Member Blog : Olivia Baxter

March 1, 2024

“I love working with member charities”

Olivia Baxter joined the ILM in January as the new full-time Membership & Governance Officer, a role that sees her supporting members and overseeing training requirements. With a keen interest in the charity sector, Olivia tells us more about her career to date and why she loves being part of the team.

Before joining the ILM, I worked at The Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy (SIP) in Bristol, for about five years. It’s a registered charity run by its members and provides training and therapy services.

While a much smaller, niche organisation than the ILM, it was really interesting and my job included managing the office, supporting members, being involved in consultations and referral services, and working with local organisations to try and further the provision of therapy.

I came over from New Zealand about eight years ago and had worked in the software and travel industries, so the SIP was my first experience of the charity world.

When it was time to start looking for a new job in late 2023, the idea of returning to the private sector just didn’t appeal, so I was delighted to be offered the chance to join the ILM.

Working remotely is something that suits me much more than being in an office – I find it makes the day more manageable and because of that, I enjoy it much more. I feel I am thriving in what I’m doing now, I love working with a lot of charities and my view is that if you are doing something good then it makes it more enjoyable too.

Everyone has been so lovely and encouraging, it’s been nice seeing how the corporate partners get involved with the webinars and events – I was quite involved in events before, as the SIP ran public lectures with psychoanalysts from all over the world – and that’s something I really enjoy.

At the moment, I’m arranging a series of lunches with corporate partners, members and trustees and it will be good to meet people both there and at the conference in May.

The membership aspects are quite similar to what I was doing before, although here there’s more involvement in training and liaising with members doing their CiCLA and Diploma courses, plus interacting on the WhatsApp channel.

I’m very systems and data oriented and one of my projects is to review internal systems and practices; focusing on how we store and report data, and how we can use it to identify patterns which will give us a better understanding both of who our members are, and how to best support them moving forward.

I’ve also joined the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) working group led by Becky Billen. In the psychoanalytic world, understanding what diversity is, where it is and how it manifests itself; was always identified as a problem, so it will be interesting to find out more about how the ILM manages diversity issues.

I’m also very much looking forward to attending the conference and, in the meantime, if anyone wants to ask me any questions, I’ll do my best to help. If there’s anything I can’t answer straight away, then I have some lovely colleagues I can talk to.

When I’m not working, I’m quite a sedate person (at least in winter), and most of my downtime is all about books and films – I’m currently reading Silent Assassin and am a Nicholas Cage fan too. In the summer I’m a bit more active and living in Bristol means I try to get across to Wales to enjoy the beaches and even a spot of surfing – when it’s warmer!


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