beast that is the NHS is not an easy task and is made even more challenging by this being one of the first such services in the country. It requires a bit of a leap of faith but when the feedback is positive it makes it all worthwhile

Jo Brabrook

Hi, I’m Jo, I am so excited to be starting my new job with the NHS as a Mental Health and Wellbeing coach. I have been asked to write this post to introduce myself - this is out of my comfort zone, so please bear with me! So, what can I tell you?

Let me start at the beginning. I grew up in a house with lots of children! There was my brother and me and then when I was 3, my parents started fostering. I learnt so much from this time – stuff that I didn’t really appreciate when I was younger but looking back now, I can see that it gave me a much broader view on the world around me. It taught me about different backgrounds, cultures, family values and that not everyone is born into an ‘easy life’. But that does not mean that the past needs to define the future.

I struggled as a teenager and ended up leaving school at 15. I was lucky enough to have good people around me that supported me and helped guide me onto the right path. After a few years of drifting through various jobs, I eventually started an apprenticeship role working in a nursery in Luton. Over 13 years, I worked in various roles with young children and their families, and I absolutely loved it. I moved on from working in the nursery to fulfil roles as a family worker in a children’s center and supporting the midwifery team working with vulnerable women. I have worked as an early year's language practitioner and spent the last 6 years working as a healthy lifestyle's coordinator delivering parenting programmes.

As a healthy lifestyle coordinator, I worked with some amazing parents trying their very best to give their children the best start in life. I learnt so much from them and I came to realise that everyone has the ability to find their own solutions and develop their own skills to make change.

Parenting is tough. I know this first hand, I have 3 small children of my own! All parents want to do is to help their kids thrive and fulfil their potential. The pandemic exacerbated the challenges faced by us all, so it is no wonder that we are seeing a massive increase in parental burnout.

I am so excited about starting my role, I know I have already said that, but I really am! Working as a Mental Health and Wellbeing coach in Hitchin, I will be supporting young people to have the confidence they need to take charge of their lives and own it. My mission is to help young people to maximize their full potential, support them to identify their goals and provide encouragement throughout the journey to become whatever they want to be. The road may not always be as smooth as we may like, but with a little bit of encouragement everyone has the ability to pick the right path for themselves.

Next week the spotlight will be on Conor!

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