This all started with being the youngest of five children and desperately wanting a little brother or sister. My parents decided five children were enough for them but I then enjoyed the arrival of many a baby, child and teenager who joined our family through foster care. My mum and dad started fostering when they got married and before they had their own children. They were the youngest foster carers in the early 1960’s as my mum was only 18. Our family have always worked with helping children, families and supporting people through some challenging times.

Aged 22 I decided to change career and train in counselling. I worked with adults who were private clients and also through the mental health charity MIND. I then completed further training to specialise in working with young people and this is where I started working at Shireland Collegiate Academy as a volunteer mentor.

My role within Shireland progressed from this role to a Learning Champion, supporting adults to gain maths and English qualifications, Family Support Worker in both primary and secondary, Children Services Manager managing the pastoral care, Extended Schools Manager working with community groups and then Safeguarding Manager and Director of Safeguarding.

I am passionate about continuing to be relevant and keep up to date with working with staff, children, families and communities and to never become distant from the real challenges that everyone faces when working to safeguard young people.

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