‘One of my first clients was the bravest woman I’ve ever met’
Name: Meredith Barlow-Walsh. Which organization are you involved with? Just Drop-In. What do you do there? Volunteer counsellor and psychotherapist. How did you become a volunteer? Whilst studying for my counselling diploma, I was looking for a second placement and was keen to increase my experience of supporting young people.
I had heard about Just Drop-In through college so contacted them about volunteering.
After speaking with the counselling coordinator, I was impressed with her enthusiasm and drive and knew immediately that I wanted to join the team. What is your favourite place in Macclesfield? I love The Snow Goose on Sunderland Street, it’s the only place I have found in Macc where I can enjoy a Jasmine tea, or a snowball, in front of a log fire, and what’s not to love about a place that has Nelly’s Book Nook. Ideally how would you spend every day? I’d spend it with my husband and children, probably enjoying a walk to The Windmill at Adlington, followed by a hearty roast dinner. What was the best holiday you have been on? Last year was the first time my children had been abroad; we spent two weeks in Italy with friends in a beautiful villa, I’ll always remember watching the Tuscan sunset from our balcony and feeling utterly content. If money was no object what would you do? I’d set up a Wellbeing Centre so that adults and young people could quickly and easily access a range of therapies to support their mental health. What one piece of advice would you give? I like Richard Branson’s quote: ‘If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!’ It worked well for me recently. What was your first job? A huge paper round… this was in the days when you carried your papers, so my dad made me a ‘trolley’ out of an old suitcase and wheels, saved me a lot of legwork! What is on your iPod? An eclectic mix, from Amy Winehouse to Pharrell Williams, Paolo Nutini to Alabama Shakes. What is your favourite TV show? Hmm, that’s a tough one, it’s between Grey’s Anatomy – which filled the void left after ER ended – and GIRLS, which is a brilliantly written, female-led sitcom, Lena Durham is a genius! What are you reading at the moment? The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz, it’s based on sessions between a psychoanalyst and his clients and offers a fascinating insight into human behaviour. What is your biggest inspiration? One of my very first clients, she’s the bravest woman I ever met, her courage and spirit was breathtaking.
Sharing her therapeutic journey and witnessing her growth was a hugely rewarding experience for me. Who would you like to invite to dinner? Claudia Winkleman to chat to, Graham Norton to giggle with, Russell Brand to be enthralled by, and Ryan Gosling, to look at…. sigh!
●● Meredith Barlow-Walsh is a volunteer counsellor and psychotherapist at Just Drop-In