On watch with Kim Fry

Published 25/09/2020

In 2019, as part of our commitment to support our students on their journey, UKSA appointed a dedicated Welfare Officer. Kim quickly introduced bi-weekly wellness sessions and developed signposting literature for mental health support and a pocket wellness guide. Along with face to face sessions with staff and students onsite, support has also been offered through our text service and via email, which has proved particularly successful in providing continuation of support when students have been on a sea phase.

As we continue to welcome students back on site, their well-being – in the world we now live in – is more important than ever. After months of isolation and uncertainty, it is imperative they have the tools to identify when they need support and the confidence to ask for help. We strongly believe that mental health is as important as physical health. Good mental health allows individuals to cope with the normal day to day struggles we all experience and allows us to work well and productively. When we feel well, we are more resilient and more able to face whatever comes our way.

In this weeks blog, we find out a little more about Kim…

Name: Kim Fry
Position:  Welfare Officer
Qualifications:  Degree in Social Work, Level 5 Counselling, Mental Health First Aider.
Years at UKSA: 1 and a ½ years

Describe your role in ten words;

Busy, sociable, solution-focused, professional, work with everyone, I love it!

Who inspires you?

My mum. She is one of the kindest people I know and welcomes everyone as if they are long lost family, even if she has just met you!

How do you define success?

Having a happy home life and being in a job I love.

What is your most memorable moment on the water?

When my horse decided to take me swimming in the Solent – who knew horses were that good swimmers!

What is your history with UKSA?

I am a bit of an odd one for UKSA as I am not from a watersports or yachting background. My background is working with young people and adults who have found life pretty challenging so to transfer that knowledge to what I do at UKSA has been really important for me.

What is the best thing about working at UKSA?

It’s like being part of this huge family. Everyone says hello and we all love what we do and are really passionate about bringing about positive change for people.

What advice would you give someone embarking upon a course at UKSA?

Just do it because it really can change your stars. You don’t have to be brilliant, you just need to want things to be better.

If a student would like your support, how can they contact you?

Students can text or call me on 07970 815229, email me [email protected] or ask at Reception and they will contact me on their behalf. Or just come speak to me, I promise I am friendly and confidential. I usually work Mon to Fri 9 to 5 and am very good at getting back to people, if you leave a message. I am very happy for parents to call me too if they have any questions that I can help with.

What is your favourite thing to do when you get some time off?

Walk miles, spend time with family and friends, horse ride, paddle board, read and eat well.