Reigniting the South West Branch of the BDA

Polly's background is in mental health and eating disorders. She hopes to raise the profile of dietitians in coordinated patient care through her volunteer role at the BDA and as part of her paid role at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Twitter: @Polly88Taylor
Instagram: @PollyTaylorBDA

By Polly Taylor

Chair of the South West Branch of the BDA and Eating Disorders Dietetic Lead for Somerset

After a period of inactivity, we are delighted to say that the South West Branch of the BDA is having life breathed back into it – and we need your help!

“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to reinvigorate life back into the South West Branch of the British Dietetic Association. Our goals are to build links between departments and specialities, both inside and outside of the NHS, to provide more opportunities for networking and strategic development within services and CPD in terms of knowledge and experience.

I have worked for the past 10 years as the Dietetic Lead for Eating Disorders in Somerset, and previously worked in locum roles all around the UK in different specialities, in both general and mental health. I have also spent some time working privately, as an elected staff governor, and for the CQC.
I look forward to connecting with all the members of the BDA in the South West, so please do feel free to contact me with any ideas you would like to voice”. Polly, Chair

Meet the commitee

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Becky Dunigan - Treasurer

Becky graduated from Plymouth University in 2018 and is currently based at North Bristol Trust working with the acute renal team.  For the South West BDA branch, Becky will be helping to plan projects and events, as well as ensuring all income and expenditure is budgeted for.

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Katie Williams - Secretary

Katie graduated from Coventry University in 2016 and has worked across Diabetes, Renal and Critical Care. She is currently the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) AHP Faculty Programme Manager and will be on an accompanying Research Associate post. 

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Gemma Collins – Secretary

Gemma qualified as a Dietitian in 2004. She has worked in NHS trusts across the South West including Wiltshire Health and Care in Home Enteral Feeding and CAMHS ED.  She is now Head of Nutrition and Dietetics at Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health
Partnership Trust.

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April Aslett - Social Media Lead

April is studying dietetics at the University of Plymouth. After a seven-year career in the Band Service of HM Royal Marines, she retrained as a personal trainer and yoga teacher. She is particularly interested in mental health, sports and defence nutrition. 


The two core themes of the BDA that we feel are central to our role as a branch are Community and Belonging and Workforce Support.

You can find us on Instagram and Twitter and if you have anything you would like to share with us, please get in touch.

X and Instagram: @bda_southwest

More information on the BDA website here: