For me, the infinity symbol above represents the infinite opportunities life. brings. The key is recognising these opportunities and having the strength, courage and empowerment to grab them.
For the last 20+ years I’ve worked in inclusive employment, mental health and wellbeing. Working with people from all cultures and backgrounds but all with individual barriers to employment, it’s been my honour to see all grow their self empowerment and resilience to take control of and change their lives. Working together with an ethos of dignity, respect and empathy the results have been outstanding.
I’ve trained many people in employability etiquette and see well over 850 of these secure jobs they never thought they would.
In addition, I have trained hundreds of people in first aid steps for mental health and wellbeing over a variety of industry and bespoke programmes tailored to an organisation’s need from corporates, charities and the public sector.
With the onset of Coronavirus, I moved my business from a classroom environment to a virtual one. The success and positive impact from participant feedback has influenced my decision to set-up a permanent virtual arm of my business. I’m excited about the potential reach of this medium enabling many to take part without having to travel from their homes/offices saving time/costs increasing accessibility for all delegates.
Currently, in addition to designing and delivering my own well being programmes for corporates and DWP to deliver virtually to staff and the unemployed, I practise what I preach and continuously upskill myself.
During 2020 I undertook L3 in Education and Training to qualify to access FAA accredited and Ofqual regulated First Aid in Mental Health levels 1, 2 and 3 Instructor training.
Conscious that first aid training in mental health is reactive and prevention is better than cure, I searched for a tool designed for the workplace, focussed on wellbeing and resilience. I discovered I-act’s two courses for managers and non-managers accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Both excellent courses with over 50 tools and 90 referral signposts. I undertook and qualified as an Instructor in this too.
I’ve benefitted from online courses as well. First ASK (Assessing Suicide in Kids) aimed at helping young people aged 5 to 15. A tough course to take but so worthwhile for the knowledge received. Secondly, I did Centre of Excellence’s Mindfulness Diploma – in which I got a Distinction. The feeling of achievement I felt endorsed my belief that as humans we must keep open minds and keep learning.
I am still a Shout Volunteer on the 24/7 crisis text line @GiveUsAShout – text SHOUT to 85258. Since 2019, being able to support people in pain from a hot moment to a cool calm has been hugely rewarding and educational.
For my own self-care I am writing three books, started two veg trugs to cultivate some vegetables and I practise mindful thinking daily.
Following an established career in recruitment at all levels, I found myself faced with an almost impossible task of recruiting local residents of East London into corporate jobs in Canary Wharf. It was 2005. A year-long partnership with a niche East London charity brought little success. The core issue was the lack of employability skills then taught in schools and colleges. Coupled with generational unemployment resulting in no positive role models, the basic requirements of coming to work everyday, not taking a sick day over a headache etc was missing.
I devised and delivered The Real Apprentice – an employability programme to address this which over the following eight years saw over 200 people go into work – including a grandmother who had never worked! It won multiple awards including the first EEVA awards – beating 23 European countries and the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Award in 2013. I’ve worked with many charities, public sector organisations, ex-service charities and community groups. Seeing someone flourish and go into work changing their lives, giving them real choice and control is amazing.
After 12 years with my last employer, I set-up my own consultancy in December 2013 and now work with private sector organisations on devising and delivering programmes which bring them closer to their communities adding real value to both.
My second passion after getting people into employment is Mental Health and Wellbeing. I was a Mental Health First Aid Instructor delivering all Adult courses for over 10 years before stepping down at the end of 2020.
I have designed and delivered tailored mental health, wellbeing and resilience workshops to the private sector to meet their needs ranging from hour-long lunchtime sessions, three-hour bespoke workshops, one hour sessions for supervisors and managers in the nuclear power field as well as delivering to Council staff, charities and serving prisoners.
In November 2017 I undertook the excellent Livingworks suicide intervention course called ASSIST delivered by Grassroots in Brighton. Grassroots were instrumental in the design of #StayAlive a free to download app on suicide intervention. This is an excellent App I’ve used and shared with someone experiencing suicidal thoughts.
February 2018 I did High Speed Training’s Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking basic introduction course. Completely opened my eyes and I will use the learning in all areas of my business. http://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk
None of us have health without good mental health…………..
I’m a firm believer that continuous training and learning keeps our minds active and us flourishing.