Tell us a little bit about your job and what you do here...
Well, I guess in many ways I always knew I wanted to be a clinical psychologist, so when I graduated back in 2000, I was looking to gain some valuable experience. Having grown up in the local area it made sense to approach the psychology department closest to me and I was lucky enough to be taken onboard in order to help them out with some research.
If I’m honest, this only reaffirmed how much I wanted to make this my career, so as I continued to gain experience in assistant roles in both Morecambe Bay and in North Cumbria, I also went to Lancaster to train as a clinical psychologist. I guess life must have been on my side because it wasn’t long after that a job actually came up. I was over the moon!
Now, I work as part of the physical health and rehabilitation psychology service and I absolutely love it! My role is quite varied and I get to meet people from all walks of life. I do feel as though you have to be quite a caring person in order to do this job properly as one of the main things I have to do is help those suffering from illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease come to terms with those conditions and provide insight into how they can manage the anxiety and depression that can often surround those illnesses.
Why not live and work somewhere where the environment is comfortable and beautiful, and easy to get around?Dr Clare Jefferson – Clinical Psychologist
Where do you live and what is it like?
I always think that you have to work and live somewhere, so why not work and live somewhere beautiful?
A lot of people seem to instantly think we are situated in the middle of nowhere, but that really isn’t true. The area and transport links have really been improved over the last few years so it is actually very easy to travel to other places should you want to go.
I think, on a whole, when people think of the Lake District, they think of a beautiful area in which to go on holiday, but what is stopping that beautiful holiday destination from being your home, forever? It’s not only a stunning place to visit for a UK break, but it’s a fantastic place to raise a family.
For starters, the schools are great! When my son was younger, it was very important for him to be able to go to a school that had a good staff to child ratio (something you can’t often get in city schools) and the schools here definitely provide that. In particular, the school my little one went to was so caring, nurturing and really understood his needs.
Aside from that, I just think that Cumbria is a very friendly place to live in general. People always say that those in Cumbria always have a smile on their face, but surely it’s hard not to when you live somewhere this wonderful, right? There is such a sense of community here, and we all work together to get things done. For example, we’re often organising beach cleans and trying to raise money for charities as a group. I don’t think that is something people can say they get everywhere and it’s pretty priceless.
What do you do for fun?
Most weekends I just like to potter around the Lakes, taking in the sights and fully enjoying the amazing area I live in. I think that is one of the best things about living here. We can go explore whenever we want to and we have no time limit. Both my family and I really appreciate that.
I think my favourite places to go are Hawkshead and Grasmere, they really are breathtaking. Although, I really love that the beaches and fells are just on my doorstep too. I really try to never take that for granted.