What do you do at Become?
I’m working in a newly-created role as Senior Outreach and Participation Officer, which means I have two main focuses in my work:
Outreach- Spreading awareness and ensuring as many children and young people, professionals and organisations know about the fantastic work Become does, and how to use and get involved in our services
Participation- Making sure that children and young people have as much influence and involvement in the work and development of Become as possible; whether that be sitting on recruitment panels, helping draft and write internal policies, or helping create new service ideas!
Can you say a bit about your past experiences and qualifications?
I spent just over 3 years working as a Personal Advisor, where I became really interested in the idea of ‘lived experience’ in service delivery, and in the creation of positive, ambitious futures for Care Experienced young people. I was particularly keen on ensuring that young people were involved in the planning and decisions made about their lives, ensuring that their voice was amplified through my work.
I was a Trauma-Informed Champion, meaning that I fought to make all work undertaken with Care Experienced young people underpinned by an understanding of trauma, and worked on co-production projects- to make sure that young people influenced changes and developments in the services they were a part of.
Before that, I worked in education, in challenging environments both in the UK and abroad. These education roles were where I first started working closely with Care Experienced children, and where I first noticed the inequality and challenges that they were presented with- this is what drove my desire to help young people break down the barriers they face.
I do have a degree from the University of Bath, but it doesn’t have much to do with what I do now!
What do you like about working at Become?
Become is an organisation that works directly for and with the children and young people it represents; in other roles I have had, it felt more like the needs and support of young people came as secondary priorities to those of the organisation. That is why I’m particularly excited to work with children and young people to support internal changes, development and services at Become- ensuring that what we do is what is wanted by young people!
What drives you?
Amplifying the voices of those who are not often heard; challenging systems and organisations to better work with those they support; creating and inspiring optimism and positivity in those I work with.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love sport, although I’m beginning to feel that I am past my athletic peak! I also enjoy sea swimming all year round, which sometimes takes a lot of encouragement but is always worth it in the end. I am a keen reader, and spend a lot of time browsing book shops for the ever-growing collection of (mainly unread) books that gather dust in my office. My dog, who is a rescue from Serbia, takes up a lot of my time (and patience) but is worth all the hard work!