Meet Renee, Faciliator
Renee has worked at National Star for seven years as a Facilitator within our Residential Services team. Day to day she supports learners and residents with varied and complex disabilities to maintain their health and wellbeing while they enjoy and achieve to their potential at National Star. This includes all aspects of personal care, developing life skills and supporting in educational activities and sessions.
What attracted you to National Star?
Prior to National Star I was working as a graphic designer, and due to redundancy and personal circumstances, I started looking for a change of career. I specifically wanted a job that was based around term time and would see me working in care with young adults. I saw an advert in the local newspaper, attended a friendly but professional interview and liked the feel of the organisation. I had heard positive things from others about National Star, and knew that it had a good reputation.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
It would be juggling the individual requirements of so many learners. I work with a huge number of individualised timetables, which means I need to be flexible, time conscious and communicate well as part of a team.
What are the key skills required for your role?
It’s important to provide support that gives learners a sense of National Star being their ‘home away from home’ for the duration of their college years. Learners often become anxious during this period of transition, so being able to provide emotional support is vital. In addition, great listening skills are essential, as is being approachable and compassionate towards each learner’s needs. Finally, it’s important to have good verbal and visual communication skills, which includes the willingness to adapt and gain new skills – such as Makaton – when required.
How does your role make a difference at National Star?
It gives parents reassurance around how their son or daughter will be supported during their time with us. They often have sound concerns, so good links and open communication with me helps them to know they are in a safe place. I also feel as though I am one of many staff pulling in the same direction to support and help National Star’s ethos of learner-focused development – ensuring and enabling learners to become active and valued members of the community.
What training and development have you received?
The organisation has a great training and development team who make training as enjoyable as possible while still communicating important information. I’ve attended the mandatory training and refresher courses for work practices such as Moving and Handling, Infection Control, Equality and Diversity, Boundaries and Safeguarding. In addition to this I have undertaken training specific to my role, such as Makaton and training around operating our sensory rooms. I also take some responsibility for my own self development by using Moodle, a tool accessible on the staff intranet that provides a variety of online courses.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying to National Star?
Every day is different, and for that reason it is the learners that make the day, with their humour, personalities and differences. The Facilitator role is varied, challenging and enjoyable.