Amanda Balloch

Amanda Balloch

Amanda Balloch

What is my role for Let’s Talk?

I'm a Project Worker at let's Talk

What is my relevant experience?

When I left high school, I originally studied art at college and then went on to do photography at university. I felt that I wanted to steer these creative skills in a direction that would incorporate creativity with supporting children and young people to feel in control and empowered with regard to their own physical and mental health.

After going back to college to complete an HNC in Early Education and Childcare, I was offered a job at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh as a Play Assistant. I worked towards gaining my degree alongside this role and graduated from The University of West London in 2017 with a Distinction in FDA Healthcare Play Specialism.

I worked as a Health Play Specialist within NHS Lothian for six and a half years where I was extremely passionate about the power of therapeutic play and how it could be used to break down medical procedures and terminology in a child-friendly way.

I then had the honour of working in a school in North-West Edinburgh that was designed for children who required support with a range of social, emotional and behavioural needs due to traumatic life experiences as well as children with Autism and Developmental Delay.

After this, I worked as a Bereavement Support Worker at Richmond’s Hope in Craigmillar where I delivered 1:1 support to children and young people, using artistic activities to explore their understanding and emotions after the death of someone close to them. I am always keen and excited to continue my professional development and further my learning around innovative approaches to therapeutic services!

What I like to do when I’m not working?

I love spending my free time exploring different beaches with my wee sausage dog Desmond – we are two peas in a pod! I am a huge music fan and love going to gigs and festivals whenever I get the chance, I always volunteer to take the lead with the music round in any kind of quiz! I enjoy digital illustration and still have a huge love for photography. I also like going to stand-up comedy shows, finding new places for yummy vegan food, running and practising yoga. My favourite dinosaur is a Brachiosaurus…I’ve learnt that this is a very important fact to make known over my many years of working with children!

What are my skills/qualities

We used Johari’s Window which is a method to explore our qualities. We asked friends, family, colleagues, and young people to tell us what they think too. Here is mine:

Known to selfNot known to self
Known to othersArena
Blind Spot
Not known to othersFaçade
Not known
able, adaptable, bold, brave, calm, complex, dependable, dignified, energetic, extroverted, happy, helpful, idealistic, ingenious, introverted, knowledgeable, logical, mature, modest, nervous, organised, patient, powerful, quiet, relaxed religious, responsive, searching, self-assertive, self-conscious, sensible, shy, spontaneous, sympathetic, tense, trustworthy, wise.