‘Saying Goodbye — Reflections on delivering a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) in West Yorkshire / North East England’…

Dr Helen Miles
4 min readFeb 24, 2023
Centrepoint’s Bradford Delivery Hub

24.02.2023: As I write this week’s PIE blog in my role as lead for Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE), at the national youth homeless charity; Centrepoint, I am sad that our team are preparing to say goodbye to one of our colleagues — Dr Jess Guilding (PIE Clinical Psychologist) who leaves at the end of the month. Jess has been an amazing addition to the Centrepoint PIE team, delivering our PIE offer across our northern services in Bradford, Barnsley and Sunderland. Since she joined Centrepoint just after the COVID-19 pandemic, she has worked tirelessly to support staff in this region, promoting and delivering our PIE offer through training, reflective practice and 1:1 consultancy. Jess has also been a very positive member of our team, and I am sure I speak for all my PIE team and Centrepoint colleagues when I say she will be incredibly missed by everyone. However, she is moving on to an amazing new lead role and we sincerely wish her all the best for the future.

Consequently, for this week’s PIE blog, I am going to hand over to Jess, who has written her reflections of her time at Centrepoint and her PIE journey in the North…

‘As I prepare to leave my job as PIE Clinical Psychologist for the northern services I have been reflecting upon the amazing experiences and opportunities I have had during my 2 years at Centrepoint and feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to contribute to Centrepoint’s work.

One of the most inspiring aspects of my time at Centrepoint has been the passion and motivation of the staff. I have been struck by the incredible diversity across the staff members each bringing unique skills, experiences and perspectives. It has been inspiring to work alongside people who care deeply about the young people we support and who are committed to making a difference in their lives.

I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to facilitate reflective practice sessions across the northern services and hearing about how these have positively influenced the work of the staff and the progress of the young people. It has also been wonderful to see so many team members join together and talk openly about the highs and lows of this work and to support each other through both personal and professional challenges.

Far Shay Farm — Bradford Pathway Service

Equally, it would not be a PIE blog without a mention of the importance of our physical environments! It has been really enjoyable and rewarding thinking about how to make the physical environments our young people live in (and we work in) more welcoming and homely. It has been great to hear everyone’s ideas and new projects! We have worked hard to create spaces that are safe and comfortable, and that feel like home to our young people. This has been an important part of our approach to a psychologically informed or trauma-informed practice for the young people but it has also been wonderful to see the positive impact this has had on staff.

It has also been great having the opportunity to develop training around a range of different topics and through these having the opportunity to connect with other staff colleagues who I would not usually have worked with. It feels like there is always more training that can be offered or developed and it has been amazing to see the growth of our PIE training offer over my short time at Centrepoint.

One of the biggest challenges we have faced at Centrepoint is connecting with other services to provide homeless young people in our region with the support they need. It can be challenging to navigate the complex system of services that are available, and there are often gaps in the support that is available. However, despite these challenges, we have begun to make progress in developing closer links in certain areas and continue to consider how we can adapt what we do and our knowledge to support the young people through the services. I have no doubt this will remain a challenge but also that all the teams will continue to work tirelessly to advocate for the homeless young people we work with locally and connect with other services where possible.

Having spent so much time at Centrepoint talking about the importance of relationships and attachment I could not write this blog without thanking my incredible team for all of their support. They have been my ‘secure base’ where I could share both the positives and the challenges of the work without judgement and it was so helpful knowing they would always be there with ideas or just a listening ear.

My time as a PIE Clinical Psychologist at Centrepoint has been a truly rewarding experience. The passion and dedication of the staff, the incredible homeless young people we support, and the progress we have made in a range of PIE areas have all been highlights of my time. I leave with a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this work and Centrepoint’s wider PIE journey, and with the hope that Centrepoint will continue to provide vital support to homeless young people for years to come and achieve our aim to #EndYouthHomelessness by 2037…’

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Dr Helen Miles

Consultant Clinical & Forensic Psychologist & Head of Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) at Centrepoint @orange_madbird