Meet Elaine, Facilitator
Elaine has worked at National Star for seven years, initially in one of our on-campus residences and now in our Day Team within our Residential Services. In her role Elaine supports learners to ensure they are as independent as possible during their learning and social activities – including delivering a high standard of personal care.
What attracted you to National Star?
I had always wanted to work with people who have learning or physical disabilities. When I was working in mainstream education, I saw that National Star were advertising. I did leave for a short time to work with children with disabilities, but I missed working with learners who were embracing life and having fun – so I came back!
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
It can be challenging working with behavioural disabilities, although it is very rewarding when I see a learner’s progress. The role can also be mentally and emotionally challenging as it’s important to be able to say and do the right thing at the right time. I need to ensure that it is possible to get the best out of learners so it is a productive day. I like to self-evaluate when things do not go to plan, and understand how I can do things better while acting within National Star’s guidelines. At the same time, it’s important that I provide consistency and minimise any confusion for the learners.
What are the key skills required for your role?
Communication, being able to work both as part of a team and alone, good time keeping, patience, empathy, enthusiasm and energy! A sense of humour and charismatic personality also helps. It takes a certain type of upbeat attitude to be able to engage with learners and get the best out of them.
How does your role make a difference at National Star?
My role supports the learners to do their best and achieve their personal goals. I like to think that as a Facilitator I portray National Star in a positive and professional light that will encourage future learners to come here. As a team, we make the college an enjoyable place for learners to live, have fun and learn.
What training and development have you received?
I attended the mandatory training when I first arrived, and now attend refresher training whenever it is needed. I’ve also received training specific to my role, such as Rebound Therapy (therapeutic exercise using a trampoline), autism, intensive interaction, NVQ Care and MIDAS training, which has enabled me to drive a small minibus.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying to National Star?
You get what you put into it! I find the job really rewarding. It does take a certain type of person, however, and you should be aware of what the role fully entails before applying. I’d definitely encourage people to have a read of what it’s like to work here in order to get a sense of whether we’ll be a good fit for what they’d like to achieve.