Meet the Team!

Hi, I’m Eddie Martin. I am a coordinator for the recovery college, alongside Anne-Marie Ianzito. I have worked for Mental Health Concern for over 6 years, providing support to people with mental health and physical health difficulties. I have developed courses on anxiety management, confidence and emotional resilience which I have delivered with recovery colleges in the North East, as well as in other services. I have a background in psychology with a particular interest in personalities, emotions and interventions.

In my spare time I play guitar among other musical instruments, playing video games and I enjoy a good sci-fi movie.

 

Hi, I’m Anne-Marie Ianzito and I coordinate the Northumberland Recovery College with Eddie Martin.

I come from the States and have lived here for 26 years.  I have the privilege of living in Northumberland and can appreciate all that this fantastic county can offer, including summer swimming in the Tyne River! I spend my free time gardening, spending time with my family and keeping fit.

I have a background in social work and have been involved in teaching social work students for 20 years.  I have also recently worked at Tyneside and Northumberland Mind in a variety of roles including wellbeing worker, coordinator of a programme supporting emergency services and as the training lead.

 

I’m Andrea Balmer, Project Coordinator for the recovery college, and will most likely be the first person you speak to when you contact us. I am responsible for coordinating the communications and administrative systems for the college, as well as arranging, publicising, and managing bookings for our courses.

My background lies mainly in HR advisor and coordinator roles where I had a particular interest in employee wellbeing.

In my spare time I practice yoga and pilates, and love taking the time for walks with my dog and my family. I take a holistic approach to wellness and am passionate about nutrition and cooking. I am delighted to be able to combine my professional skills with my passion for wellbeing.

 

I’m Beth Marston, the Engagement Worker for the Recovery College and the Community Mental Health Transformation. My job is to listen to your experiences of using mental health services and find out how you want the new mental health system for Northumberland to work!

My working background is very varied (I have even worked in an aquarium), but having spent the last few years working in support work and doing research for charities, I know I have found a job I love.

Outside of work I enjoy being able to spend time with my friends and family, cooking and travelling. I’m very excited to get started in my new role and hopefully I will get to meet you all soon.

 

Hi, I’m Claire Baigent, one of the Peer Support Workers for Northumberland Recovery College. I’m originally from Yorkshire but recently moved to Alnwick with my husband and three sons. We are enjoying getting out onto the beautiful beaches and exploring the countryside, and we are all thrilled to be living so close to the real life ‘Hogwarts’!

Following the birth of my children I had postnatal depression and perinatal anxiety which led to me attending Peer Support groups through my local perinatal team. After experiencing first-hand the benefits of peer support, and becoming involved with The PANDAS Foundation, I was then employed by a local charity to set up and facilitate several peer support groups for families going through perinatal mental health issues across South Yorkshire.  I’m looking forward to getting out into local communities and setting up some exciting and inspiring activities with Northumberland Recovery College. 

In my spare time I love writing letters and journals, getting out into the garden and watching live music. 

 

Hello, I’m Paul Lapham, Peer Support Worker. I’m delighted to be part of the team at Northumberland Recovery College.

I’m born and bred in the north east and passionate about people, inclusiveness, learning and the collective power of togetherness…with a good slice of humour along the way.

Formerly a scientist for some 26 years, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), experienced burnout and had to say farewell to this career in order to focus on recovery- undoubtedly my biggest life challenge to date.

Through attending and facilitating sessions at my local recovery college (and other volunteering), I regained purpose and self confidence, made new friends and learned useful coping strategies. I finally discovered an environment in which I felt understood and inspired by the great people around me. This enabled me to harness adversity and use it to reinvent my new authentic self.

I view managing my own mental health much like caring for a pet dog- it needs to be positively engaged with fulfilling activities, fed, watered, nurtured, exercised daily, trained and it responds well to praise and treats…despite occasionally leaving an unwanted ‘package’ on the carpet!

I look after myself by connecting with people and animals, walking, mindful photography, Pilates, music (Mark Knopfler is my ‘local hero’) and fixing broken items. Self care really matters. Why? As the well known cosmetic advert tells us, ‘because you’re worth it’.