I work in the public health department of Stoke-on-Trent City Council as a Senior Health Improvement Specialist in the Healthy Communities team. Driven by a determination to tackle health inequalities the team is dedicated to building healthy, resilient communities. Two of my focus areas are health literacy and workplace health and wellbeing. I am also an IHPE Trustee
Stoke-on-Trent is at the forefront of work in the field of health literacy with projects focused on empowering people to be engaged in their own care (with the ‘It’s OK to Ask project) and encouraging health and wellbeing organisations to cater for the health literacy needs of the people they work with (using the Health Literacy Friendly scheme). I learn from, and contribute to the national debate on health literacy through the Health Literacy UK Group and the NHS England Health Literacy Collaborative.
I also work with organisations across Stoke-on-Trent to support their workplace and wellbeing agendas. The healthy workplace scheme is open to all organisations and now has a focus on smaller organisations which may not have the same access as larger ones to systems and support.
Working in public health is a career change for me. For over 20 years I worked in the commercial sector, including running my own business specialising in organisational change management. Deciding to return to study ‘for fun’ I completed a B.Sc in Psychology with the Open University. This opened my mind to a career in health psychology in a public health setting and having completed an M.Sc I am now training to be a health psychologist through the Professional Doctorate programme in Staffordshire University.