“You don’t need a sledgehammer to crack a walnut”…..As a self-proclaimed philosopher, this maxim has served me well in life and my ongoing chapters working with young people. And it is something I endeavour to convey to everyone I engage with, personally and on a professional level.
I began my journey to Egerton High School in the winter of 1998, working as a volunteer youth worker for a large youth organisation based in Bolton. In this period I gained invaluable experience and knowledge, engaging with young people with various needs in a plethora of settings. The sands of time brushed against me and eventually found myself as an Outreach project manager, managing 25 part time staff and volunteers, co-ordinating a two pronged attack by facilitating funding and management of two youth clubs as well as deploying street workers in various suburbs of Bolton and its surrounding areas. I also ran for local councillor within this period after spending three years working with children and families in the Crompton ward borough. A truly detached/outreach scenario.
Something was amiss however, I relished working face to face with children and sitting behind a desk wasn’t my forte nor my strength. In the spring of 2010, fate dealt its hand to me and I found myself redundant. This was a dark time for me as I had invested so much into my cherished youth work. “As one door closes, another one opens”, I always try to see the positive in people and situations, and the redundancy proved to a blessing in disguise. I returned briefly to my other passion which is fitness, and spent the next two years as a personal trainer and bodybuilding competition coach. My heart wasn’t in it though and I missed the job satisfaction that can only come with working with young people.
“I believe the children are our future”, not my words of course, you can thank Whitney Houston for that! But true nonetheless and now was the time for the second phase of my career working with young people. I decided to take a slightly different approach and spread my proverbial wings by moving into education. I garnered much needed experience in my first 18 months working with challenging young people in numerous EBD schools and Pupil Referral units.
So to the present, I find myself at Egerton High School on what I’m sure will be a great chapter in my colourful career. The staff are fantastic and highly skilled, with a great team spirit and one I am proud to be a part of. Although the children can be a little rambunctious at times it is great fun and satisfying knowing that I am part of a greater effort to help them achieve an education and a productive start in life and the opportunities that a good education can provide. I currently work as a teaching assistant at Egerton but would like to think that my role is flexible and am able to work dynamically to suit the needs of the young people.
In my spare time I am a competitive bodybuilder and compete in the UKBFF at national level. I also have a son, Johnny, who is 20 and studying accountancy at Bolton university. Family is important to me and I endeavour to spend as much time as possible with them.