David initially worked for National Star as an agency member of staff, but having been impressed with the multi-disciplinary approach to supporting students, he jumped at the chance of becoming a permanent member of staff in the day team.
When David Richardson-Geehan joined National Star he admits to having very few formal qualifications to his name, despite having plenty of experience supporting people with disabilities in the community.
Thanks to the training and development on offer at National Star David has recently completed his Level 2 apprenticeship in Adult Care and now has his sights on further training.
Impressed with teamwork
David initially worked for National Star as an agency member of staff, but having been impressed with the multi-disciplinary approach to supporting students, he jumped at the chance of becoming a permanent member of staff in the day team. Initially working as part of the day team, David supported a range of students including those with autism, physical and learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge.
Varied and interesting workload
‘A typical day at National Star as a facilitator, National Star’s term for a care and support worker, involves supporting students to get ready for their day and then working with them in their sessions. The sessions are so varied and can range from a splash around in the leisure pool to a trip to a local landmark such as Gloucester Cathedral,’ said David.
‘The most difficult part of the job so far has been having to say goodbye to students who move on after their time at college. You build such strong working relationships with everyone and the farewells can be really tough.
‘Since working here I’ve come to realise that there really are no limits to what young people with disabilities can achieve and that’s best captured by my greatest professional experience which was teaching a student with limited fine motor skills to play video games on an Xbox using switches and accessible controls. I’ve never felt more fulfilled as I was when they scored their first goal and the whole room erupted!
‘There is so much room for exploration of new ideas that enhance the lives of these incredible young people and I’m genuinely privileged to be able to witness these amazing feats on a day to day basis!’ he added.
Support for career development
David has made the most of the career development opportunities at National Star, having recently been successful in applying to become a Personal Learner Coordinator (PLC) at Ullenwood.
National Star is now sponsoring David to complete his City & Guilds Level 5 qualification in Teacher Education. The course can be completed one night a week, over two years, studying with other National Star members of staff who have similar ambitions to progress their career within the organisation.
‘The course has so far helped me reflect more on my teaching and that, in turn, has improved how I plan future sessions. I’ve really enjoyed the diverse experience within the group and it’s enabled me to learn so much in such a short space of time,’ said David.