What are your areas of special interest / particular skills?

Advocating and safeguarding young people. I’ve worked with children and young people for almost 10 years from an educational setting, local authority youth service and Children’s rights and participation team. I have learned new skills within each aspect of this time and use this within my everyday role at Barod. I’m passionate about ensuring young people have their voices heard and breaking down the stigma behind substance use. Promoting clearer understandings of reasons why some might use and using appropriate language is a skill I regularly promote and happily share with other professionals.

What do you enjoy most about your role with Barod?

Each day is very different. I could be providing 1-1 support for individuals following the harm reduction model in the morning, moving on to a group session in school then attending regular child safeguarding strategy meetings the next. I enjoy variety because it keeps me on my toes and tests my organisational skills! I also enjoy the teams I support. Having staff across all teams with a range of individual skills and knowledge promotes our passion for supporting others.

What is it like to work in your area of Wales or in your specific service?

Swansea = BUSY! No day is the same. The Swansea service pace is always changing. We have a strong, passionate team of staff that are always hands on and ready to provide support whether that be over the phone, drop in or via other methods of contact. Being in the center of Swansea is always ideal as it provides easy access for most. It can be pretty loud here too sometimes!

Please tell us about your average day.

What is average? As the young person’s team leader, I enjoy variety and having different things scheduled in every day. No day is an average day in Swansea. I’m passionate about supporting young people, providing training to external professionals, and finding new ways of working with some of our most vulnerable. We are a team that could be speaking to a year group in the morning then providing outreach in the evening. We love variety. Supporting the team is a key aspect of my role and fulfilling when hearing positive feedback from other professionals.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Be who you needed when you were younger.