South West of England Branch
Our aim is to create a lively, informative and supportive network of Psychologists to bring Psychology to all our members (students, academics, practitioners) and the wider public.
How the South West Branch operates
The Branch covers a large area from Bristol in the north, Cornwall and the islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the south; and to the east we border on the Wessex Branch in Dorset.
Coordinating activities over such an area requires a structure that guides the strategy of what we do (by the co-ordinating working groups) and local activities (by the Hubs).
Mindful of wishing to support members during every stage of their journey in the study and application of psychology we have four co-ordinating working groups.
Hello and welcome to the South West of England Branch.
The branch represents over 3,600 psychologists and stretches from Bristol in the north to Cornwall and the islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the south.
I am delighted to say that our committee has Hubs representing all these areas so you will not be too far away from a local group.
We are keen on collaboration in the south-west working with the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP), and the Division of Coaching Psychology (DCoP) in the South West and with neighbouring branches in Wessex, West Midlands, Wales and further afield in the North West of England.
As a group all the branches communicate through a Branches Forum.
I joined the branch in February 2019 when I moved from Sheffield to Devon. I became chair in November 2019.
We have a lively branch that is keen to be involved in a wide range of psychological activities. For example, following our successful gathering focusing on poverty in January 2021 (see South West Review Spring 2021) we are planning our next multidisciplinary event on Homelessness not hopelessness in May 2022 – see the events section for further details.
The branch reviews its activities at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and our next AGM is scheduled as a virtual meeting on Tuesday 15 November 2022 beginning at 17.00. As a BPS member you will receive an invitation to this event.
We are seeking new committee members at the AGM so please get in touch through links in our e-newsletter to find out more about the roles available
Over the last 22 months we have been developing a strategy for the support of psychologists in the south-west featuring forward planning, engagement, and empowerment.
These facets guide our activities and over these pages you will see the things we are doing:
- helping undergraduates and postgraduates build their knowledge and practice
- offer career coaching and mentoring enabling psychologists to make informed career decisions
- enabling continuous professional development for all grades of psychologists
- collaborating and supporting activities in our communities.
Student Experience are working with schools, colleges, and universities to increase student membership and engagement, and to collaborate with psychology teachers and lecturers. Key aims are to: raise awareness of student and teacher benefits, including available bursaries; bring together BPS student representatives to make the role more meaningful; and encourage progression from A level/GCSE psychology to further study and career.
Career Development continues to support psychologists in their career journey after leaving higher education on to developing as senior members of their applied speciality. The group aims to foster and support expertise across a range of applied areas of speciality; supporting continuous professional development. This group is developing a career mentoring and coaching community.
Community Outreach has been established to work with local communities promoting the value and use of psychology. Its aim is to join with other community groups and organisations to sustain and develop initiatives aimed at public support and development.
Our Hubs operate in the following geographic areas:
- Exeter – this Hub is reforming during 2022
During Covid-19 restrictions Hubs were working on virtual interactions to engage members. With restrictions easing we are cautiously reintroducing face to face events but will continue to maintain some networking activities online.
How can I contribute to the SW Branch?
We are keen to establish other local groups (Hubs) and maybe you would like to help us do this? Or perhaps you would like to join a co-ordinating working group and contribute to Branch activities? No matter what, we would encourage you all to get as actively involved as you can.
In particular, we are looking for:
- Contributions for our newsletter - articles, photographs, or events, etc
- Event updates - what’s going on in your local area? Do you have any suggestions?
- Website updates - let us know if you would like to share information with others
If you have any comments, queries, or would like to help us out please email us
The branch has established a career coaching and mentoring community.
The first phase of our work began in April with experienced mentors offering one to one career coaching and mentoring sessions (up to three sessions of 60 minutes). This work is currently being provided online and will be carefully evaluated to tailor an approach suited to member needs. The first cohort are finding the sessions immensely useful and will be involved in developing our next steps.
Phase two will involve training new mentors who will support the next cohort of mentees. All mentor development will be sustained by individual mentor coaching (supervision). We are exploring offering a range of coaching and mentoring sessions (one-to-one, spot mentoring and group mentoring).
Our second cohort of mentees are now receiving their career coaching and mentoring sessions (two one-to-one sessions of 60 minutes followed by a group session). We will begin our mentor training and coaching in October 2021.
What is in it for me?
