Sandy Reed 1955-2021

A tribute from her husband, Nigel Roberts.

Dr Rooshmie Bhagat, Head of Psychology for Airedale, saw something special in Sandy when he appointed her onto the Leeds Clinical Psychology course in 1981. He was right. She was smart, hard working, optimistic and sociable, and after Leeds she was a popular Child Psychologist at Alder Hey, Airedale again, Mansfield and Central Nottinghamshire, South Cumbria and ultimately West Cumbria.

Sandy's first love was definitely clinical work, followed by training new clinical psychologists (in Cumbria for the Newcastle and Lancaster courses), and she started a number of specialist services, such as to Paediatrics, which were rare in those days, but quite widespread now. Ultimately Sandy rose to Clinical Director level, with a seat on the Board of the Mental Health and Learning Disability Trust, championing the rights of children and young people to have access to counselling and psychological therapies.

Around the mid-1990’s Sandy and I fell in love, and we married in a ceremony overlooking Lake Windermere in 1998. Sandy and I took early retirement at the age of 55, and the way things turned out we were very happy we did. We developed a passion for travelling and looking at wildlife – humpback whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, hammerhead sharks swimming in a sunken volcano on Galapagos, blue whales off Baja, California, fabulous bird life and white water rafting in Costa Rica, cassowaries and the Great Barrier Reef on Eastern Australia.

Five years ago Sandy and I did our biggest ever trip, round the world in three months, including the Grand Canyon (where the photo above was taken) and Australia. And thank goodness we did, because shortly after returning Sandy got ill.
Even then, displaying unbelievable courage and strength, Sandy was far more concerned for those around her, me, her Mum, her brother Steve, and never moaned or complained about what was happening to her.

The end, be assured, was peaceful with no pain or anxiety, and Sandy passed away with me and her brother Steve at her side on 31st October at home in Mill House, Cumbria. The family are just trying to find a way of living without this special star, burning brightly in their lives.

Sandy was liked and admired by scores, if not hundreds of people. A small funeral has taken place in Cumbria, small because of Covid. We plan a much larger celebration of Sandy’s life, when it is safe to do so, hopefully next year in Cumbria, and any Psychologists who knew Sandy would be very welcome to attend.

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