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by | Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 | News

Rachel Rule, Preceptee Occupational Therapist at Livewell Southwest, has won the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) award for Entrepreneurship.

RCOT celebrated the twenty winners of its annual Celebration of Excellence in Occupational Therapy Awards at the Shard, in London.

The awards recognise individuals’ lifelong contributions to the profession, and the dedicated members who are pioneering new ways to bring occupational therapy to the public. Research awards and grants also provide financial support to those at every level to advance their work.

Julia Scott, RCOT Chief Executive, said:

“It is wonderful to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our award winners – whether just starting on their occupational therapist journey, or those already very senior and experienced in their career – they are all fantastic ambassadors for the profession.”

Rachel works in one of Livewell Southwest’s Community Mental Health teams (CMHT), which offer support to people who have serious or long-term mental health conditions within their community. In Plymouth, Livewell Southwest has four CMHTs which are mapped to mirror the locations of different GP practices around the city.

Dignity and respect are at the centre of the Livewell Southwest CMHTs’ approach. People who use the service will be consulted about all elements of their care, and be actively involved in what their care plan needs to include in order to best meet their individual needs. They can expect for their care to be tailored around them as a person, and take into account any specific needs related to their culture, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality, religion and/or disability.

Rachel’s award secured £500 funding to purchase a virtual reality headset for use in a bespoke sensory hub in Devonport. The hub was set up following £5,000 funding from the Aviva Community Fund in 2018, to support the mental health and wellbeing of people with Autism in Plymouth. The project is run in collaboration with Routeways to deliver focus groups on developing coping strategies for people with Autism.

Rachel said:

“We recognised a large gap in provision for Autistic adults in Plymouth and wanted to help fill a small part of this gap. We particularly strive to support inclusion and provide a space for young people who are often excluded from other social settings. “

More recently Rebecca has co-authored a paper with Rebecca Twinley, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Plymouth University, and approved member of the Occupational Therapy Europe Register of Experts in the area of the Dark Side of Occupation.

Rachel said:

“This concept seeks to explore the relatively unexplored elements of human activity from an occupational perspective without censorship or judgement. Sex work remains to be a heavily stigmatised and our paper seeks to understand the push and pull factors for people engaging in, remaining in or leaving sex work. “

Rachel’s paper has been accepted for publication with the Journal of Occupational Science.

Simon Gardiner, Clinical Team Manager and High Intensity Project Mentor said:

“This is a phenomenal achievement for Rachel. As a newly qualified Occupational Therapist she has done extremely well and I’m very proud of her successes.”

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