Sessional Therapists and Supervisors

Monica Mcleod

Hello, I’m Monica McLeod and I have been working with YMCA Trinity Group since October 2021.

I applied to work with YMCA Trinity Group because it is important to me that I work with an organisation that operates with integrity and whose ethos and core values align with my own.

I have been fortunate to have worked in careers where I have cared deeply about what I do; they have been a vocation.   I care very deeply about the mental health and well-being of young people, having worked with children and young people for over 30 years, mainly in the teaching profession within those experiencing Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) issues.

I am now a Person–Centred Therapist. I believe that it is the development of trusting, positive relationships, as well as the acceptance of people for who they are that, enables healing to take place and from there can follow change, leading ultimately to personal fulfilment.

Jane Wilson

Hi, my name is Jane Wilson and I am a BACP Accredited therapist working with children and adolescents.  I have been working with YMCA Trinity Group as a therapist since 2018 in both secondary and primary schools.

I believe early mental health intervention is vital and by having counsellors in every school setting, children and young people can gain access to therapeutic support more easily.   Through being a counsellor in the actual school environment, mental health importance becomes an integrated part of school life, supporting a broad range of children’s needs whilst aiding their families and the school staff.

Janine Baxter

Counsellor Janine BaxterHi, I’m Janine Baxter and I first had a counselling role with YMCA Trinity Group when I was a student completing my Diploma in counselling. Since then, I, as a qualified therapist and supervisor have worked with the organisation since 2016.

I admire YMCA Trinity Group’s ethos to value each individual and help transform their lives in the community.

I have had the privilege and joy of working with young people for several decades in education, in the voluntary sector, in the community and in a counselling role on a one to one basis and with small groups.  It’s good to be able to offer each person a safe space where they can be heard and respected.  When children and young people are in challenging situations and experiencing difficulties I endeavour to bring them hope, time and new skills to enjoy life and see the world in possibly a more positive way.

I believe that each young person is unique and has the potential to use their gifts and talents to grow in body, mind and spirit, as an individual and a precious member of the wider society and working for YMCA Trinity Group enables me to see this happen.  It is wonderful to see lives transformed as each individual finds confidence in their abilities and discovers that they can use their voice to change their lives and also affect the lives of those around them. I appreciate that this is the case for both those being supported and also for the members of staff working for YMCA Trinity Group.  It’s great to be treated honestly, with respect and integrity.

Ross Ayres

Hi, my name is Ross Ayres.

I have been working with YMCA since 2013, and as a self-employed counsellor since 2015.

I share YMCA’s vision that young people are most important and need a good start in life. The organisation does a fantastic job of combating homelessness and providing support for young people. It often seems like they support those that nobody else will help -those that fall through the cracks.

I originally worked in retail and slowly realised that it wasn’t fulfilling my purpose. So I retrained at 29 to become a counsellor and haven’t looked back. I sought out to, hopefully, make a difference and now I feel privileged to be working with young people offering therapy. I feel like this is a vital service to society.

Tara Griffin-Marku

Hello, my name is Tara and I have had the privilege of working for YMCA Trinity Group as a therapist since 2016. I had previously volunteered as a trainee counsellor and had loved the ethos of the organisation so much that when a role as a school counsellor opened up I jumped at the chance.

I have been lucky enough to be able to work supporting young people, predominantly those of secondary school age, for the past 18 years. Though looking at that number feels like a long time I can honestly say that I have never had a boring day and though there have been many challenges I still love my work. I have worked in a wide range of different roles, mainly within an educational setting, before becoming a counsellor but all involved behavioural and emotional support with a large emphasis on SEND. I initially completed a psychology degree as well as a lot of training on effective support of SEND but then decided to go on and train as a counsellor to further be able to support others. Over the years I have completed various training to complement my counselling such as anger management, bereavement intervention, ASD, creative interventions etc. I am always keen to learn new skills and techniques and incorporate these into my practice. I believe it is important to do this as mental health needs to change in response to the changing world and to work effectively for the client we need to be able to change with it.

I feel that everyone deserves equal opportunities to get help and that with access to the right support and opportunities to talk through the things that are impacting them. This is what initially drew me to YMCA Trinity Group. Within the core of all that they do is the passion and drive to help individuals implement a positive and lasting change and this is evident in all areas of the work YMCA Trinity Group does. It makes me feel privileged to work for an organisation where the ethos is so centred on trying to support the best way that they can and are constantly looking at how they can adapt to do this more effectively.

