“I started working in the Residential department as a Support Worker, and being only 21 at the time I found it a very emotionally difficult job. Supporting young adults close to my own age was particularly hard, but I soon began to see how rewarding it was going to be and quickly made connections with the students and staff.

After 2 years, I applied for a Learning Support Assistant role and started a new chapter at Craig-y-Parc school on 1st September 1999.  Working closely with the students in education was just as rewarding as in residential and I soon gained Lead Learning Support Assistant (LSA) status, leading a small group of LSA’s in a class and helping to arrange lessons alongside the class teacher.

In 2017, I applied for the role of LSA coordinator and was successful. This role allowed me to not only work with the students, but also offer support and guidance for the LSA’s and new starters. It gave me experience of working alongside the Head of Education to ensure the smooth daily running of the school and I was able to see the school as a whole and not just individual classes.

I absolutely love working with the students and staff at Craig y Parc school. It has to be one of the most rewarding jobs to have, as whatever you put into the role, you get back 10-fold! There is nothing more rewarding than watching the progress of the students throughout their time with us, which sometimes make saying goodbye so emotional when they leave to continue on their own journeys.

My daughter was a regular visitor to the school so she has grown up with a few of the students and she too has made forever friendships. Being able to introduce her to the students from the time she was born has allowed her to become a much more open minded and accepting young lady, an opportunity that she truly treasures.

Within the Education team, we’re all like a close-knit family. Many of us have worked here for a number of years, but it’s so refreshing when someone new joins the family and brings fresh new ideas with them.

I have a few favourite things about working at Craig y Parc, but I think my favourite part must be watching the students grow and flourish from a young age through to their transition to future placements. I’m also grateful for all the friends I have made along the way, that include not just work colleagues, but past students and their families too. Being able to keep in touch after students leave and watching them grow into independent adults is amazing. Being able to give our students every opportunity to achieve and succeed, and to experience things other students their age take for granted is so rewarding.

Nothing can ever prepare you for the feeling of accomplishment you get every day when you work with our students. It’s a feeling I could never get bored of.”