Opportunity to be part of a leading-edge psychological theory and practice approach that mixes mentoring and coaching in our support to our mentees, so final outcomes are more meaningful to the mentee;
Support to our mentors with training and ongoing development through our mentor coaching (supervision) offer. Given that Mentoring Supervision is not as widely implemented in organisations this is an opportunity to broaden your skills and experience outside the workplace;
To be involved in a mentoring and coaching community seeking to enable all psychologists and trainees to reach their potential;
Being involved in the grassroots development of the Society’s the BPS Mentoring Programme to inform the way forward and feedback lessons learned to the wider Steering group.
Comment from James Goodwin BPS Careers Manager: 'Coaching and mentoring can make a significant impact upon an individual’s career development. The Career Coaching and Mentoring Community established by the South West Branch is an evidence-based example of practise that the careers team within the BPS are keen to encourage members to engage with.'
Get involved in our community by coming to a networking event or contact us directly.
We are looking for mentors and mentees to be involved in development, training, and delivery – please get in touch to talk to us more
Awards & funding
Bursary Scheme for Members
The South West of England Branch committee are pleased to be able to offer a number of Bursaries for its membership to attend BPS conferences and CPD (continuing professional development) workshops.
Bursaries will cover fees; however, accommodation and travel costs will not be covered. Applicants would be required to arrange cover for any accommodation and travel costs.
The South West of England Branch intends for the bursaries to offer colleagues support and the opportunity for attending conferences or workshops which may contribute to aspects of their professional and/or academic development. It is not the Branch committee’s intention to substitute any responsibility from an employer to support their continuing professional development, but to offer the bursary in cases where the member does not have the financial resources.
The completed form should then be returned at least three weeks before the event.
How to apply
All applications should be submitted electronically to [email protected].
Please note that if you are successful in obtaining a bursary and then fail to attend the event without evidence of acceptable extenuating (non-work related) circumstances, then you will be charged the cost price for the place. This is to avoid the Branch paying fees for colleagues who then choose simply not to attend. This incurs an unrecoverable cost to the Branch membership.
We look forward to receiving your applications.
For further information about the bursaries please contact the South West Branch Chair.
- Bursary awards are limited to one per individual in any one calendar year
- Following the event, the applicant must submit a reflective or evaluative piece for publication in the Branch newsletter. This should summarise your experience and the benefits (or otherwise) or attendance at the event. This will need to be between 400-500 words, and completed within three weeks of attendance at the event. Further details relating to the publication will be made available to successful applicants.
- The applicant must be a member of the South West of England Branch.
- The applicant must identify a rationale of between 150 and 200 words as to how attending the conference/workshop will contribute to their development.
- Download the South West Branch Bursary Application Form (member only) (please note you must be signed-in to access this file)
Chair / Career Development Coordination Working Group Lead: Angela Carter
Past Chair: Vacant
Honorary Secretary: Harry Rowley
Honorary Treasurer / E-Newsletter Editor: Antreas Anthimou ([email protected])
Bath Hub Lead: Alex MacLellan
Bristol Hub member and Gathering Lead 2022: Zoe Thomas
Communications Officer / Jersey Hub Lead: Christopher Journeaux
Committee Member and Exeter Hub Lead: Shokraneh Oftadeh Moghadam
Guernsey Hub Lead / Career Path Coordination Working Group Lead: Ben Newell
Committee Member and Undergraduate Conference Organiser: Sarah Chestnutt
E-Newsletter Editor: Daisy Foster ([email protected])
E-Newsletter Co-Editor: Susannah Westbrook ([email protected])
Bristol Hub Lead: Steve Heigham
Committee Member, Plymouth Hub Lead and Undergraduate Representative: Louise Crichton
Truro Hub Lead / Community Outreach Coordinator Working Group Lead: Stella Woods
PsyPag Representative: Vacant
Committee Member and Career Development Working Group Lead: Dawn Gosden
When you join the BPS you are automatically made a member of your local branch.
The South West of England Branch covers the following areas/postcodes:
- Bath (BA)
- Bristol (BS)
- Exeter (EX)
- Guernsey (GY)
- Jersey (JE)
- Plymouth (PL)
- Torquay (TQ)
- Truro (TR)
- Taunton (TA)
Benefits of belonging
The South West of England Branch uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues.
By becoming a member of the Branch you are automatically added to the announcement list.
To receive these emails you will need to:
- become a member of the South West of England Branch
- opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address
These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.
If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services
To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'BPS South West of England Branch announcement email' in the subject line.
The South West of England Branch relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Branch is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.
Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or in-training members, and together form an open and inclusive community.