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Places I've been

The following links below mark the 21 most recent pages you have visited in Sunderland.ac.uk.

Meet the Team

About Us

We are team of Health Professionals including counsellors, mental health advisors (registered mental health nurse R.M.N and qualified psychological wellbeing practitioner) and general nurses.

What we offer to our students

  • Personalised Initial Assessment appointments so we can learn how best to support your needs
  • Silvercloud (Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic (CBT) programmes)  It's free, confidential, easy to use, and online 24/7 
  • Self-help materials and resources
  • In-house groups and workshops
  • Wellbeing advisers who can support you with emotional and physical health issues
  • Counselling - one to one sessions with trained therapists
  • Mental Health advisers who can support you to manage mental health difficulties
  • Chaplaincy - for your spiritual and religious needs
  • C-card Scheme- Free condom's for under 24's
  • Referrals and signposting to outside agencies including NHS and local charities, groups and self-help workshops

Who can access the service?

Providing you are a registered student at University of Sunderland we are here to support you.

Tracey McKenzie

Head of Wellbeing

Tracey Mckenzie Staff Profile


I feel privileged to have such an amazing role here at the University, working with such a fantastic team. Our team are here to support you through life’s difficulties whilst at University and we have a wealth of services, tools and resources to help you manage life's ups and downs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I spent many years myself at University as a student.  My Undergraduate degree is in Psychology.  I went on to study as a Postgraduate and have a Master’s degree in Counselling before I retrained as a Systemic Psychotherapist/ Family Therapist.

My physical and social wellbeing is incredibly important to me and I know I am at my best when I feel my healthiest.  Being outside in nature is a tonic and I make as much time as possible to get out and about in the fresh air.  How lucky are we to be living in such a beautiful part of the country.  

Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself - George Bernard

Gail Jamison

Operations Manager

Gail Jamison Staff Photo

I am a qualified teacher, health promotion specialist, and have a leadership and management qualification with over 15 years of adult and child safeguarding experience. Over the years I have worked as a primary teacher, lecturer, child and adult safeguarding officer, and a community development worker. I have managed three successful Newcastle based children's centers.

I have been impressed with the dedication, skill, and passion shown by every member of our team to support and ensure that students can succeed while at University. I can assure you the team is here to support you on your journey.

Every moment is a fresh beginning and opportunities are there for the taking - TS Eliot

Wellbeing Advisers

Wellbeing Advisers can offer support and advice to students around a range of wellbeing issues. These could include; stress, anxiety, low mood, feeling overwhelmed, managing panic, family issues, transition to university.

Ashley Cave

Mental Wellbeing Adviser

Ashley Cave Staff Profile

I am a qualified psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) and my background is in Psychology and primary care mental health. I worked in the NHS from when I graduated in 2008. I then transitioned to work in higher education, I love supporting students in their journey at University. I think with the right support and attitude anyone can achieve their degree.

For me, looking after my own wellbeing includes running, visiting the beach and sea, and planning the next weekend away.

Life is not merely to be alive, but to live well - Marcus Valerius

Norman Nur

Mental Wellbeing Adviser

Norman Nur Staff Profile

I have a mental health nursing qualification and I have had the privileged opportunity of having worked in a wide range of health and social care settings, caring for people of all age groups by working in a holistic and evidenced based manner in order to help people take control of their health and wellbeing.

No matter how hard the situation, if you try as hard as you can you will always have a chance - so just do it!

Rachael Hill

Mental Wellbeing Adviser

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I am a Registered Mental Health Nurse and I have experience within public and private health sectors, including primary and secondary care. It is Sunderland University where I feel we make a real impact when it comes to supporting people with their wellbeing. I am proud to work within a university which supports students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, all sexualities, gender, racial and ethnic identities.



It is better to have less thunder in the mouth & more lightning in the hand- Apache Proverb.

Lizzie Brown

Mental Health Adviser

Staff Photo

I have a degree in Health and Social Care and went on to become a registered Occupational Therapist. I started working in Higher Education once I had completed my degree after working in a variety of Health and Social Care settings. I realised my passion for helping students when I worked as a Student Ambassador during my time as a student at university and it is a pleasure to be able to incorporate my degree within supporting students in Higher Education. I am passionate about delivering support to students to ensure they can achieve their highest potential and chosen qualification whilst also enjoying the overall university experience.

In my spare time I like spending time with family, friends, and my dog Billy.

Remember that once you dreamed of being where you are now…

Greg Cousen

Wellbeing Adviser

Profile photo of Greg Cousen

I have a psychology degree from Sunderland University and my background is in education and social wellbeing. I previously worked in the Sunderland area as a teacher, university mentor and probation officer. I have specifically sought out opportunities to help and support others throughout my career whether that be through providing the help and support myself or by seeking out other professional agencies. Helping people is my passion and through my experience I have learned that with a little support people can achieve their goals.

For my own wellbeing I like to visit places with friends and family, gaming and participating in any sporting activity I can.

Just living isn't enough, said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower. - Hans Christian Anderson

Fee Lucas

Wellbeing Adviser

Profile photo of Fee Lucas

I have 10 years experience working in both the further and higher education sector as a Teacher and Learning Facilitator.  I have supported students with various wellbeing needs from a range of backgrounds.

I am warm, empathetic and caring. I help support students suffering with low mood and anxiety, through an array of supportive methods in a calm welcoming environment.

I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.


