Mr Matei Vlad Dudu
Specialist Social Worker
What was your experience before starting at GIDS?
I have been working with children and families for over 13 years; I delivered community based projects in Europe supporting Rroma children and their families for a couple of years and since I came to Britain I worked in Child Protection Teams and in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams. I also did some work with Gendered Intelligence Charity organising support groups for gender variant and trans children and young people. I also volunteer for charities in Eastern Europe that are supporting Trans people.
Where are you based?
I am based in the Leeds Team but I often travel to London and all over UK if needed.
What interested you about working in GIDS?
I wanted to work for GIDS to help and support children and families through their journey but I don't mean this in a patronising way, what I really want is to listen to each story and celebrate the uniqueness and awesomeness of gender variance! I love being part of outreach meetings where everyone (professionals and family) is sitting around the table so we all have a say about how things should be planned. I also love organising support groups.
What do you see as the most important aspect of your work?
It’s like a puzzle really – all aspects are important – but one aspect that I am drawn to is how we transfer knowledge to local networks so young people and their families can be supported and their story is validated in the community that they live in.
I am interested in working with parents, siblings and significant others of gender variant children and young people. Allies are important!
What advice would you give to someone coming to their first appointment?
If I could give advice to someone coming to their first appointment with me, I'd tell them to come prepared and write on a piece of paper what they wanted to find out. I always ask at the first appointment “what are your hopes, what would you like to achieve in coming to see me”.
Do you have a favourite book?
As a child, I loved Marry Poppins books – far better than the movie. I also find Kate Bornstein quite inspirational in reminding us that we are all delightful people.
Do you have any pets?
I have a ginger tom called Croissant and he is just amazing to be around, he is very funny and talkative and his purring is relaxing me when I am tired or upset.
What is your favourite season?
I am a winter baby so I love the snow but I like to be out and about so it has to be Summer!