Counsellor & Volunteer Co-Ordinator
Jessica Mitchell has two roles at Paul’s centre: she works part time as our Volunteer Coordinator and is also a member of our counselling team.
Jessica has recruited, trained and supported volunteers in several organisations including CRUSE Bereavement Care, Hexagon Housing and The Food Commission. In addition to working with Paul’s for the past two years, Jessica has been a volunteer counsellor at St. Christopher’s Hospice since 2011, most recently supporting bereaved families, children and young people.
Jessica has MSc degrees in Therapeutic Counselling and in International Public Health Nutrition, and a certificate in online counselling. She has completed further training in working with people with cancer, including a City and Guilds CBT certificate with a focus on palliative care. As a registered member of the BACP and of the EMDR Association, Jessica offers integrative counselling and EMDR. She has been practicing since 2011.
Maria Black MA is a qualified teacher of Moving Meditation – also known as kum nye – who, for the past two years, has run a popular class at Paul’s on alternate Friday afternoons. She is also a certified practitioner in Feldenkrais (Awareness through Movement).
Prior to her retirement in 2009, Maria was a senior lecturer in psycholinguistics at University College, London, with a special interest in language and communication disabilities. Outside of Paul’s, Maria sees people for one-to-one Feldenkrais sessions, and teaches at the Brixton Acupuncture and Shiatsu Space.
Maria says: “It is a tremendous privilege for me to work with Paul’s clients who face such difficulties and yet are so open to change. The commitment, caring and support of Paul’s staff and volunteers makes for a great working environment – a maximum of service with a minimum of bureaucracy”.
With effect from October 2018. Maria is also providing ‘one-to-one’ Craniosacral massage at the Centre.
Gary Born teaches an 8-week course in Mindfulness at Paul’s, the content having been designed specifically for those living with cancer.
He qualified at Bangor University as a teacher of Mindfulness Based Approaches (2006) and of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer (2012). He has been practicing and teaching at PCSC since 2008, and is now also a qualified supervisor of mindfulness teachers.
Gary was himself diagnosed with cancer some 20 years ago, and initially knew Paul’s as a client and then later as a therapist; he believes the warm and supportive environment that he has enjoyed in both capacities to be central to the Centre’s value.
Outside of PCSC, Gary is a member of the Board of the Buddhist Insight Network, an international organisation bringing together adherents of meditation’s Western tradition, and the founder and organiser of an affiliated group exploring aspects of the ageing process.
Patrick Browning MA LLM DCH DHP MCH trained at the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis, London, as a Master Clinical Hypnotherapist, and is now a member of the Institute’s Faculty. He was Chairman of the Institute’s Association for five years from 2007.
Patrick is on the General Hypnotherapy Register and the register of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
He has seen people at Paul’s since 2005, and also runs workshops for Breast Cancer Care. He has a particular interest in pain management and ran a pilot project on hypnosis for migraine for the National Migraine Centre.
Sarah Claxton C&G/L3, ITEC/L4 is qualified in professional body massage, aromatherapy, and in sports and remedial Massage. She is also a massage therapist at the West Wickham care home run by MCCH, a charity that provides support for people with mental health problems.
Sarah has enjoyed volunteering at Paul’s since 2014, she says, because “it is fantastic to be part of a team with such a positive energy working with the same aim in mind”.
Clara Cummins MAR DLT is a lymphoedema practitioner and holistic therapist. She is fully qualified at all levels of manual lymphatic drainage specialised massage (Dr. Vodder method), which includes combined decongestive therapy. Clara also practices traditional reflexology. Clara has volunteered her therapy skills at Pauls since 2013.
Clara loves her work as a therapist and feels extremely lucky to have found her vocation in life. To have been given the opportunity to volunteer is a bonus. “Paul’s”, she says, “allows me to introduce and offer treatments to a wonderful range of people. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone leave the treatment room with a little smile on their face”.
Vicky Fox achieved her basic qualification in yoga in 2008, and since then has broadened her skills with yoga for children, in pregnancy, and while living with cancer.
Since starting as a volunteer at Paul’s in April 2015 she has, she says, taught many people who want to help themselves reduce their stress, get stronger and more flexible, and ‘to stop the chattering of the mind’, and in doing so she has met some wonderful people.
Monika Grygiel is a graduate of the British School of Shiatsu-Do, and a member of the Register of the Shiatsu Society (MRSS) and of the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council. She also has an MA in Japanese Studies. Monika has been practicing Shiatsu since 2013, and in addition to running her private Shiatsu practice, she volunteers at the Wellness Centre.
Monika joined us in September 2016. She says that volunteering makes her part of the community, and that “allows me to help my patients relax and heal. Through Shiatsu, I am able to work with releasing physical tension as well as emotional stress, and by being there for others I feel more connected and fulfilled.”
Jacquie Keelan BA (Hons) is a qualified person-centred counsellor who has worked for a number of years as a counsellor in a bereavement agency and a hospice. She has a particular interest in working with clients who are facing a ‘boundary situation’ or a crisis in terms of health or life expectancy when they may be asking themselves new questions about how they live their lives. She also counsels in a women’s health centre and a perinatal mental health unit.
Jacquie is currently studying for a doctorate in existential psychotherapy.
Deborah Levy OT, MSTAT originally trained as an occupational therapist (1981), and then in July 2014 qualified as a teacher of Alexander Technique; she has been practicing the latter at Paul’s since late that same year.
Deborah’s extensive background in social care enhances what she brings as an Alexander Technique teacher to people living with serious illness and stress. She finds the Centre to be “friendly and relaxed, and a wonderful resource for its clients”.
Robert Lynch and Tracy Kaur
Robert Lynch and Tracy Kaur are also reflexology practitioners at Paul’s Cancer Support Centre.
Kristian Saetre has been in practice since 2015. He trained at the London School of Massage, receiving an ITEC certificate at Level 3 in Body Massage, and a Level 5 BTEC certificate in Therapeutic Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Chair Massage. He is also qualified in Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage and Oncology Massage, and is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists.
Kristian has provided massage at Paul’s since April 2018, and has come to appreciate what he describes as the Centre’s ‘calm and soothing atmosphere’, and the opportunities it provides for meeting new people.
Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist
I am a Psychosexual and Relationship therapist who works with both individuals and couples. I have a background in nursing and midwifery and have experience of working within voluntary, private and NHS settings, including a central London NHS sexual health clinic, Royal Trinity Hospice and The Awareness Centre.
I have personal experience of the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have upon relationships and feel privileged to be able to offer support at Paul’s, to those who are facing personal challenge and changes in their life.
Fitness and Exercise
Mark Wild has a BSc (Hons) in Sports Studies & Management, fitness qualifications in a variety of fields, and a diploma in nutrition. Enrolled on the Register of Exercise Professionals, he is a Level 4 specialist in cancer rehabilitation.
Mark has practiced as a personal trainer and mentor for ten years, and over the past five of those has developed a knowledge base and skill set to help those affected by cancer. He has led Paul’s Get Active programme since 2012.
Passing his knowledge onto others, witnessing the physical and emotional benefits of physical activity and exercise enjoyed by Paul’s clients, and working with a wonderful array of individuals who share a passion for helping others are, he says, what give him the most satisfaction from contributing to Paul’s.