We should really love what we do – and I certainly do!
I started out as a youth worker many moons ago supporting young people with ‘real life’ issues and as time has gone by a lot of those issues have transferred into the online environment.
More recently my role as a Multi Agency Team Manager highlighted that young people, school staff and parents were calling out for help and support as new technology seeped into every area of our lives, and with no support frameworks in place at the time we were not safeguarding children effectively. In fact it felt like we were so far behind that we were struggling to catch up. Our children were embracing new technology and we were caught like rabbits in the headlights, unsure of which way to turn.
With this in mind I decided to arm myself with as much information as possible – for me quality is absolutely key, and so like most people with an interest in Online Safety I became a CEOP Ambassador. I then became an EPICT Trainer and I am proud to be an Assessor and Consultant for the South West Grid for Learning, in particular for their 360 Safe ‘Online Safety Mark’ which is recognised by Ofsted as best practice and now referenced in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)
I provide practical training and education sessions for school staff and governors, students, parents and community groups around all aspects of online safety. I am particularly adept at writing policies and procedures for schools and workplaces, having worked on numerous relevant projects for several public sector organisations in the past.
As well as here in the UK I also welcome work from Overseas. I provide strategic support to British Schools abroad to ensure they are able to meet and evidence their responsibilities relating to online safety as outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018).
My work also allows me to support charities, such as Women’s Aid to ensure the families in their care are able to ensure their own safety.
A particular speciality is working with staff who support children and young people with additional needs, ensuring they have access to the same information, advice, support and guidance as mainstream pupils.
My focus is always on positive safeguarding and providing an empowering, child centred service.