Meet the staff team of Dorset Youth Association.
If you would like to contact a member of our team please use our Contact Us page.
I have been working for Dorset Youth Association since 2008, and in 2012 took on the role of Infrastructure Manager based at our Lubbecke Way Headquarters, and am a member of the Senior Management Team.
Since leaving my management position in the public sector, I have worked in the Voluntary Sector in Dorset for over 15 years and have a wide knowledge of how the sector works and a wide network of colleagues, locally and regionally, to refer to when necessary. Since joining Dorset Youth Association I have been facilitating the 0-19 Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) Forum, and enjoy bringing people together to be part of a collective voice in Dorset. I have excellent working relationships with statutory colleagues, and use my communication skills to empower the VCS to inform them of the voluntary sectors views and help influence their thinking.
I am fortunate to work with other professionals who feel passionate about the children, young people and families we work with, and the sector we work in, and it is empowering for me to see the successes they have achieved and the changes they have made through this passion.
I have lived in Dorset all my life; through my own family I became interested in working with children and families. I joined Dorset Youth Association, as a Family Link Worker in September 2016, having gained experience of working with children and families from a wide range of settings. From managing Dorset’s first Neighbourhood nursery for 0- 9 year olds in Bovington, working in schools, Children’s Centres, early year’s settings, homes and on Traveller sites. This gave me an opportunity to work with a wide range of professionals including those in health, education, housing, the prison service, youth services, social care and many voluntary organisations. Many of the families I have worked with are reluctant to engage with services. Building trusting relationships has been essential and I have found that being willing to be flexible, meeting parents and their children in their own home and making sure that I address their concerns have been key to establishing positive changes for the child and families. My NVQ 4 in Child Care and Education, training in Mental Health, Autism, ‘The Incredible Years program‘, ‘Working with Resistant Families’ have enabled me to apply my understanding of parenting issues in order to empower parents, helping them to engage with other services. Having such experience gives me an opportunity to offer advice and support on child development, the importance of play and healthy lifestyles, to achieve the best possible outcomes for their children.
I am the Finance Officer for Dorset Youth Association working full time from our Headquarters in Lubbecke Way, Dorchester. I started in 2001 on a part time basis and I manage the Associations finance and human resources together with ensuring the smooth running of the office and managing the venue hire.
Leaving extended education with a BEC National Diploma (Distinction) in Business Studies my career has been finance based having spent the early 10 years with Nat West Bank, working through all the clerical grades and gaining ‘Institute of Bankers’ qualifications. I then decided to focus on accountancy and gained Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification prior to my returning to the workplace after raising a family.
I have supported the Associations financial journey as it moved from hand written ledgers to excel workbooks and through to the dedicated finance software programmes we currently use. As a mum of 4 children I have used my skills to support their activities through a variety of voluntary roles - committee member for local playgroup, treasurer for the school PTFA and as a Scout Leader.
I believe young people are the key to the success and happiness of our local communities and am privileged to work for an organisation that endeavours to give young people the best opportunities in life.
I joined the team at Dorset Youth Association in June 2013 as a Family Link Worker. My role within the organisation is to work with families who need practical, direct support with a range of issues.
Previously I have worked in mental health and with young offenders around substance misuse. Although I enjoyed both these roles, I wanted to work more directly with families as a whole, using a holistic approach. This way of working was encouraged during my social work training. I have completed various training and development courses during my time at DYA, including Strengthening Families, Intense Support to Families with Complex Needs Level 4, and Group Teen Triple P. Continuing to develop my knowledge and skills in this way has enabled me to understand some of the problems families face, and provide strategies to support them in moving forward and sustaining this.
As a Family Link Worker, I have been able to work with a variety of different people and it is inspiring to see the changes some families can make when they have the right support and motivation. I feel that in order to achieve change the needs of the family should be addressed alongside each other, and not just individually.
I have been at Dorset Youth Association since 2013 and I am currently the Volunteer Social Media Coordinator, in previous roles I have been the Youth Sports Development Worker and also the Clubs & Groups Worker. During my time doing these roles I always took a lead in the online presence of the Association, working on the development of our new website from inception to 'going live' and also the day to day running of our social media. In February 2020 I left my paid position with DYA however felt that I could still be of service by volunteering my time to keep our online presence current and valid.
I have a qualification in Digital Promotion for Business and also have more than 6 years experience now in developing social media for our charity. I really enjoy making sure the people of Dorset and further afield know what we do and who we are.
I have worked for Dorset Youth Association since 2010, where I have held a range of roles working with young people. Since 2015 I have worked as a Family Link Worker.
I come from a youth worker background and I am committed to a youth led/child centred approach. I am experienced with working with the hardest to reach young people in inner cities and rural Dorset. I have five year experience helping young people with learning disabilities and mental health issues achieve their potential and discover their skills and talents through group volunteering work and serving others. My career began as a criminal paralegal in a large inner city law firm where I advised and supported young people who had begun to offend and their families. I gained an insight into the stresses poverty and a difficulty family background can bring. I am committed to the Dorset Family matters link worker role and enjoy working with families and young people to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
I am driven by the belief that we all have amazing gifts and strengths and we can help one another discover and use them to the benefit of us all. Being on this journey of discovery with some one is fun, interesting and a privilege.
I am the Coordinator for the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK) working part time from our Lubbecke Way office as part of the Infrastructure Team. I have been with DYA for over 8 years and in this role since conception of the project in 2012, when I trained as a facilitator for the programme.
Having developed and delivered the Strengthening Families Programme, I have a wide knowledge and understanding of what the programme provides and how it benefits the families. My organisational and communication skills have helped to bring this project together and, through building excellent working relationships with other agencies, successfully deliver this project right across rural Dorset. There is a huge sense of achievement in watching the change in families from when they first meet us to successfully completing the programme.
As a parent, and now grandparent, I understand how tough it can be, not only to ask for help but to then take that step of joining a parenting programme. When our children are young there is a natural bond between parents at the ‘school gate’ and a time to reflect on behaviours that it is likely we are all going through, that remind us that we are not alone in the difficult world of parenting. As our children grow into young teenagers and start to make their own way, this support is not there and can make us feel isolated. Parents and Young teenagers benefit from time to openly discuss their own concerns and issues, and I feel that this programme works with families to provide tools that can be used and the support and environment for open discussion. I strongly felt this would have been a huge benefit to my family and wanted to be involved to make sure the programme was accessible to those who needed it. I am very proud of the success that this programme has been in rural Dorset.
I hope that my compassion and approach to the role helps make this a little easier.
I have worked at DYA since 2014. My role is the cleaning and maintenance of the Routes and Headquarter premises and grounds. As we hire out both the Main Hall and Seaton Room at the Headquarters I am aware of the need to keeping the building and grounds in good order, ensuring a safe and pleasant environment for everyone using our facilities. Through other similar roles I have experience and am appropriately qualified in food hygiene and health and safety
My background is in engineering and having gained an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Portsmouth University. I have worked as a Civil Engineer and in Facilities Management, and enjoy the practical work of rebuilding a car, giving me many skills which I have been able to apply at DYA.
I enjoy working as part of such a friendly and passionate team and like the variety of jobs associated with the position.