A ²gether staff member has been called up to the 27-woman training squad for the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.
Occupational Therapist Lydia Thompson, 21, is Social Inclusion Development Worker for the Trust’s South Locality – covering Stroud, Cirencester and the South Cotswolds.
In her role she helps to educate people about mental wellbeing, works with local employers, organisations and voluntary sector services to raise awareness of mental health and ensure access to opportunities for those who use ²gether services. She also works alongside service users and carers to understand their needs and promotes the range of support and advice available to people with mental illness and their carers.
But outside of work she is a winger for Worcester Warriors and made her national debut for England against Spain in the 2012 European Cup. On her debut she scored a hat-trick, with two of her three tries coming within the space of four minutes.
Lydia, who started playing rugby with Stourbridge when she was 13, has so far scored nine tries in nine games for her country. She will join the England training camps for one week each month from January 2014 onwards.
Of her call up to the World Cup training camp, Lydia said: “I am really excited and feel privileged to be part of such a hardworking and talented squad.
“We all balance careers or education alongside our rugby and it takes real commitment to juggle work with the training and dedication required to play sport at such a high level.
“I am also very enthusiastic about the social inclusion team as well as the many services within the ²gether Trust.
“This is a great role and opportunity to work with a variety of individuals and take positive actions towards a socially inclusive community.
“My achievements on the rugby pitch have made me very passionate about supporting others to have the opportunity to engage in meaningful life activities and fulfil their potential.”
Social Inclusion Team manager Rebecca Shute said: “We are all really proud of Lydia’s sporting achievements. The skills and talents she has learnt through her rugby career are a real asset to our team and her role engaging with our local communities. We wish her well with her England training in the New Year.”