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Wordsmith's Notebook

Living a life of creativity and well-being, with Parkinson's. By Dean G. Parsons.

More About Dean

Dean’s History of Voluntary Work

“Alongside my employed and self-employed work, I have offered my skills on a voluntary basis to a number of organisations and services.  I believe strongly in contributing to my community and helping those, wherever possible, who may not be able to pay for services, themselves.”  – Dean Parsons.

 

1997 – 2000:

Support Worker for

Croydon YMCA Housing Association

 

2003 – 2006:

Counsellor and Psychotherapist for

Survivors UK, London

 

2004 – 2007:

Counsellor and Psychotherapist for

Croydon Housing Aid Society

 

2014 – 2016:

Counsellor and Psychotherapist for
Suffolk County Council Children & Young People’s Services

2017 – Present:

Co-Facilitator and Writer for
Parkinson’s Road

 

My Background:

I moved to Suffolk from London in 2007 with my Partner and our dog, at that time.  Funnily enough, it was only after moving to Suffolk, from London, that I started researching my family tree and found a long family line originating from here.  It somehow feels like I have ‘come home’.

I was born and raised in west London but I am lucky to have had some experience of life abroad; living with my parents in Italy and South Africa for a time in my early childhood and, subsequently, travelling to many far flung parts of the world.  Travel has enriched my life and my view of things.

My childhood was a mixed bag of wonderful fun times that were then shaken by the deaths of a number of close family members due to Leukaemia, Brain Hemorrhage and a number of Cancers.  My father was a Stunt-Man, Stunt-Choreographer, Stunt Special Effects Choreographer and occasional Actor in the film and television industry.  When I was 30 years old, I lost my father to Cancer.  These very human experiences have influenced my career and my desire to support people through personal difficulty.

I have always enjoyed writing and this has grown into a professional aspect of my life.  I am in the process of writing a number of projects.

My Professional Life:

Career wise, I have a strong early background in the Private Sector and have been Supervisor and Team Manager within some of the UK’s top companies; roles that taught me a strong work ethic and self-discipline.

After my father’s death, I joined the charity sector in 2002 and initially worked with those targeted by Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes.  I became the Service Manager of a drug and alcohol counselling and treatment service between 2004 – 2007, as my counselling and psychotherapy training progressed and I established myself with a track record of working with people living with trauma, abuse, Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and many social, health and mental health issues.

In 2007, having moved to Suffolk, I worked in the Chief Executive’s office at Suffolk County Council as a Commissioning Manager within Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (Suffolk DAAT).  My role was to assess the needs of communities, design, commission and performance manage counselling and medical treatment services that were contracted to meet those needs.  I also helped develop the county’s new Hate Crime support services.

Between 2009 – 2011, I became the Specialist Services Team Leader for NHS Suffolk’s Specialist Services.  This role involved running two Nursing teams; the Shared Care Team and the Blood Borne Viruses Team, concurrently; delivering care, immunisation, detoxification, reduction programmes, counselling, blood testing (I trained in Phlebotomy), crisis intervention, trauma counselling and other services to clients with substance addictions; many of whom had co-morbidity and dual diagnosis.  Many patients suffered with severe mental health problems and the debilitating effects of long-term trauma.

I have become well known in Suffolk for my roles as Commissioner and as Specialist Services Team Leader and, while concurrently establishing my private Counselling and Psychotherapy practice here in 2008, I worked with a leading Suffolk based charity called Focus12; a residential rehabilitation centre for those with substance addictions and compulsive disorders, where I was commissioned as Clinical Supervisor between 2008 – 2013.  In this role, I consistently supported Focus12 to successfully achieve and pass routine audits by the Care Quality Commission.  In 2012, I was awarded for my work as Clinical Supervisor for my supervision of Student Interns for the military US Air Force base at Lakenheath in Suffolk.

In 2018, I celebrated ten years of delivering my services in Suffolk and, between 2017-2019, I have achieved a Diploma in Creative Writing.  I am now working on a number of writing projects that I aim to have published in due course.

 

Equality and Diversity

I have been an advocate for equal rights and an end to discrimination in the UK, throughout my career.  I have worked in roles where I have supported and counselled victims of hate crimes and I have gone on to work for Local Governments in London and Suffolk, where I have helped design services that support, provide counselling and advocate for victims of hate crimes.  I have also represented Croydon Council’s Equalities Unit at the Association of London Government; consulting and designing policy and legislation for Equality & Diversity best practices.

I believe that all people should be treated fairly and that services should do all that is reasonable and possible, to ensure that all people can have equal access to services and treatment on offer.

I adhere to the following legislated principles:

The Equality Act 2010 (and subsequent updates)

Most of the provisions of the new Equality Act came in to force in October 2010. The new public equality duty in section 149 of the Act was brought into effect on 6 April 2011.

Other provisions will be coming in at later dates to allow people and organisations time to prepare for the changes.  It will bring about a single legal framework, providing clearer, streamlined law that is more effective at tackling disadvantage and discrimination.

Protected Characteristics:

Discrimination law protects us from being treated less favourably because of certain characteristics. These are known as protected characteristics.  They are listed below.

Age
Disability
Sex
Gender reassignment
Marriage and civil partnership
Pregnancy and maternity
Race
Religion or Belief
Sexual Orientation

(Source: Suffolk County Council).

You can be assured that I will always seek to offer fair access to my service and that the principles of Equality and Diversity legislation are fully embedded into the culture of the services that I provide.

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