Denise Mills

Hello, my name is Denise and I moved to Suffolk in July 2021.  Since September 2021 I have been working as a Counsellor and Trainer for YMCA Trinity Group in primary and secondary settings.  Before this, I lived and worked in Surrey often working alongside YMCA on several projects so I am very aware of the incredible support they can offer to young people. Working to improve the mental health of young people has never been more important and as a counsellor with over 20 years of experience, I truly believe that with appropriate and skilful support children and young people can move forward from the many life challenges they face.

I have been involved with children and young people all my career, initially as a secondary school teacher rising to leadership and as a member of a Children’s Safeguarding Board.  I consider it a privilege to be able to continue to work alongside children and young people in my role as a Counsellor for YMCA Trinity Group.

Nina Rogers

Hello, I have worked as a Play therapist in primary schools for over 3 years. One of the reasons I like working for YMCA Trinity Group is its holistic approach, where schools can access training and support alongside the therapy I provide for the children.

This means the school staff have a good understanding of children’s mental health and my role allows us to work together effectively.

I have worked with children and families for over 20 years in a variety of roles. I worked for NHS supporting families with additional needs and parenting. Part of the reason I trained as a therapist was because I wanted to support children’s emotional well-being and feel it is important to start this at primary school age.

Tom Mead

I started to work for the YMCA Trinity Group as a counsellor in September 2022.I previously volunteered for YMCA Trinity Group when I was doing Level 4. I did so because I was aware of my sense of growing up and being emotionally misunderstood. I wanted to be there for those who felt a similar way while growing up and facing more serious situations than I did.
I wanted to do counselling as I wanted to do something meaningful and found some of my old jobs lacking in meaning. I have grown up, lived and worked in Cambridgeshire. I also have experience of working in schools in Northamptonshire.

Christina Townsend

Counsellor Christina Townsend

Hi, my name is Christina and I have been working for the YMCA Trinity Group as a school counsellor/therapist since September 2021. I completed a 3 year Masters degree in Psychodynamic Counselling with Children and Adolescents in 2021 and joined YMCA soon afterwards. I have worked as a sessional therapist in several primary schools in Suffolk. I love working with the children, giving them vital one-to-one attention and choosing play materials and bespoke activities that will help build confidence and resilience for each individual child.
I have worked with children and young adults in schools for many years, as a BACP registered counsellor and have also worked as a Referral Order Panel member, working with vulnerable teenagers in the field of Youth Justice.
I am proud to work for the YMCA Trinity Group, who are such an enthusiastic team of people, all devoted to making lives better for children and young people. I am a passionate believer in counselling in schools as the earlier an intervention can begin, the more chance the child has of coping with the consequences of adverse life circumstances and emerging mental health problems. I feel privileged to be part of this process and to see the positive impact on children’s lives first hand.

Emma Jones

Counsellor Emma Jones

Hello, I’m Emma and I’ve worked within the YMCA Trinity group as a Sessional Supervisor since October 2022. I am BACP registered and qualified in multiple therapies with many years’ experience in CYP mental health services and school based services.

Alongside my role in the YMCA Trinity group I currently work in private practice as a counsellor/therapist and supervisor, in a CYP mental health team, and within a children’s charity.

As a YMCA supervisor I enjoy providing reflective supervision for education professionals and clinical supervision for counsellors/therapists. I hold value on supporting the network around children and young people as an effective way of maximising outcomes and maintaining a healthy workforce.

I view the YMCA Trinity group as an innovative organisation that continually evolves in response to the needs of children, young people and families. I am proud to be a part of the team and share in the ethos of working in ways which maintain a focus on making a positive impact on young lives.

Liz Greening

Counsellor Liz GreeningHello, my name is Liz Greening and I am a registered BACP counsellor working with children and adolescents. I have worked with YMCA Trinity Group as a therapist since 2022 but have worked in education for more than 10 years. What appealed to me about working for YMCA Trinity Group is its reputation for transforming young lives, and its holistic approach; enabling schools to access training and support alongside the therapy that the counsellors provide.

