Meet the team
Natalie, Teen Mentor & Mental Health Coach
Natalie has worked in young people's Mental Health services for 16 years, previously running projects funded by Comic Relief.
She has a BA (Hons) Psychology w Gender Studies degree gained at The University of Sussex in 2007, alongside further training in all areas of Mental Health and a Level 2 NCFE Counselling Skills qualification. Natalie is trained in Safetalk Suicide Awareness, has an enhanced DBS check and enhanced safeguarding for children training. She is also the DSL for BIY. Natalie qualified as a MHFA Mental Health First Aider for Youth in January 2020. Natalie is the founder of Believe in You, and takes huge pride in working both within local secondary schools and academies and privately as a teen mentor and mental health coach.
Using a variety of teen friendly strategies including mindfulness, education and awareness in emotional wellbeing, development in coping strategies, creative therapies and improving self esteem, young people are encouraged to work through their life trauma or inner conflict, on their level.
"We pride ourselves on offering a niche and alternative approach to accessing support, which has been successful and popular across all ages. If you're looking for something a little different to traditional counselling, we are certainly the team to approach!"
Doug, Mental Health Specialist
Doug has over 15 years of experience working in CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services ) in a number of different roles. He initially worked for 4 years at Larchwood NHS hospital which admitted children of 12 and under for residential assessments. He then worked for 2 years with the CAMHS asd assessment team before working for the urgent help service at Colwood (now Chalkhill) assessing and managing high risk teenagers and vulnerable children. For the last 6 years Doug has worked in the community supporting schools and local services assessing and engaging young people and families with a wide range of issues. He has also worked for the last year independently for believe in you where he offers consultancy and support to teachers, managers, children and families at one of the largest secondary school in Hastings. Under Believe in You he also works independently with families in the East Sussex area.
Doug is a registered psychiatric nurse with a specialty in autistic spectrum disorders. His work over the last six years has focused on children with behavioural difficulties and anxiety. These children have presented with a vast array of issues from: self-harm, avoidance, aggressive behaviour, adhd, eating disorders, depression through to trauma and loss.
His work has always been focused on early intervention and empowering both adults and children to overcome difficulties. Doug believes often that process comes out of a thorough understanding of what drives the behaviour psychologically. Doug works mainly with parents / carers and professionals involved with the child though he does work directly with children as well.
Vanessa, Glee Club Choreographer & Teen Mentor
Vanessa has worked in adolescent Mental Health for the past 12 years, supporting peer group sessions and running The Glee Club Experience, which offered musical theatre sessions for young people with low self-esteem often caused by a significant life trauma. This project is set to re-launch in Autumn 2023.
Vanessa is currently working as a Teen Mentor split between two schools in the Hastings area. Running workshops on issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, anger management, social media safety, reducing risky behaviour, bereavement and girls body positivity alongside 1-2-1 work with teens identified as needing further Early Intervention support, Vanessa is passionate about making a difference to young peoples lives.
Vanessa's training includes a BTEC Diploma in Musical Theatre, further courses in Mental Health Disorders and through her own life experiences. Vanessa is also trained in Suicide Awareness, encouraging young people to be able to talk through very delicate feelings, safely. As all of our staff, Vanessa has an enhanced DBS check and current enhanced safeguarding for children training. Vanessa also qualified as a MHFA Mental Health First Aider for Youth in January 2020.
Aimee, Teen Mentor
Aimee is currently based at The Burgess Hill Academy in West Sussex. Aimee joined the BIY team in 2022 after completing a Bsc in Psychology at the University of Sussex. Aimee has also completed Mind Youth Suicide Prevention Training, Mental Health for Youth specific training and child protection training. She has a wealth of knowledge around supporting young people with their Mental Health and is excited to put this into practice.
Rich Pringle, Believe in You Mentor & RPCC Fitness Partner
Rich has been working alongside us offering Boxing, Fitness and Training as part of our programmes. More recently Rich has completed training in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Advanced Safeguarding Training, and will be taking on more roles mentoring and coaching young people as part of our team from Autumn 2023.
Jasfit, Believe in You Fitness Partner
Jas from Jasfit is another of our partners, who helps run girls boxing and general fitness sessions as part of the Body Positivity Sessions. Jas also offers female only sessions across Hastings and Bexhill, offering continued sessions for girls beyond the school programmes.
Evie, Believe in You Wellbeing Partner HappyFace Yoga
Evie is our Mindfulness, Relaxation and Yoga expert, offering some lovely sessions to help combat Anxiety and promote Body Positivity for girls.
Evie also wrote and filmed the Yoga programme we use within our sessions through HappyFace Yoga.