I was previously employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a high school, supporting teenagers with learning and behavioural difficulties. I had always worked with younger children before this, having been a Deputy Manager in Day Care provision but soon came to realise at the high school that I had found a new vocation.
When the opportunity to apply for a Teaching Assistant post at Avocet House came up, I discussed it with my line manager and she encouraged me to apply for it, reassuring me that she knew the two Directors, Jon Lees and Steve Lord, and thought very highly of them.
Once I had attended the interview day, I knew that here were the people I wanted to work with. I also realised that the children we were going to care for would be extremely challenging, but with the Avocet House vision being ‘No Limits’ and staff being encouraged to think out of the box, I was hooked! All adults are encouraged to realise that the ‘No Limits’ philosophy applies to them too, so I felt my career potential was whatever I wanted to make it.
After working in the Learning Centre, I realised that I wanted to extend my skills within the care team and so secured a role as a care worker, gaining further promotion. Within this role I received support and encouragement to develop my skills and confidence. It also allowed me to build and maintain links between the learning environment and the home. Soon I was taking on an Acting Deputy Care Manager development role, and was eventually offered a post as a Deputy Care Manager. I have been further encouraged to develop my role into areas that interest me, such as 24 hour learning, and so have recently become a 24 hour learning coordinator. I feel very proud that I have been allowed and encouraged to make my job and career as enjoyable and varied as it has been so far at Avocet House.
Vanessa successfully applied for Head of Care which she held for four and a half years before leaving to return to her long held passion as Manager of a Norwich Day Care provision.