Heather Peel – Service User Researcher
Heather Peel started working for PRU in May 2016 as a Service User Researcher conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews for the Method of Levels (MOL), a feasibility randomised control trial. Furthermore, Heather completed some of the transcribing and helped to develop the coding for the trial booklet.
She currently works on helping to set-up and promote The Game Change Project. This project involves looking at using a Virtual Reality programme, developed by The University of Oxford, to help individuals re-engage with activities and to ultimately promote recovery. The trial is set to begin recruitment around May 2019.
Before working at PRU, Heather studied for a BA in English Language and Literature at The University of Leeds and graduated in 2006 with the hope of pursuing a career in teaching. She taught English as a foreign language in Vietnam for two years. Following this, she returned to the UK and after a period of instability she was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder. Heather found mindfulness techniques useful in supporting her recovery. Soon afterwards she commenced volunteering for the Trust, conducting PLACE (Person-led assessments of the care environment) on wards and later trained in peer mentorship. Heather found huge reward from helping others and wished to inspire hope to those with similar diagnoses. She co-facilitated The Living with Bipolar Course for The Recovery Academy for around three years and joined the assistant nurse bank. Following this, Heather spent time working as a Nursing Assistant at Bramley Street Rehabilitation Unit supporting in the recovery of twelve males, involving engagement out in the community and protected time for activities. After this, she worked as a Support, Time, Recovery worker at Salford Early Interventions supporting people to engage in the community which ultimately became more employment focused.
Heather Peel is also a member of the Service User Reference Group (SURG) for PRU.
Outside of PRU Heather enjoys travelling, Saturday morning Park runs, attending a variety of live music events and socialising with university friends.
Heather would like to continue to pursue a career in research and ultimately promote more service user engagement and involvement within the NHS.