Staff Profile: Karen

20 Jun 2022

Karen is Turning Point’s Lived Experience Workforce and Advocacy Coordinator, a new position embedding the voices of people with lived experience of substance use across the organisation.

Karen Profile

Turning Point is made up of a diverse team that is committed to removing stigma around alcohol and other drug use and providing support for those affected by substance use disorders. Our staff profiles provide insight on the great work we do and what it is like to work in the addiction treatment, training, and research sector.

Meet Karen, Turning Point’s inaugural Lived Experience Coordinator

In March, Karen started as Turning Point’s Lived Experience Workforce and Advocacy Coordinator. Her background in training and education, and more specifically running therapeutic writing programs and working in residential rehabilitation services, has equipped her with the skills to amplify the experiences of people affected by substance use.

“The role is a fantastic opportunity to bring the expertise of lived experience to the forefront of what we do.”

What does Karen do?

As Lived Experience Workforce and Advocacy Coordinator, Karen works closely with Turning Point’s peer support workers, co-designing frameworks that assist people in their drug and alcohol recovery.

“It’s great to work alongside our peer support workers. Their voices are invaluable to explain our services to people who might be reluctant to access support and are unsure of treatment options. They are great role models for recovery.”

Karen is currently developing a lived experience advocacy panel, which will provide those who have been challenged by addiction, with the opportunity to share their experiences and help promote change.

“Not only will this panel enhance the voices of those with lived experience, but it will also help Turning Point to keep improving its services.”

“Lived experience expertise helps us to shape decisions about healthcare, leading to improved client outcomes and experience. Sharing one’s story of lived experience can be validating and empowering for the individual and a source of hope for others.” 

Karen is also responsible for facilitating opportunities for volunteers to work at Turning Point.

What is the culture like at Turning Point?

Since starting at Turning Point, Karen has enjoyed working alongside colleagues across the organisation.

“It’s brilliant to have so many people under one roof with differing expertise. People are very passionate about what they do and are dedicated to creating change. Turning Point is a wonderful place for professional development.”

Want to work at Turning Point? We currently have several amazing opportunities which you can view here.