I'm full of beans, really motivational and will always have the welfare and best interests of the people in the team (be that Participant or Group Leader) at heart.
I am Mum to two young ladies. I parented them both on my own and am proud of them both in equal measures for several reasons but mostly for the patience and encouragement they have extended me, to pursue the career paths I chose.
I love everything Marvel, enjoy reading, love great thought provoking films and interesting facts which ignite a persons imagination. I love art and history and have enjoyed several The Inclusion Project sessions creating pieces of art with our Participants.
A little about my knowledge and experience:
I have supported young persons with Learning Disabilities in a variety of roles for more than 21 years, my initial interest being ignited when a family member was diagnosed with Autism.
I began my path as Teaching Support Assistant with a Moderate Learning Disabilities (MLD) secondary school working as classroom Support Assistant and then quickly moving up to the role of PE Department Support Assistant. Tag rugby being my forte at the time.
I wanted to go into a teaching career at that time but felt I needed more experience specific to supporting and teaching persons with a diagnosis of Autism, I then worked with the National Autistic Society for two years to further my knowledge.
I was then offered a position as Area Supervisor in domiciliary care where I oversaw the efficient running of care provisions for adults ranging from 16-102 years old!
I missed working within SEN and returned to work in supported learning at a local college pursuing a teaching career and becoming a Tutor for a period of four years before joining The Inclusion Project.
I now manage South Bedfordshire for The Inclusion Project and enjoy every single day.
Having worked in education as both classroom support and much later a Tutor, I built relationships and friendships with students and parents alike and had regular contact with parents.
I would meet with parents and guardians in person several times throughout the year, particularly when review meetings were held.
I would often wonder what our young persons might access post education and would have discussions with parents and students around this with much of the conversation being that it was a total abyss, and there were few routes into jobs, few opportunities to promote continuation of social skills and friendships or guidance to further those skills acquired at college.
I questioned year after year why that was.
My colleague Simon Jackson-Turner thought outside the box and founded The Inclusion Project, this intrigued me and the more I heard about how those students and their families that I had once had discussions with were using the services of the Inclusion Project, the more I wanted to be involved. I was delighted when I joined our ever expanding team of Area Managers.
Each day Participants are using skills around budgeting, time telling, road safety, personal safety and independence so that at some point in the future, their support needs will lessen and their independence will increase.
Specific to South Bedfordshire all Participants are encouraged to make use of our brand new local Resource Centre and are currently working towards life skills around use of the library, signing on to computers and taking out books with independence.
We are one of only a few areas to have run Saturday sessions for the past two years and also added the personal touch in both schools and colleges of spending time in lessons with newly signed up Participants to become a familiar face; helping reduce any anxiety to aid a smooth transition for several of our Participants at a time when everything they have been used to for the past 3/7 years, is due to change.
This personal touch has supported parents and Participants in making the decision to choose The Inclusion Project over college and some of the area Participants now attend four/five days a week.
We have local links to some big community profiles in Luton and Dunstable. We are currently speaking with both Dunstable Rangers and Luton Town Football Club about how we can get more involved and support our local teams.
We have been in discussions with the Community Lead at Dunstable Downs and have been asked to be their local link and trial projects with them in 2020.
We also have links with Jeakins Weir who are the Local Borough Council contractors and have organised to support them in community clean up.
Also specific to the area, we have a regular fitness session which has been successfully supporting to keep our Participants fit and healthy since we began in the area.
To be included, involved and independent.
Participants should expect to be recognised for the person they are, to be encouraged to be the best person they can be, to be involved in decisions, to be respected and to be able to have their voice heard.
Participants will experience this in an environment where they have fun and make friends, not only with peers within their groups but with the people involved in their support and care and to know they can trust The Inclusion Project will always support each individual to thrive.
Participants will be encouraged to take small steps outside their comfort zone to experience new things and to return home after each session fulfilled with a sense of achievement having enjoyed their day.
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