Meet the Eating Disorder and Research Associate: Hannah Hickinbotham

Hannah is an Eating Disorder and Research Associate here at Orri. As well as supporting the clients attending our online programme, she also works closely with Dr Paul Robinson, our Director of Research & Development, to collect outcome data and ensure our service is ever-response to the needs and feedback of our clients and their families.

Find out more about Hannah, her role, and her passion for recovery below…

Can you take a moment to introduce yourself?

I’m Hannah (she/her) and whilst I am originally from Leicestershire, I now live in the beautiful city of Cambridge and have done for 2 years! I work as part of the online team, being the clients main port of call for any questions or concerns they may have online!

How long have you been an Eating Disorder Associate (EDA) for and what were you doing before Orri?

I have been at Orri since July 2021! Before I was working as a clinical trial associate but have always wanted to work in eating disorders.

How would you describe your role to people outside Orri?

My role at Orri has two parts, one being the online EDA and the other is working as the research associate. The EDA part of my role involves organising the online timetable, ensuring the content is relevant for clients, being the main point of contact for clients with queries or concerns, and providing a happy face to the online service.

The research element of my role is fundamentally to understand our current service, and how we can improve this to ensure clients are receiving individualised, appropriate treatment which is the most beneficial for their recovery.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love the development side of things, understanding how we can improve the service we provide to clients to make sure they get the most out of their treatment during their time at Orri.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your role?

Not always being able to provide the answer, and instead supporting clients with finding their own answer in recovery.

What do you feel is most unique about Orri?

The individual support which is tailored to the client. It’s so important that we see the client and not the diagnosis.

Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?

Scrapbooking, powerlifting, and spending time with my family and friends.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” from a Cinderella Story!

Do you have a mental health hero?

Either Demi Lovato or Rae Earl (From My Mad Fat Diary).

Why did you decide to work in mental health?

My personal experience inspired me to want to help others.If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?

“Take it slow and be compassionate with yourself. It didn’t just happen, so it won’t be as simple as talking about it once and that’s it.”

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