We create many different families during our lifetime besides the traditional one. We have the workplace family, the peer support family, the professional family, the friendship family plus many more. Resilience is at the heart of all families - reaching out, when we need support, to someone we trust. I have had many families. My own. My work. My friends. My colleagues. My peers.
I used to be a youth worker. I loved it. Being able to create innovative services to support the development of young people and seeing the positive impact they had. I supported parents to work through challenging times with their children. I have managed mental health services; growing provision and creating opportunities for early intervention support.
Over the years I have developed many different projects. I have worked with schools and colleges to develop peer mentoring schemes, run anger management group sessions and coaching people through challenging times. During this work I developed alternative education programmes to support young people who were struggling academically. It was from this work that I was asked to develop and manage an alternative education facility for young people who weren’t attending school for a variety of reasons.
I have worked with Bath Spa University to develop emotion coaching. Ofsted has commended my work as well as asking me to design LGBT+ training for inspectors which I did with the help from LGBT+ young people.
I admit, I could never have done this on my own, although in the very early days it was just me. I remember appointing my first member of staff. I was so excited. I was going to put my management qualification into practise. I think it was a case of rose-tinted glasses. The reality is that humans are complicated; we are always growing and changing, we have a multitude of things going on in our lives and so many decisions to make. What works for one person won’t be the same for someone else.
I know that brilliant teams require understanding and support as a group and individuals. They want to feel like they have a voice and have been heard. I know what it is to make tough decisions in challenging times. I also have a strong commitment to developing employee talent; seeing skills, gifts and talents that people don’t realise they have. I coach them to discover and develop these skills, watch them set sail with enthusiasm and confidence towards a future filled with possibilities and success beyond their wildest dreams.
I foster honest and open communication to empower people through the good times and the bad. I have celebrated with my teams when they have had success or achieved one or more of their goals. I have also seen them through the hard times, when they can’t see a way forward. I have been asked so many times why I don’t give up when a problem seems impossible to solve. Well, let’s use the words of Michael Jordan:
‘If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.’
I believe that given time and support any problem however big or small can be overcome. It may not be worked out in the way we first envision but there will be positive outcomes.
And this is why I understand and believe in the importance of resilience and well-being for families, professionals and businesses. It is my passion and one of my biggest strengths.
And the final thing for you to know about me is:
I always have a smile on my face and have been told that it can light up a room on the darkest of days.