NewVIc counsellor helps students discover their true potential

NewVIc counsellor

NewVIc student counsellor Desmond Channer - Credit: NewVIc

NewVIc student and staff counsellor Desmond Channer talks about the benefits of counselling, who inspires him and more.

On his work-life
“NewVIc is such a wonderful place to work because of its diversity and inclusivity.

The students here are lively, talented and come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. There is a real sense of community here amongst both staff and students. Working as a student counsellor at NewVIc has been one of the most challenging roles I have held but it is also one of the most rewarding.

The students here are from the same East London streets as me and I hold them in high esteem as I know they have so much to contend with these days.

Although much of my work is with students that are experiencing difficulty in their lives, they being so young have a mature commitment to themselves and a willingness to learn.”

On the most inspiring person he has met
“I have been lucky enough to work with and school with many inspirational figures both past and present but the most inspirational person I have met is my aunt, Dr Doris Channer-Watson.

She was the first prominent black female gynaecologist in the USA in the 1970s. Much of her work was conducted under difficult circumstance but she never complained, only seeing the possibility in others.

From humble beginnings she went on to formulate a number of ground-breaking procedures in her field before returning to Jamaica to care for the poor, the old and the sick in her neighbourhood and on her Island.

She always led by example and was guided by her Christian faith. Her love of humanity has been a central part of my desire to work in the service of those in need.”

On his counselling career
“During my time training to be a counsellor, I worked at a variety of secondary schools with students with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities as a specialist pastoral care professional and Supply Teacher.

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Over the last four years, I have worked as a specialist bereavement counsellor at Bart’s NHS Trust (Whipps Cross Hospital) where I still provide counselling to adolescents (13-24) within the Young Persons Service as well as counselling in the adult service to clients over 25.

Last year, I worked at a High School in Essex as a school counsellor for the 11-19 students there. Currently, I also run my own counselling private practice (Choose Counselling).”

On the effects of counselling on students
“A recent study into to the effects of counselling on the academic performance of college students discovered that 93% of the students found counselling useful. 

According to the study, there was an increase in the average marks by about 15%-25% among 43% of the students.

On college attendance, another study found that students with an attendance of less than 50% in their first term before receiving counselling improved their attendance to 70-75% in second term after counselling.

Further, students with an academic performance of less than 35% in first term before counselling improved their performance to 50-60% in the second term after counselling. 

It is my aspiration and that of the NewVIc Counselling Service to assist students with their attendance, attainment, academic performance and achievement by supporting them and the diverse range of issues they being to the service.

I hope that the collaborative work we do will assist them in discovering their true potential in their live journeys.”

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