Georgia Preece, Research Assistant, Money and Mental Health.
Introducing: Georgia Preece
1 February 2021
Two years ago I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be starting a new job from home. I’ve started to get to know the team and my role through video calls, while my dogs occasionally pop in to see what I’m up to.
I was a bit nervous about starting at the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute during the pandemic and what it would mean for me, but the team has really put me at ease. They’ve really helped me to adapt to a new environment, while keeping safe, which I’m very grateful for. I’ve been spending some time working on my own wellbeing plan for work, which has been really useful in helping me to understand my own mental health and forcing myself to be honest with what works for me, and ultimately, what doesn’t.
My background so far
I have had a personal interest in the link between financial and mental health for a while, and I was made more aware of it when I interned at the Personal Finance Research Centre in Bristol, just before starting my Masters. In my Masters degree, I was able to really explore some topics that mattered to me, including financial exclusion, health and disability. My dissertation focused on experiences of health and healthcare in East London, where I was able to discuss what improvements people wanted to see in care and health policy. I was fortunate that people trusted me to talk about issues that really mattered to them: their own health, background and discrimination that they had experienced. Trust forms the foundation of research, especially on topics that matter so much to people.
After finishing my Masters, I went on to briefly work as a support worker in a supported accommodation. This gave me an insight into some of the more nuanced issues surrounding money and mental health and really allowed me to see some of the major barriers to accessing adequate support and resources. I have always wanted to make practical changes for people through my work, and I think that really aligns with the message of Money and Mental Health. Small and practical changes in policy, backed by evidence, can have a huge influence on day to day life.
All too often, it seems that those who are most impacted by the decisions of government are the very same people who are not given an opportunity to influence those decisions to begin with. So, Money and Mental Health’s Research Community was one of the main reasons that I applied for this role. I am truly excited to work for an organisation that focuses on lived experience and centres these voices in their work. I’m keen to continue to amplify the voices of those with lived experience in my work, because ultimately, it provides an expert opinion.
During my time here, I will be starting to focus on health and support services, as well as supporting the team more generally in research. I’m excited to get involved with the work that Money and Mental Health does, and the change that it can make.