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Meet Fran: “I’ve always liked to understand why the brain does what it does, and how our minds work.”

23 September 2022

Meet Fran

Fran joined the Sheffield Children’s team back in July 2021 as an Assistant Psychologist after moving to Sheffield from down south. She’s part of our Paediatric Psychologist department which is made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, and family therapists.  

The Paediatric Psychologist department helps patients and their families when they’re struggling to cope with their conditions or treatment. They don’t just see long-term patients – any child or young person who comes to an outpatient clinic or for a hospital stay due to illness or surgery can be referred to the team for psychological support.

Fran said: “As a teenager I remember my mum buying me a psychology book just because she thought I might like it, and she was absolutely right. I’ve always liked to understand why the brain does what it does, and how our minds work. Pursuing working in mental health, I quickly discovered just how many people with health difficulties are struggling and I decided that’s the area I wanted to focus on. And here I am at Sheffield Children’s today.” 

Fran’s role involves supporting young people and their families who are under oncology and haematology. She might spend time on the ward visiting young people who are in for treatment or carrying out one to one sessions. Fran said: “The appointments are focused on talking about feelings and difficulties, which can be really hard, so sometimes we play games to help while we talk things through, the Lego box is definitely a favourite or we colour while we talk.” 

With Fran having been with us for just over a year we wanted to find out how she’s found joining the Sheffield Children’s team. Fran said: “It’s a real privilege getting to know the families we work with and being on their journeys throughout treatment. I also have absolutely

wonderful colleagues; I like being able to sit in the office and have chats during the day – we all have similar interests in psychology, and we have similar senses of humour, which is needed after a tricky day!”  

When Fran isn’t supporting our patients, she’s off exploring Sheffield and has a very long list of restaurants, coffee shops, parks and places to visit still yet to explore. Fran added: “The peak district is half the reason I moved to Sheffield so I try to go there when I can, anywhere really green, with water, or wildlife – I’m there.” 

Thanks for sharing your story Fran and we think it’s a privilege to have you as part of the Sheffield Children’s team! 

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