Devon Wellbeing Hub Testimonial – Trainee Clinical Associates in Psychology

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News, Recovery and wellbeing on 16th December, 2022

Hannah Hillyer

Hannah Hillyer, Trainee Clinical Associate in Psychology (tCAP) at Devon Partnership NHS Trust (DPT), tells us about her team wellbeing workshop with psychotherapist Jody Merelle and why she would recommend the Devon Wellbeing Hub to others. 

Why did you contact the Devon Wellbeing Hub? What made you reach out for help?

We are a group of tCAPS who have started an apprenticeship with DPT. We are all based in different Core teams spread widely across Devon. The apprenticeship is brand new, with the role still finding its feet in Core teams, and the tCAPS have been facing many challenges. We noticed that we were using teaching and study time to connect online and that we didn’t have a space to support each other as a cohort outside of this. We contacted the Devon Wellbeing Hub and I was put in touch with Jody, who immediately arranged to meet with me, heard my concerns and offered support to us as a group, as well as individuals.

How easy was it to book a workshop?

Very! We initially started with Jody hosting regular reflective practice sessions for the cohort online due to time constraints around our course. This gave us a confidential and safe space to connect and support each other at a time when we were often feeling overwhelmed. We identified that many of us were feeling quite isolated, being the only tCAP in our respective teams, and that we’d like to spend some time together in person. Jody advised that she could offer a workshop, whereby we could meet in person and spend a day focusing on our wellbeing.

What did your session involve?

We met in a central location and the majority of the cohort were able to attend. We spent time identifying goals and what we would like to achieve during the session. From the beginning, we set out to feel that we had a sense of belonging and a group identity. Jody had a toolkit of activities to help us to connect and share the way we were feeling in a safe space, and encouraged us to think through the challenges we were facing with a solution-focused approach. We explored our shared values and coping strategies, as well as ideas for how to overcome difficulties in a practical sense in the workplace. We also had a lovely shared lunch!

Were you satisfied with the session?

Extremely! Jody was warm, approachable and human. The session was focussed around the interests and goals of the group and honesty and frankness were encouraged. Our feelings and opinions were validated. We were able to get to know each other, which is hugely important for teams and their cohesiveness. For me, it felt like a huge relief and I left feeling much more positive and resilient. 

Did you feel that the Hub listened to you and tailored your session to support you?

Absolutely. Jody has been excellent in bringing us together. The sessions were very person-centred and led totally by our needs and goals. From the beginning, Jody was flexible in her approach and asked us what we needed. She was equipped with a variety of ideas, resources and activities to guide and support discussions. She also adapted depending on what came up in conversation and what was identified by us throughout the day. After the session, Jody emailed us with an overview of what we talked about and our ideas so we could refer back to it.

Have your team made any changes since the session?

We have been able to get agreement from the Trust to have these workshops regularly while we are training. As we now have this space, we have been able to focus more on the teaching in our lectures!

Would you recommend the Hub to colleagues?

Absolutely. The Hub can offer teams such a variety of support, which is led by what each team needs. We have also all been offered individual support should we need this. I want to say a huge thank you to the Hub and to Jody Merelle in particular. The support we have received has made a huge difference to me, and I personally feel more resilient, more connected to my tCAP colleagues, and more supported in general to do my job.

What advice would you give people who may be struggling?

A Jody in your life can make all the difference! You are likely not the only one feeling the way you do – whether the challenges you face are in the workplace or at home. When working in healthcare, it is essential that we reach out for support when we need it, and the Hub are there waiting to support you.  


Jody said: “It has been such a privilege to work with the tCAP team over the course of the last year. As the person who has had the opportunity of facilitating their sessions I maintain that I have learned much more from them than they have from me!

“As the first ever cohort, the team have faced a variety of complicated challenges and I have grown to hugely respect and admire their determination and resilience in often very difficult circumstances. We are lucky to have such dynamic and empathetic people who wish to be a part of our health service. I just hope that we are collectively able to provide enough genuine support and appreciation to them that we manage to retain them for years to come.”

Get in touch

If you work in healthcare, social care or the police in Devon and lead a team who would benefit from support, please get in touch by calling 0300 303 5455 or email, mentioning ‘team support’. If you are looking for 1:1 support, you can fill out the simple referral form on the Devon Wellbeing Hub website.

If you’ve been supported by the Devon Wellbeing Hub and would like to share your experience, please get in touch with Lauren Batten, Staff Wellbeing Communications and Engagement Coordinator, at