Video: My transition to a new life

Samantha West quote (cropped)
20-07-2020

My name is Samantha West and I’m the commercial director for Vinci Facilities.

I just want to tell you a little bit about my story because LionHeart really helped me during my journey.

I am transgendered, which means I transitioned from male to female, both socially, around my family and at work.

A few years ago, I made the announcement to over 400 of my colleagues at work that I was planning to live my life as a woman. I had moved out of the family home - my wife and I had had to tell our children, and I was preparing for the first of three lots of surgery.

It was a huge decision and not without its trauma.

I turned to LionHeart for counselling. For the first time in my life I was talking to someone who didn’t have a vested interest in my life somehow - to be able to talk and just let myself go, the counsellor was just there for me to absolutely offload without worrying about what I was saying. It was such an amazing outlet for me, I actually get emotional just thinking about it.

Now, I feel very lucky. I have got through my transition and I’m very grateful for the support I had. My children are in my life, my family is accepting, myself and my wife are friends, work is great and I’ve had all my surgeries with the NHS.

I’m starting my new life and, with mental health being critical to that success, I owe at least some of that to LionHeart.

Samantha West MRICS is commercial director for Vinci Facilities. She also works to promote diversity and inclusion in industry and volunteers for an LGBT+ committee for the FM sector. She has also advised RICS on transgender policies.

  • Samantha and LionHeart CEO Davina Goodchild will speak at the online RICS Building Surveying Conference on 21 July 2020 
  • LionHeart counselling is free for RICS professionals and their partners, no matter what issue they are facing. Find out more here

Latest Posts

2020
July
20th - Video
June
24th - 'If I can do it, so can you'
22nd - How to ace your APC interview online
8th - Help! I've been referred... what now?
3rd - Your coronavirus concerns, and how we're helping
May
12th - How coronavirus might be affecting your mental health
12th - Managing health anxiety through Covid-19 - and how we helped Mike
March
31st - Rising to the coronavirus challenge
24th - Keep connecting - in a different way
13th - Demonstrating our impact
February
4th - The Big C and grabbing life
4th - "Cancer wasn't meant to happen to us"
January
30th - My journey as a charity trustee
7th - Top 10 tips for CVs and interviews
2019
December
9th - Grief and loss at Christmas
November
7th - Charity trusteeship
6th - How counselling can help manage stress
October
9th - Living with anxiety and depression
July
10th - How coaching can help
May
16th - Changing attitudes to mental health
15th - The vicious circle of body image & mental health
14th - Social Anxiety & how we can help
April
11th - Life with Parkinson's
March
29th - What is Bipolar?
29th - The one about the Bipolar surveyor...
12th - Memory tips from the training front line
January
22nd - Losing a parent
8th - Frequently asked questions about LionHeart
2018
December
7th - LionHeart's support was a game-changer when I failed APC
August
16th - When the reality of motherhood doesn't quite go to plan
July
10th - The story behind surveying's Sisterhood Summit
2nd - The rollercoaster of being a first-time dad
June
22nd - My father's suicide and what I've learnt
14th - Tips for your RICS APC final assessment interview
7th - Trust in the charity sector
May
21st - Is it really okay to not be okay?
April
17th - Building resilience through your APC
January
8th - 7 ways to get more active this year
2017
December
4th - Coping with loss and grief at Christmas
October
5th - "I was told I might not be cut out to be a surveyor"
September
26th - Resilience, and why we need it
August
21st - APC Revision Top Ten Tips
July
12th - LionHeart on new fundraising code of practice
June
19th - Living with 'invisible' illness
14th - How LionHeart helped us live life
13th - Men's Health Week 2017
May
22nd - Living with panic attacks
18th - Why we must care about work life balance
11th - The chicken-and-egg of mental health and shame
February
2nd - What I learnt from Dry January
January
31st - "My 19-year journey to MRICS is what made me"
5th - Ways to be kind to yourself in 2017
2016
September
7th - Suicide prevention
August
1st - Coping with APC stress
July
13th - "I constantly watch my husband for suicidal signs"
May
26th - Dealing with referral at APC Final Assessment
19th - How mindfulness can help your relationships
18th - "I live, and thrive, with depression"
17th - Men and mental health
16th - Mental health and your relationship
April
26th - Starting out in surveying
March
11th - A happy retirement
February
1st - My Dry(ish) January
January
21st - Spring clean your finances
6th - When to consider couples counselling
2015
December
4th - Having a (financially) healthier Christmas
November
19th - Identifying and dealing with workplace bullying
18th - How to help a loved one with an addiction
June
15th - Reflections on the Lionheart Surveyors’ Football League season
12th - Carers
10th - How LionHeart can support carers
9th - Desktop Relaxation techniques
May
29th - Techniques to help combat anxiety
20th - Helping a family member with depression
18th - Achievements that make a difference
16th - Five things that may indicate your colleague needs help
11th - Helping during a panic attack
Helpline 0800 009 2960           or 0121 289 3300