How did you get into this topic of research?

As a trauma specialist within the NHS I have been working with the survivors of trauma for many years. During this work it became evident to me that engagement in formal therapies was especially challenging for the client group of military veterans. Working in the super garrison town of Colchester meant that this was potentially a large number of patients, that were struggling with PTSD, felt unable to seek the formal help offered to them within the NHS. I wanted to look at an approach that might benefit the patient, reduce their symptoms and work as a soft conduit into more traditional forms of therapy. I researched what elements or interventions had already proven to be beneficial in the reduction of PTSD symptoms in military veterans and looked to combine them in a unique mix to ascertain whether this might amplify their effectiveness. After 6 years of research Peer Outdoor Exposure Therapy (POET) was the resulting intervention I created. The results to date have been extremely encouraging and I will look to continue researching this area post-graduation.


Where do you want to take your research from here?

I intend to set up a Community Interest Company (CIC) with Dr Nick Cooper from the Psychology department to continue running these interventions moving forward. Our ambition is to dig our own lake, build a therapy centre on the lakeside and create a bespoke trauma therapy centre for not only military veterans but for all survivors of trauma. Whilst this may seem a challenge to some we are passionate in our belief in this project and believe this passion will help bring the venture to life.

What does Click mean to you?

My experience of running a Click Crowdfunding campaign has been nothing but positive. From meeting initially with Vicky Madzharska the whole process was explained and directed with consummate professionalism. Not only are the Click staff there to help and guide you in how to plan your campaign but they are pro-actively involved and become part of the “team” pulling towards a common goal. Their expertise and experience in running these promotions gives you confidence in the process and self-belief that you can achieve your target. One aspect I had not considered before embarking on my crowdfunding was the other potential benefits that running the campaign might bring. For me the raising of the profile of the research has led to the support and long term involvement of some new partners which is very exciting for our future plans.


Do you feel it’s important to give people the opportunity to support research with fundraising?

Having now experienced the benefits of the Click Crowdfunding service I feel that the opportunity to support research with fundraising is of paramount importance. For me to be able to take my research project to a level that the normal research budget would not enable was both exciting and significant. It has opened doors to levels of research that were previously unobtainable and raised the level of awareness for the project too. I will be for ever grateful for the opportunities it has presented me.