Get to know...
Gregor Purdie – Community Outreach Adviser
My prior professional life was spent almost entirely in the NHS down in the South of England. I joined as a mental health support worker, and then moved through various positions in procurement, finance, and clinical data, before taking up the role of an ‘Improvement & Transformation Specialist’ providing management consultancy to a major specialist hospital and the surrounding healthcare system.
I experienced a personal crisis in 2015, and my life collapsed entirely. I lost almost everything, including myself. I had to move back in with my parents, who have lived in the Haverhill area for around the last 30 years. I gave up on life, but God hadn’t given up on me.
As I began to recover, one of my very first steps back out into the world was by volunteering for Reach as an advisor at the Resource Centre on the Clements estate, which I began in 2018. I had worked for the NHS because I wanted to benefit others and serve the common good, but it was always in roles that were at some distance from the patients themselves. Volunteering for Reach I found a new sense of satisfaction and vocation, being able to help people with their difficulties directly and make more of a beneficial impact on the world. Reach benefited me far more than anyone I helped though, as volunteering began to restore to me some sense of worth and self-respect. The experience with Reach equipped me to rejoin the world of work, and before taking up this post I worked as a Support Worker for young people at risk of homelessness in and around Haverhill. Until recently I lived in a room in a shared house in Haverhill, and now live in one of the outlying villages.
I have a passion for social justice, equity, and inclusion, and a particular interest in the areas of psychology, and addiction. I spend much of my free time sitting beside a field or nestled in a hedgerow and reading, drinking coffee, and thinking about the world around me. Occasionally I write something down. I became involved in the River of Life church through Reach and now attend St Mary’s in Haverhill, where I was confirmed in April 2021 and am now pursuing ministry.