Harriet Stevens – Trustee
My world has always been very much focused on people and I have had an endless fascination around what it means to be human and the struggles that entails. This was really brought into sharp focus when I became a parent myself and subsequently found myself bringing up four children entirely on my own. Prior to this massive challenge, I had had a rather extraordinary career; ranging from working for an iconic member of the Royal Family, to broking equities for a major financial services institution in both London and Tokyo. What brought me the greatest joy was building relationships with my clients; the shared experiences and the common humanity. And whilst there was clearly much to learn from my years working; nothing really could have prepared me for the ‘role’ of parent.
Of the many lessons that I have learned over the years, the most important is that we all need to be listened to and that in sharing our concerns, they diminish, both in reality and in our minds. I have been a Trustee for a Charity (Steps2Recovery) that works with alcoholics/addicts who have been released from prison. What I know from talking to the counsellors who worked with our clients is that had they had the support of a mentor in their early years, many would not have found their way into both addiction and crime.
As a life-long learner, I embarked upon a Degree in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins 10 years ago. I subsequently completed a Foundation Course in Counselling. However, I later discovered that my real passion lay in Coaching, which is more focused on solutions and taking the action necessary to move forward. What I have discovered over the years is that there still appears to be a stigma attached to the young accessing the support of a counsellor/therapist. However, a mentor is viewed very differently and can provide early intervention where issues might have been otherwise over-looked.
When I am not working, I can be found by the sea. 3 years ago I followed a life-long dream to sail across the Atlantic, and I also ran sailing courses at our local sailing club. From time to time I can be found in the mountains on skis, having pushed myself out of my comfort zone some years ago, deciding to learn to ski as an adult. I am passionate about my children, my friends, community and connection and last but by no means least, the planet.
I am extremely excited to be involved in the initiatives that YMM are proposing and am confident of the positive benefits that this approach will bring to the students that we support.