Dr Alice Baldwin 1979-2016

An appreciation.

It is with enormous sadness that we announce the untimely death of our dear friend, exceptional clinician, and dedicated child therapist Alice who passed away in December, 18 months after being diagnosed with an ocular melanoma. With typical dedication to the children and families she worked with, Alice continued working in her post at the Anna Freud Centre up until the final weeks before her death.

Alice qualified from the University of Hull doctorate program in 2003 at the age of just 24, having been inspired by her family members from a very young age to pursue her career in psychology.

Very early in her career Alice developed her passion for supporting the most vulnerable children and young people; working in child protection with looked after and adopted children. To every clinical service she worked within she bought her exceptional intelligence and ability for clear thinking, combined with her wonderful humanity and sense of justice. Her passion for improving the lives of children and families was inspiring to all those who worked with her.

Moving to Australia in 2005, Alice continued her clinical endeavours to improve the lives of young people within mental health services in Sydney, where her compassion and clinical acumen was highly valued by service users and colleagues alike. As one young person who contacted the service some years after being treated by Alice wrote; “At the time [I saw you] I was depressed, suicidal and didn’t like who I was – you helped me change that. I honestly never saw myself finishing school or having a chance at a happy life. I have recently finished school and received my Higher School Certificate. I have been accepted into university for a Bachelor of Primary Education, however am first taking a year off to travel. I absolutely love life and everything it has to offer. I want to thank you for helping me turn my life around because I truly have never been happier.”

In 2014 Alice made the decision to return to London to work for the Anna Freud Centre's Early Years Parenting Unit – an assessment and treatment service for parents with personality disorders and their under-5 children on the edge of care. Alice was not just an accomplished clinician; she was also able to bring herself in a genuine, curious way to the work with parents and children at the EYPU. Her down to earth approach, her capacity for self-reflection, and her inability to take herself too seriously, made working with her a pleasure. 

Whilst in Australia she had sat her GAMSAT exams and shortly before her primary cancer diagnosis Alice had been offered a provisional place to study medicine at one of London's top teaching hospitals. She had planned to continue her endeavours to improve the lives of young people through the application of her psychological knowledge and therapeutic skill in the field of medicine.

Alice's strengths as a clinician and therapist were underpinned by her deep humanity and connectedness to those around her. This meant she formed deep and long lasting relationships with those around her; professionally in terms of shaping the therapeutic practice and philosophical outlook of all her trainees and supervisees, and personally in the strength of her friendships across both continents.

Alice's death leaves a great hole in the lives of her family, her many friends and colleagues and all those who knew and loved her. She is survived by her mother Lynette, father Verrill and siblings Henry, James and Mary. 

Dr Jenny Nicholson, Clinical Psychologist

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