Health and Wellbeing Officer

Raksha.Patel@wwt.org.uk

About me

Before joining WWT I worked in the health and social care sector, specifically supporting older people. During my time with Alzhemer’s Society, I was responsible for managing one of the first specialist dementia hubs in London.

The hub connected people affected by dementia with the local community in a social environment, providing crucial support, wellbeing and stimulation through activities such as singing for the brain and group gardening projects.

I have recently developed a befriending service for older people with the aim of reducing loneliness and isolation. This service became even more vital during the recent lockdowns. I had to think outside of the box in order to connect the older generation to others remotely.

I provided technology and training to those in need so that they had the right tools to empower themselves and remain connected to ultimately combat loneliness and isolation.

Group coffee calls became a highlight of people’s weeks as they connected with other individuals in a virtual community that many of those using the services would never have imagined doing pre-pandemic.

My passion is to help individuals improve their wellbeing by providing them with the tools and techniques to help themselves and others around them.

I aim to ensure that mental wellbeing is accessible to everyone. Fear, stigma and ignorance of cultural sensitivities can act as barriers to accessing mental health care for people. It is important to work with individuals in a culturally sensitive manner.

Nature is a major factor in my life and I truly believe in the benefits that the natural world can have on people’s health and wellbeing. Every morning, I walk along the Thames, starting each day in a positive way by connecting with nature. I cannot wait to help others incorporate nature into their daily lives.

Work

I joined WWT in January 2022 as part of WWT’s Blue Prescribing Project at London Wetland Centre. The project delivers structured wetland-based health programmes at our centres. The wetland health programme is specifically designed to connect people with, or at risk of, poor mental health through facilitated wetland nature engagement. The person centred approach promotes a range of mental and physical health benefits.

In my spare time, I volunteer for Stroke Association, Brain Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society. These inspiring charities support individuals with a range of neurological diseases and the research they undertake is absolutely crucial. I am proud to help these charities in any way possible.

I believe collaboration is key when it comes to health and wellbeing. I look forward to being part of the positive impact the Blue Prescribing Project is going to have on so many people.

Skills

  • Mental Health First Aider
  • Delivery of resilience sessions to people at risk, or who have, poor mental health
  • Community based approaches to combat loneliness
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Health and wellbeing project management
  • Dementia Friends Ambassador