My background is in youth work primarily, working in the South West of the city delivering a variety of youth provisions for over 20 years. I trained in early education and childcare, working as a nursery nurse in a special school for over 7 years before becoming an early years team leader at The Yard, working with children and young people with disabilities for over 5 years. I have also completed my BA in Youth Work as well as becoming a tutor in Signalong.
What do you like about working in the Leith community? – “Leith is a hub of activity and full of wonderful people and shops. I love my walk to work every morning and the opportunity to meet with so many agencies doing fantastic work for the Leith Community.”
What made you want to work at Dr Bell’s? – “I am extremely passionate about inclusion and making sure everyone’s voices are heard and Dr Bell’s ethos and values align with mine, a perfect fit. I hope with the support of the fantastic team, board and families we can continue to watch Dr Bells grow and develop in the years to come. I want to make sure that people know we are here and shout from the roof tops that we are a valuable asset to the Leith community.”
An interesting fact/quote: “I love messy play, the messier the better. Play is important whether you are young or old. As adults, we should never lose our playful spirit.
Danielle is both First Aid and Mental-Health First Aid Trained.
My background is mixed and varied, amongst other things, I’ve been a decorator, an antique furniture restorer, and a junk shop owner before building a career as a chef. I’d been a head chef for a number of years when I had my son and decided it wasn’t a great career for a new mum. I went on to gain a first-class degree in nutrition and while studying volunteered in Leith supporting people struggling due to food poverty. After my degree, I worked as a research assistant in Nutrition at Queen Margaret University as well as working with disadvantaged groups across the city in Health and Wellbeing.
I have either lived or worked in Leith for over 30 years and have always been in love with it. It’s is the most culturally diverse and creative community I have come across in Scotland and there are always new people to meet or something new to see to keep you inspired. Anyone can make Leith their home and fit in. It is also home to the best cafes, restaurants , and bars in the city.
After spending eight years supporting people who were struggling with life in their adult years, I came to realise that early intervention is paramount if we humans are able to grow, learn and develop happy and healthy lives. Positive and secure attachment in the early years is associated with greater resilience helping us to overcome whatever hardships we are dealt with. Moving into early years work was exactly where I wanted to take my career so I jumped at the opportunity to work with Dr Bell’s.
I ran away with the circus in my late teens. When I say circus, there were no animals involved besides the pets that travelled with us. We build robots and crazy looking cars and motorbikes for our performances. Also, I ate fire!
Sally is both First Aid and Mental-Health First Aid Trained.
Debs has a PGDip in Community Education and a strong foundation working directly with communities, as a group worker in Edinburgh and Glasgow, for 3 years in the disability sector and 2 years as a development worker at a youth centre. She has done this alongside freelance fundraising and believes a good understanding of communities needs is key to explaining why projects need to be funded. Debs also manages a small community-based music and arts festival.
What do you like about working in the Leith community “Leith has been my home since I moved to Edinburgh 6 years ago. It’s been a brilliant place to live and I feel I owe it my time and energy. It’s such an exciting place to be with such a mix of people from different backgrounds – I like that there is always something happening, you never know what’s around the corner, or who you will meet. There is a real sense of community and identity in Leith – Leithers are great folk!”
What made you want to work at Dr Bell’s: “Dr Bell’s provides support for families with young children in Leith which no-one else is doing, that’s really important and I wanted to be part of that. It’s amazing how Dr Bell’s has adapted to what’s going on just now as well. It’s a really friendly, welcoming environment for staff as well as for families, which has made me feel right at home.”
An interesting fact/quote: “I once cycled from Edinburgh to Bristol to see my mum. It was a 500-mile journey and took a week – luckily she had dinner waiting on the table when I got there!”
Debs is First Aid trained.
Before working at Dr Bell’s I graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MA degree in Politics and International Relations, where I had the opportunity to study abroad in Philadelphia, USA. I’ve previously worked in retail, as a box office assistant, and as a barmaid, but am now very excited to take on the role of receptionist.
What do you like about working in the Leith community “My favourite thing about Leith is how culturally diverse it is, with so many different cafes, shops, and restaurants. I’m excited to explore the area and become part of the local community.”
What made you want to work at Dr Bell’s: “It is important for me to be in an environment where there are strong values, and Dr Bell’s has an ethos of compassion and respect for all the families who come to us for support. It is fulfilling being part of an organisation that makes a real difference to the community by offering a unique service.”
An interesting fact/quote: “When I’m not at the centre you’ll find me at the gym, painting, or trying to teach myself a new recipe.”