Counselling is available to all university students and staff for free and provides the opportunity to meet with a professionally trained person to talk about and work through your personal problems. The Counsellor helps you to address your problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness.

Dave Taylor

Wellbeing Practitioner

Dave Taylor Staff Profile

My background is a spell in the military which shaped the journey I chose to take. I started my counselling career back in 2010 after many life experiences I found this was the path for me. I am a qualified counsellor and work in an integrative way using different therapeutic interventions. Seeing growth and change in a person that sometimes cannot see it in themselves is my passion.

I love my job and the people that give me the opportunity to make a difference.

If we value children, we must first cherish their parents - John Bowlby

Gillian O'Donnell

Wellbeing Practitioner

Gillian ODonnell Staff Profile

Since becoming a counsellor I have worked with people who are experiencing a wide range of issues, in particular bereavement and loss. I have previously worked with different charities. I aim to help people work through their challenges and offer a safe supportive space.

Everyone is different and I am very much guided by what is helpful for each individual and their situation. I like to relax by going walking, cooking, and trying my hand at different crafts.

Determine to live with flair and laughter – Maya Angelou

Pat Allcorn

Wellbeing Practitioner

Pat Allcorn Staff Profile

I am an accredited counsellor, supervisor and family therapist. I have many years' experience of working in Universities. 




The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

Sian Holding

Wellbeing Practitioner

Sian Holding Staff Profile

I work on evenings at the University, Counselling, as I work at CAMHS in my day job as a Mental Health Practitioner. I have a degree in Sociology, PGCE, Masters in Counselling, being a BACP accredited Counsellor and also an IPT UK accredited Interpersonal Therapist. I try to be a good listener and hope to motivate people into living their best lives. I love animals and reality TV and go by the saying ‘Every day is a new day’.

I love working at the Uni and have been here for quite a few years; It’s a privilege to support the students here and I do it together with the support of my passionate and fabulous colleagues.

It means a lot to me when I can see a student feeling better and gaining new understandings and strategies to manage their difficulties.

Emma Robinson

Wellbeing Practitioner

Staff Photo

Since qualifying as a counsellor, I have had the opportunity to work in a number of different settings such as education, prisons and addictions services. This has allowed me to work with a range of different people and a wide variety of issues. I believe that my role is to focus on working collaboratively with people to empower them to make positive choices in their life. Having a safe space to explore what is going on for you is part of this process and I am grateful to be able to support with this.    

I really enjoy getting to meet and work with people from all walks of life and I’m always astounded by the strength, courage and resilience of people who I come into contact with.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose"  – Dr Seuss 


Welfare staff can help to support with more practical issues which may be impacting upon your study.  This may be with other student, accommodation, support to link with local health care services and much more.  Much of this work supports you to make links with wider partners both within the university and across Sunderland.  Support may be a one off intervention or may last for several days.

Ian Yarrow

Welfare Adviser

Profile photo of Ian Yarrow

Since gaining a Community & Youth work degree at Sunderland I have worked in education & community settings. I am passionate about equality and love working with people and using my knowledge and experience to help with a range of situations.

I enjoy escapism and food and regularly get lost in video games and chocolate.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. - Mary Scmich

Bronte Bates

Welfare Adviser

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I recently graduated from Sunderland university with a degree in Media, culture and Communications. I am passionate about student journey, student wellbeing and I focused on this throughout my time at university. My role as a Project officer for Shine a Light is about improving student experience and working to make our services and who accesses them more inclusive.  


I believe every student should be able to have the same access to the brilliant resources we have available.  

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Student Advisers

Student Adviser are your first point of contact when using the Wellbeing Service and Student Support Services. They can offer advice by answering your questions and, if required, signpost you to the most appropriate Service to help with your enquiry

Sandra Rennoldson

Student Adviser

Sandra Rennoldson Staff Profile

I have worked at the university for many years and continue to achieve great satisfaction from witnessing students develop confidence, belief in themselves, and achieving their goals after accessing our service. 


It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are - Malala Yousafzi

Joanne Simpson

Student Adviser

Staff Photo

I have worked for the University of Sunderland for nearly 20 years in a customer facing role. I enjoy helping students succeed in their career path and believe I have the experience and empathy to deal with numerous queries and situations. I have recently joined the Wellbeing team and have had a warming and supportive welcoming. I feel like I am part of a family that helps each other as well as our students.

For my wellbeing I like to walk my dog Ted, visiting the countryside and the beach to take in as much fresh air as possible.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough -Mae West

Yasmin Defty

Communications Assistant

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I have a degree in Fashion Journalism, and I’ve just finished my master’s degree in Public Relations. After four years of hard work securing my degrees, I’ve jumped into the world of communications at Sunderland University.

I think it’s crucial that people always take time for themselves and have those moments of self-care. I’m a big fan of walking and doing plenty of exercise to help deal with stress and to generally feel good; but I’m also a huge fan of all things fashion and jewellery so retail therapy works wonderfully for me.

I’m here to assist you all in finding Student Support and getting to know the incredible services that are available to help you.

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous ― Coco Chanel


Chaplaincy support offers confidential individual pastoral care and encourages and helps to develop relationships with people of different faiths across Campus. We have a number of different University Chaplains here to support you. Chris Howson also provides support for International students with Mindfulness sessions and work to support students’ sense of belonging while on campus.

You can read more about the Chaplaincy support on offer by clicking here

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