I have always been passionate about helping children and young people, and I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had to work with them.
Initially, I started out in Youth Work within children's residential settings, where I built up my experience and skills in supporting young people who were facing a range of difficulties, predominantly SEMH. It was an incredible opportunity to really get under the skin of each child's situation, and to help them make sense of their world. This experience gave me my key value drivers I still hold to this day.
I loved seeing the positive changes in them as they gained confidence and grew into young adults. It was a privilege to be part of that journey and it made me realise that this is what I want to do with my life.
Now I'm sharing that expertise with schools via Milestone Training. I can continue helping education staff to build positive relationships with young people and change their lives for the better. It never feels like work when you love doing what you do.
Life Before Training
When I finished school, like most, I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I took a job in Procurement, but I found it so dull that I had to constantly keep an eye on the clock!
As much as that taught me what I didn't want, I quickly realised I wanted to work with people that really need support, specifically children who might not have had the best start to life. This sort of work resonated with me.
I volunteered in many roles and took part in charitable events for young people, which ultimately led me to a job within youth work. After that, I found myself as a Residential Children's Worker looking after children between the ages of 10 and 18. Over the course of 17 years in the education and care sector, I have been promoted to various management roles and I certainly don't clock watch anymore!
What key information about SEND should education staff be aware of?
The truth is that a diagnosis won't tell you everything. The first step to understanding a child with behavioural challenges is to understand what's behind those behaviours.
Behavioural difficulties can be caused by a number of different things; medical conditions, mental health issues, family dynamics, environmental factors, trauma, abuse or learning disabilities.
Once you know why the behaviour is happening, it becomes much easier to create an individualised care plan for each child. Unfortunately, not all of that information comes from a diagnosis.
I am a qualified Instructor with various NVQs and work-based training relating to Education and Residential Care.
We had training with five members of staff and it was excellent. I enjoyed the course content and opportunities to relate to school experience.