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Interview With A Child, Young Person And Adult Counsellor

An Interview with Expert David Gill Discussing His Career as a Counsellor

Name: David Gill

Job Role: Child, Young Person and Adult Counsellor

Things you like to do in your spare time: Music, running/biking, reading, meeting up with friends.

3 children playing on a bongo panel post, glockenspiel panel post, and a shaker panel post, wearing a blue school uniform.

About David Gill...

I am married and have two daughters, a ginger cat and a bearded dragon. I spent 20 years in corporate roles, growing increasingly despondent and dissatisfied in my roles.

Having experienced mental health difficulties, for which I sought support for through counselling which helped me immeasurably, I then realised that I wanted to dedicate my future career and life to helping others in this way. I then spent 4 ½ years training to become a counsellor.

3 children riding on trikes on a roadway whilst another child wearing a blue coat stands on the artificial grass looking at the camera.

Tell us about your roles and why you choose this career?

I currently travel to various primary and secondary schools facilitating counselling, talking therapy and support to children and young people, guide and facilitate positive change in relation to their presenting issues.

Children playing on a trim trail in the sunshine with one boy at the end of the challenge about to jump onto the black and white finish sign.

Alongside this, I also currently have a private practice whereby I counsel adults with a wide range of presenting issues as well providing online and telephone counselling specifically for both young and adult carers. I chose this career as I wanted to make a tangible and meaningful difference in the world and in people’s lives.

2 children both boys stood in front of a large sensory panel with yellow and blue safe turf and a mirror which is attached to the school wall, both children wearing black coats.

What is your aspiration as a counsellor?

I have various aspirations, both short and long term.

Firstly, and most prominently, I want to ensure that I’m always offering the best service I can, as how present and available I am in session with a client can impact on the amount of constructive or positive change facilitated within a client.

2 children, both girls playing in a large mud kitchen wearing red polka dot chef hats, smiling at the camera.

Secondly, I am passionate about keeping abreast of developments within the counselling so I can potentially utilise new methods or practical in my work with clients.

This is also related to my continual professional development, of which I am also very passionate about as the more knowledge of theory and practice I have, the more benefit this will bring to the work I do. This will always be a continual and ongoing process.

3 children, one wearing a yellow top, one wearing a red top and one wearing a blue top, skipping on multi-coloured playground markings in front of the school building.

Why are you passionate about children connecting to nature, especially when at school?

I believe that humans and nature go hand in hand.

By having children connect to nature, particularly when facilitated in an educational setting such as a school, this can not only help foster love and respect for our environment, but the physiological benefits of exercise can also aid children’s mental health and wellbeing. 

3 children wearing yellow tops and one wearing a purple jumper and green gloves, gardening, growing flowers using a planter in front of the school building.

In addition, there is has been many studies with evidence demonstrating that exposure to the natural environment positively affects not just children’s mental health and wellbeing but engages their imagination, curiosity and creativity.

This ultimately impacts on a child’s levels of happiness and contentment, increasing their potential.

One young boy with blonde hair wearing a white polo top looking into a timber bug house with plants attached.

What are the benefits of schools dedicating time to learning and exploring in the outdoors?

Learning and exploring in the outdoors helps children to regulate their mood and relieve depression alongside improving brain function, creativity, self-awareness and emotional awareness.   

Two children wearing blue waterproof suits and wellies using a watering can and sandcastle bucket to pour water down two water channel stands.

During your career, what has been one of your most memorable moments?

Securing my first paid position as a counsellor!

Or

There have been many memorable moments for me, which mainly comprise of when a client has a light bulb moment, or when I have supported a client enabling them to feel better or make positive changes in their life.  

A girl with blonde hair wearing a red summer school dress jumping off a climbing frame that has been installed onto artificial grass placed in front of the school building.

Share with me your ideal outdoor area to support children’s mental health and wellbeing

As I referred to earlier, the benefits of children having access to an outdoor space are infinite.

However, an ideal outdoor area for me would incorporate as many natural elements as possible such as planters with colourful flowers or shrubs and fragrant - equipment made of natural materials such as wood with a variety of textures and tactile areas. 

One young child wearing a red long sleeve top and a green trolly on wheels stood looking at many different coloured flowers in a flower bed.

I think many children benefit from being able to run and climb and express their energy before being challenged or asked to focus on a task.

I often find playing a game such as basketball or doing some ‘heavy work’ with larger building equipment prior to a counselling session allows the child to be ‘ready’ to engage in the session with a more relaxed and calm state of mind.

6 children, 2 boys and 3 girls playing on a trim trail in the sunshine which has been installed onto wet pour surfacing.

What are your favourite Pentagon products and why?

My favourite Pentagon products are the MUGA’s. With the option of timber available, recessed goals and designs that include basketball nets it offers a space that can be adapted for a variety of energy levels where a multitude of equipment, games and activities can be facilitated.

Many children wearing yellow, white and blue school uniform playing on a huge MUGA pitch with football nets and basketball nets.

What is your top tip for educators?

I am not from an educational background and I think educators are faced with challenges daily whilst trying to educate children that are sometimes living in complex families with diverse situations and needs.

The awareness of children’s mental health and well-being has been growing and is more pressing than ever in the times we are currently living in. 

5 children playing on Get Set Go! blocks which have been installed onto artificial grass near to the school building, with two children running past behind the blocks.

Therefore, my only tip would be to try and look after their own and the children’s mental health through an ethos and culture of talking and taking time to talk about feelings, worries and fears. Empathetic approaches and responses are the best. It’s very rarely about solutions, but understanding.

If you would like to transform your outdoor area by installing a MUGA pitch and improve your children's health and overall fitness, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our expert playground consultants. 

We have a fantastic range of School Playground Equipment that fully support the curriculum outdoors.