Forging Your Own Path

Back yourself and don’t ask for permission

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As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, I’m honoured to share the incredible work and leadership of Pauline Toussaint — a woman who continues to challenge the status quo and dedicates her life to empowering others.

Pauline wears many hats. She is currently the Belonging Lead at FSP, founder of Time To Heal Directory, mentor and coach, and a mother to two beautiful daughters.

Working for a company I’ve worked closely with over the years, her role at FSP encompasses inclusion with a mission to make sure every employee can bring their authentic selves to work.

After the tragic murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, Pauline felt she had something to offer in order to make a change for the treatment of Black people in Britain. She founded Time To Heal to help young people and families with mental health struggles through counselling and mentoring. While currently based in Reading, Pauline has a vision to make Time To Heal a national presence.

Getting help is not easy. Far too many young people grapple with mental health issues every day, especially in schools where there are various peer pressures. Though some of them may receive help, they often return home to an environment that that is less than supportive of their issues. Pauline envisions a holistic approach to therapy, personalising it and staying in touch with the families for many years.

Pauline has learned maybe the hard way that positive relationships with all those around you makes you a winner every day.

Most importantly, she understands the importance of overcoming obstacles. As someone who has experienced trauma in her own family and childhood, she began to experience breakdowns, without proper support, and undertook a journey of healing at 20 years old.

It was when she became a single mother to two beautiful daughters that she embraced self-development. On a mission to be the best mother possible, she found herself in accounting to support her family, working her way up from credit controls to Finance Director. By waking up every day at six in the morning to study (evenings were family time) she managed to pass the accounting qualifications in three years.

Despite her impressive accomplishments, self-doubt occasionally crept in. She faced imposter syndrome, a challenge many Black people can relate to. Yet, she persevered, reminding herself that she deserved to be in the room; she wasn’t just good at the job, she was the best person for the team. Pauline is not afraid of failure – as we all learn more from failure than we do from success.

Her story came full circle when she won a reward at an event to take part in coaching lessons which would enable her to help others. Alongside this, Pauline became a fully trained Psychotherapist. She knew firsthand how important feeling seen, heard, and supported was. Her coaching is unmatched, brought to life with vulnerability and personal experiences.

The Time To Heal Directory strives to be more than just a service; it seeks to be a consistent support system. Traditional therapy often has an endpoint, but Pauline knows that ongoing support is key to lasting change, even into adulthood. Her future plans include working with schools to help even more young people find their sense of belonging.

She’s the perfect example of doing what you love with passion and purpose. Once you have a taste of your purpose, it will never leave you. Her mission has just begun, now is the time to support our Sistas — we are stronger together.

Love one another.


Thought for the Week:

Back yourself and don’t ask for permission.


Top Tips for Becoming an A Player:

  • Our greatest leaders emerge from the darkest moments.
  • Caring is priceless.
  • Every volunteer is worth 100 devil’s advocates.
  • Never underestimate the power of communication.
  • Back yourself even more.

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