Recently news reached us that our founding member Jacqui Atkinson [Knott] has passed away. Despite some health issues her passing was unexpected.
For many of you Jacqui’s name will be a familiar one. She was one of the people who helped spread online therapy in the UK.
She was involved with OCTIA from the beginning. And was its chair for many years. Somehow she made everything run smoothly and she had a big book with all the details you could ever imagine.
Jacqui was one of the founding members of ACTO and helped set up the association. She gave a lot of her free time to make sure other online therapists had resources to turn to.
To many others she was the first online counsellor they came into contact with as for many years she was campus counsellor for OLT. She helped countless students overcome their initial fear of working online with text, and in the process showing them what was possible in an email and what not. I know many of you will remember her fondly for that.
Maybe even more important, Jacqui was a wonderful person. Always warm and friendly and interested in how you and your family were doing. Always there with help and advice.
At the end of this I do want to share my personal experience of Jacqui. I knew her first as a counsellor as I was one of those students that felt greatly comforted through working with her. A little later we became co-workers and it was such a joy to work with her. When the yearly conferences drew near Jacqui would forget her own nerves and calm me down and say it would all work out on the day. Through working so closely together we became friends. I will never forget the few days I spend with Jacqui in John in Swansea in 2015. The conversations and the sightseeing trips we took.
Jacqui will be sorely missed as a counsellor and a friend. We missed her this year in Edinburgh and it will feel even stranger not having her around for the 10th conference in 2018.