Meet Debbie, our new Head of Services (East)

Q. Can we get some background on your history with Penumbra?  

I joined Penumbra in the year 2000, starting as a Support Worker at the supported accommodation ‘Greenhill’ we used to have in Edinburgh. In this role I supported a move for the residents there into their own individual tenancies at a core and cluster type service. This services in Edinburgh continued to grow, supporting more and more people in their own homes across the city. I spent many years as a Support Worker, and after a few attempts, stepped up to Assistant Manager in a different SLS team. After a couple of years, I progressed to Support Manager of an SLS team. Due to the relocation of our Senior Service Manager at the time I then had the opportunity to apply for their role and became the registered Senior Service Manager for the whole of the Edinburgh SLS services. In August 2022 a new post became available as Assistant Head of Services for the East and I was successful in my application for this. This allowed me the opportunity to learn about all the different services in the East and unknowingly, prepare me for the chance to take on this secondment to Head of Services (East).

Q. What does this promotion mean to you and what do you hope to bring to the role? 

This promotion has allowed me another opportunity to develop and expand my knowledge and experience. I hope that I will be able to share my skills, knowledge and experience across the East services and share good practices, learning, and opportunities wider to enhance our offer across the region for the staff and people we support. I also hope to contribute and influence our leadership team to ensure we provide the right support and opportunities for our staff that make Penumbra Mental Health thee place to work!

Q. Do you foresee any challenges in the East area? Are you excited for any specific challenges? 

I think we are all aware of the significant funding challenges across the sector which means significant challenges for the third sector ahead. Whilst I don’t have a magic wand, I do believe the one thing Penumbra people are good at is thinking how we can do things differently and I believe this approach will help face these challenges head on!

The difference WE make and the passion we hold within this organisation makes me choose Penumbra! 

Q. Why Penumbra? 

I am now in my 24th year at Penumbra. It was never my intention to take the career path I have. So, why am I still here? I don’t know anywhere else that I could get to be part of influencing, appreciating and advocating for the value of the work we do! Throughout my roles I have been part of so many people’s lives and journeys. Whether that’s influencing staffs’ career progression, wellbeing, and development, or someone the organisation supports. Like any role, this is never without its challenges; the difference WE make and the passion we hold within this organisation makes me choose Penumbra!

Huge thanks to Debbie for this tremendous blog and congratulations on your new position. 

Inspired? Visit Penumbra’s career page:

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