Antonia is a Psychology graduate who started working at First Steps ED initially in 2015 on the EDISS project. Following a 2 year break where she lived in New Zealand, she returned to First Steps ED initially with our Young People support service team.
Antonia now works for Brain in Hand in a regional role and is an Ambassador for First Steps volunteering for our student services and working closely with our CEO continues to expand our unique eating disorders service delivered on campus in the academic environment, now being available to over 106,000 students in a number of Colleges and Universities in the East Midlands.
Antonia is passionate about supporting people not only with Eating Disorders but the many other mental health issues that may surround this. She is particularly interested in Compassion Focused Therapy and Health Humanities being active in sports and exercise support.
Cathy founded First Steps in 2004 whilst working as a substance abuse criminal justice worker. She had previously suffered from anorexia/bulimia and was not able to access any help or support so therefore set up the first self-help group in Derby.
As the group continued to expand with more people suffering with an eating disorder joining, Cathy decided to establish the charity in 2007 which is now regarded as the second eating disorder charity in England.
Determined to continue to raise awareness and understanding of the complexities of eating difficulties and eating disorders and associated mental health complexities in order to improve services for people and their families, First Steps ED brings hope, opportunities and choices to lives impacted by eating disorders.
‘Society has much to gain from ensuring that public services benefit from the expertise of voluntary organisations, which often have deep knowledge of how to deliver effective services in specialist areas or to particular groups.
Our working relationships with NHS commissioners and Provider Trusts has developed into a strong integrated pathway partnership where our population receives appropriate clinical and care support from a multidisciplinary team that are agreed by the patient and NHS care coordinator as part of our Care Programme Approach (CPA) process’.
Having started out as a small self-help group First Steps ED has become a national award winning community mental health provider recognised by GSK and The Kings Fund, by NHS England, Integrated Personal Commissioning for our Befriending and Supported Self-Care expertise, and valued by people of all ages across Derbyshire and the East Midlands.
Our team works as partners with NHS eating disorders professionals for a truly person centred care provider that helps people recovery from eating disorders and for ‘those that don’t’, be there for them when they need us.
‘I am grateful to my trustee board for their support, to our dedicated and highly skilled staff and wonderful volunteers who have lived experience of First Steps Eating Disorders, everyone for being part of our supportive community and the First Steps ED family’.
Holly is a friendly and passionate member of the First Steps team. She has a joint honours degree in Sports Psychology and Sports Massage, where she focused on athletes with eating disorders and therapeutic counselling. Holly has experience working with children and adolescents who had low self esteem and eating difficulties. Holly volunteered at the groups at First Steps, offering massage sessions and is now looking forward to supporting individuals in her new role.
Kevin is our Chief Executive responsible to the Trustee Board for strategy and operational management to our stakeholders across the East Midlands.
He has a strong commissioning and policy and performance background in NHS healthcare and Local Government community development, previously working in organisational development and adult skills following leaving the army in 1998 where he first worked in industry as a senior project manager.
Laura has completed her BSc (Hons) Psychology degree. She is a student member of the BACP and is due to finish her MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy course September 2019.
She has experience working with a range of mental health difficulties including personality disorders, self-harm, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and substance misuse.
Laura volunteers both as a Befriender and as a trainee therapist at our Derby base.
Liz started at First Steps mid 2017 after volunteering for EDISS during her Master’s degree. Liz has an undergraduate degree in Psychology as well as a MSc in Psychological Wellbeing and Mental Health, which has given her valuable insight into a variety of mental health issues.
Liz has previously supported several close friends who had suffered with eating disorders and is passionate about using her knowledge and experience to help other people. Liz is very happy to be part of such an amazing team at First Steps.
Natalie is part of our senior leadership team joining us in 2018 from NHS Urgent Care and Out of Hours services, having previously volunteered with us in 2017 and now works side-by-side with all of our service delivery teams, providing clinical supervision to our staff and counsellors across all of our East Midlands delivery locations.
Natalie holds a BSc (Hons) Psychology and an MSc Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy and has previous NHS experience and a background in domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Natalie works closely with our CEO who together provide significant student placement opportunities for University of Derby, Health and Social Care students, and other students from our EDISS stakeholders. We also support at least 3 to 5 UK and International student placements from Europe’s Medical Schools.
First Steps ED delivers a bank of qualified and undergraduate Counsellors which Natalie coordinates against our Adult services.
She also runs her own Psychotherapy private practice in addition to her role at First Steps ED. As a registered member of the BACP, Natalie adheres to their ethical framework for the counselling professions.
Rob has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with Business Management, with his final year dissertation revolving around the addictive nature of Social Media and its impact on wellbeing.
He is currently a student member of the BACP and is studying for an MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Rob began working for First Steps ED in November 2018 as the teams Administrator and quickly demonstrated his passion for supporting people of all ages, and when an EDISS Support Worker opportunity came up, he joined the EDISS team in March 2019.