I work using an integrative approach which means I draw on a range of theoretical ideas and skills aiming to improve a young persons’ emotional and mental wellbeing. I use a range of creative methods to help young people explore and gain an increased understanding of themselves.
I believe early mental health intervention is essential, and school counselling is an easily accessible and effective form of intervention for reducing psychological distress in children and young people.

Julia Meeks

Hello, my name is Julia. I am a BACP Accredited therapist and I have been working for YMCA trinity since 2020 in primary and secondary schools. I think that the YMCA Trinity Group is a great organisation because it supports mental health and early interventions which can make a huge difference to peoples lives.

I really enjoy working with young people and particularly like school services where we are able to work with a wide range of clients who may otherwise struggle to access services.

I’ve worked in schools for many years supporting mental health and trained to work creatively with both adults and children. It is a real priveledge to work with young people – they are engaging, fun and often willing to experiment and make changes. My hope for them is that they are able to fulfill their potential and dreams and therapy is a stepping stone for that.

Jade Cammarata

Counsellor Jade CammarataHello, My name is Jade Cammarata and I am a registered BACP counsellor working with children, adolescents and adults.
I have been with the YMCA since 2018 and worked as a self employed counsellor since 2018.
Through the YMCA I have worked in secondary schools, primary schools and young people’s accommodation locations.
In my practice I use Play therapy, Art therapy, Creative therapy and Talking therapy depending on the clients age and independent needs.

I feel very blessed to work for the YMCA as I love what they stand for and feel it represents my values too.
The YMCA have helped so many young people’s lives through their struggles and I am proud to say this includes myself too.
The charity is so enthusiastic and forever evolving, working with a holistic approach which I like.
Supporting young people’s mental health is very important to me and working through the YMCA enables me to do this in a creative integrative way.

Melanie Miles-Graham

counsellor Melanie Miles-GrahamHello, I’m Melanie and since Easter 2021 I have worked as a counsellor in junior schools settings with the YMCA.

I was eager to work with the YMCA due to their ethos of children and young adults, being such an important part of our communities and their belief that mental health comes first.

I am an integrative counsellor which means I can bring creative skills and alternative methods into my counselling sessions with the children to suit their needs. I have been working with children for 16 years and feel it to be an absolute privilege to sit with, and give space to children who need support with any issue they may be facing.

Julie Wilson

Hello, I am Julie Wilson and I have been a counsellor for YMCA since February 2021, previous to this I was a volunteer Counsellor for 6 years with them too.

I have worked with young people for over 15 years in different environments. To support Children and young people is my passion, as I believe we all have the potential to be whatever we desire, our past experiences should never hold us back. I have worked with groups and 1:1s through Counselling, education, and voluntary positions. My desire is to  enable as many children and young people as possible to build resilience , enabling them a brighter future.

Leanne Bartrip

I am a mum and have 4 children.  One is only 8 and the other 3 are adults.  I spent time becoming a counsellor through personal experiences and wanting to be able to help young people have a voice.  I became qualified and spent time since the working as a project worker in a children’s care home and as a counsellor.  I am a very active person and I struggle to sit down and do nothing.  I love filling my time with my family and working.

I have a giant Labradoodle who is very active, and I love taking him out to new places.  I like a good movie and a book when I need time to reflect.

I have started working for the YMCA at the beginning the of March 2022.

For the last few years I have spent time working in similar environments but in different roles and this has always left a part of me wanting to do more.  When I saw the advert, I felt this would be a good opportunity to be able to help more in the way I knew I could. Working for the YMCA enabled me to re start my counselling at the same time as continuing to work with young people in supported accommodation and people in care.

Michele Gazmuri-Symmes

Hello, my name is Michele Gazmuri-Symmes, and I am a qualified CYP counsellor and have been working with the YMCA supporting CYP since Feb 2021. After reading YMCA’s mission statement, I was instantly drawn to the YMCA, knowing that its core values genuinely resonate with me.

My approach is Person-centred, and I believe this approach empowers CYP to find the resources within themselves to develop and grow as individuals. I feel genuinely privileged to sit alongside children, teenagers, and young adults to help them process and make new meaning from their difficult life experiences. In providing the future generation with the necessary mental health support, we provide them with stronger foundations and enforce the importance of good mental well-being.

I have worked in many capacities over 13 years, with CYP and adults in a 1:1 capacity and small groups. I feel genuinely privileged and humbled to be part of their journey and am delighted to be a Therapist with the YMCA