I have been a qualified social worker for over 26 years. Much of this time I have worked in Children and Families. I enjoyed this work as it allowed me to support families in crisis. I especially enjoyed working with young people in and out of the care system, to turn their situations into positives and achieve a better future for themselves. I have been a team manager and service manager along with chairing child protection meetings.
I have run my own business as an independent social worker, mentor, life coach and practice educator for student social workers. In 2013 I had throat surgery which resulted in me losing my ability to speak without an adaptive aid.
I have learnt sign language as a new form of communication. I have been able to offer mentoring services and off site supervision to experienced social workers and practice teaching for a university. I am also currently completing an MSc in Career Coaching alongside sign language.
I enjoy working with young people. I have volunteered with the young people in my local church and community centres, organising camps and recreational activities. I have volunteered as a worker in a refuge for families fleeing domestic violence and homeless projects. I trained as a family mediator and volunteered for a project helping parents agree child care arrangements.
I was a Board Member of Positive Parenting and Children (PPC) for over eight years, and was Chair for six. I worked with a great team of people to support service users infected and affected by HIV. It was a privilege meeting and working with these families and young people. I have continued to volunteer in this field after the merger of PPC and METRO, first as Vice Chair and now Chair on the METRO board.
I aspire to be sufficiently proficient at British Sign Language to offer support to adults and young people experiencing hearing loss. I am also interested in speech and those who have lost theirs.
I am passionate about learning, developing my knowledge and supporting people to make the best of their lives.