blogAs the Founder and Director or La Linguistica, a global consultancy in wellbeing, health and education, I would like to share some insights into my values and background. When hiring a consultant, I believe personal qualities should be considered alongside qualifications and expertise. CV’s are insightful, but I advocate for taking genuine time to get to know people! I am British-born and attended traditional English schools in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Growing up with a father working overseas, and a mother in early years’ education (who later became entrepreneurs), I have always been fascinated by the world. I first travelled abroad as a child to Majorca, then to France, Germany, Cyprus and Turkey. Prior to University I spent a summer working in the Canary Islands and learnt Spanish through conversing with native speakers, and later, formal study.

I completed my first degree, in Politics, at Royal Holloway, University of London (2005). Here, I won a place on an exchange year to Australia, where I studied International Relations from the Asia-Pacific perspective. I travelled extensively with trips including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Dubai. In my third year I took part in a University visit to financial and political institutions including the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, and the EU Parliament and Commissions in Belgium, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Gaining an insight into European decision making influenced my interest in strategy and systems. I completed my dissertation on Indigenous Politics in Ecuador, and researched maternal health in Central and South American contexts. In my final year at University I became a Youth Committee Coordinator with United Nations Associations, and a Model United Nations lead delegate. I held these positions in The Netherlands, Spain and the UK and attended the XVI World AIDS conference in Toronto, where I was invited to discuss patient and youth engagement with PEPFAR- The U.S. President’s Emergency Relief Plan for AIDS. In Barcelona I coordinated committees in the East-West dialogue, an initiative led by the Governments of Spain and Turkey. I also travelled to the Dominican Republic and experienced life outside of the tourist resorts.

After University I moved to London for six years and enjoyed life in Pimlico and Belgravia. I began a placement with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, providing insights into the British health and education systems, and attending diplomatic events with the Education Attaché. I also studied ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ at SOAS. I have a real heart for helping people and in 2006 I secured a post as a Fundraiser and children’s worker with a charity providing specialist support for families living with HIV/AIDS. Every individual I worked with taught me a significant amount about resilience and challenging stigma.

I was honoured to lead a youth delegation to the first European Keyworker conference on HIV in Switzerland, influencing European health and pharmaceutical policies. I completed a postgraduate diploma in HIV/AIDS, with research including the feasibility of microbicide implementation. I was Headhunted for a role in the National Health Service (NHS), co-ordinating a chlamydia screening programme. I completed my Masters degree at the London School of Economics, with a focus on community participation in health, and global disease prevention (MSc Health, Community and Development, LSE, 2009). I was delighted for the women who took part in my dissertation, on the psychosocial impact of HIV in pregnancy, when the research was used by the All Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDS to lobby for changes in social care. I was appointed as the Western European Coordinator for the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS and contributed to the UN General Assembly Special Review on HIV/AIDS. I was invited as a guest speaker at a HIV/AIDS conference in Albania liaising with UN and Government representatives.

In May 2009 my beautiful son was born and I moved back to the North of England. Being a parent is a fascinating insight into human development. After maternity leave, I was appointed as a Community Development Team Leader, managing multi-lingual staff to deliver a national race equality mental health programme across Teesside. Our team were nominated for an equality and diversity award. In 2011 I re-joined the NHS in Public Health, developing and commissioning multi-million-pound health and wellbeing services including School Nursing. I thrive on innovation and won national awards two years running for Dry January campaigns (alcohol-free month). In this post I was able to influence education, commissioning School Nursing services, contributing to a parliamentary inquiry on PSHE teaching and participating in a Department for Education exchange. My travels continued, including Monaco, France and Italy, although this time for leisure.Time to relax is of course essential for positive wellbeing!

Reflecting on experience, I realise how fortunate we are in the United Kingdom in terms of democracy, and standards in health, wellbeing and education. I believe these standards can benefit services worldwide, although it is not to say that all systems in the UK are perfect. Supporting my child through parental separation and family bereavement at an early age, was an in-depth journey into child emotions, exposing parts of the system which were less than ideal. I supported my son to explore emotional goals and together we developed ‘The Wellbeing Alphabet™’ a creative approach to positive emotional wellbeing. Although now being promoted worldwide which is an enormous honour, ‘The Wellbeing Alphabet™’ is so much more than job for me. It is part of me, part of my experience, my emotion, and my heart. It is something which I truly believe is needed in schools, homes and health services worldwide. When I conceived the idea of developing the approach into a programme, I dreamt of being able to support children globally. This year, being approved as a supporting member of The Council of British International Schools, and presenting on pupil wellbeing in primary education is literally the realisation of a dream!

Finally, people often ask what my consultancy ‘specialism’ is. It is a question which is not straightforward because my experience and expertise is broad. I am equally confident designing new services, to global lobbying and strategy. Children are a great joy to me, I believe in education and equality for all. I am blessed that my son is incredibly intelligent, creative and confident- he opens my eyes to new ways of thinking each day and educates me in resilience through a child’s eyes, a child’s thought’s and a child’s voice. For me, these genuine experiences need a global platform to set the direction of policy and legislation in wellbeing, health and education. I am conscious that each decision made by my generation, the ‘millennials’, and others, will have an impact on the next generation of leaders.

I do not claim to have all the answers, but what I promise is that I commit all of my capability to delivering positive, meaningful outcomes. Whatever I am working on, I take the subject on board with intensity and integrity. I am a perfectionist in health, wellbeing and education standards because I care about how services affect people. I thrive on innovation and revel in the challenge of problem solving. I am fearless and will challenge systems, not to challenge people, but to bring justice. When I consider every individual throughout history who has inspired me, I know that change is only accelerated through action. I have not shared every detail of my life, but I can tell you that I am a fighter, in the diplomatic not the physical sense of the word! I work tirelessly to achieve outcomes and if I reach a barrier, I develop a solution. Raised by entrepreneurs, I have the ability to advise on directing wealth into social change, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. If you are not convinced, please contact me on Nathalie@lalinguistica.com I will happily discuss subjects at length and answer any questions you have. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Wishes and Happy Sunday!

Nathalie Carter, B.A, MSC, PGDip, PGCert, PTLLS.

Director and Founder, La Linguistica and The Wellbeing Alphabet™