Healthwatch Area Manager (Bristol, North Somerset, South Glos) - Vicky Marriott
Vicky has lived in the South West for nearly 35 years. She has an Award in Leadership and Management, is a registered Public Health Practitioner and has experience delivering community health interventions & training in Bristol and North Somerset. Her passion for health issues first led her into a journalism career and she was awarded best TV documentary 2003 by the Mental Health Media Trust. Her programme heard patient claims about antidepressants being marketed as safer than they actually were. Revelations led to an MHRA investigation, court cases in UK and USA and a change to safety advice.
Volunteer Co-ordinator: Julia Senior-Smith
Julia’s role is to recruit new and support existing Healthwatch volunteers and support the Enter and View programme - a process where Healthwatch uses its statutory powers for representatives to go into NHS-run health premises and acts as a critical friend - making recommendations for improvements.
Julia has a background in children’s services, integrated working practices and employee engagement. She has worked for several years as a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society and Positive Step in North Somerset and she has a Diploma in Counselling.
Volunteer Co-ordinator: Rachel Tomlinson
Rachel works 10 hours per week on a job share basis with Julia. Rachel worked as a health and wellbeing officer for over 10 years, managing volunteers at the Forest of Avon Trust and The Forestry Commission. Her freelance work has involved working for children and young people’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and ForMed Films, a community interest company that makes animated films to help people better understand medical and health issues. Rachel volunteers with Cycling Without Age Bristol.
South Glos Area Lead: Maisy Griffiths
Maisy studied for Masters Degree in Politics before working in the voluntary and community sector organisations, helping them develop communications plans, increase engagement and build partnerships. Maisy also has experience of tackling inequality, diversity and inclusion issues and says these important values really underpin her work. Maisy says 'Our aim is to hear from all diverse communities'.
North Somerset Area Lead: Cirlei Ioris
Cirlei has worked with many diverse groups including BME, gypsy and traveller communities, refugees, people with mental health issues and single parents. This experience, she says, sparked a passion to engage with the public to help ensure they had better access to health and social care.
Cirlei has also completed an MSc in Public Health and believes her new role at Healthwatch is an opportunity to meet the public and make a difference to services.
She said: “We are looking at developing two main projects for this year; focusing on mental health and social care services."
Bristol Area Lead: Julie Bird
After completing a psychology degree with the Open University, Julie worked in welfare for 20 years beginning as a hospital inspector with NHS Scotland and qualifying as a person-centred counsellor and trained CBT therapist.
Recently Julie has worked for Bristol City Council both as a business development manager for the Energy Service and as a project delivery lead for Community Learning.
Communications Lead: Rebecca Jones
Rebecca's background is in local journalism, where she has attended many meetings on changes and developments in health and hospital services in the South West and further afield. More recently she has worked as a writer and social media manager for a local charity and is committed to providing eye-catching and thought-provoking posts and articles that show the real effort, made by Healthwatch, to give people a voice about health and social care.
Why do we need you?
The more information we gather, the more influence we have over shaping how health and social care develops to meet the needs of the community. Volunteers act as the eyes and ears of local people, raising issues of concern.
What do our volunteers do?
There are a number of opportunities available. You can be involved as much as you choose, but we do ask for an initial commitment of 3 months. Training will be provided and reasonable travel expenses paid. The roles currently being offered are:
- Community Outreach – Talk to local people about our services and record feedback
- Healthwatch Representative – Represent us on health and social care related boards and meetings hosted by other organisations
- Enter and View –Visit, observe and report back on services (group work)
- Office Support – Administrative support
Who can volunteer?
We welcome applications from local people aged 18+. You will have a willingness to listen and talk to a range of people. A non-judgemental attitude and an understanding of issues of confidentiality are essential. We need people who can confidently represent our role in the community. You will be able to communicate clearly in feeding back any information you gather.
We are committed to following safeguarding guidelines for both children and vulnerable adults and will provide training in this area where appropriate. All of our volunteers will be asked to undergo a DBS check which is at no cost to yourself as part of the application process.
It’s a chance to meet new people and become more involved in your community. You will learn new skills and gain experience that could be a stepping stone into employment or training opportunities.
Join us as a volunteer
If you're interested in volunteering and would like more information or an application form, please get in touch with Volunteer Co-ordinator Julia Senior-Smith by emailing: email@example.com or phoning: 01275 854311