I joined Wren Park as a bank Support Worker when the service first opened in 2004, after I had completed my degree in psychology, having always had an interest in the brain and how it works.
I quickly became full-time as I found my feet and became a Senior Support Worker in September 2005. I worked on Wren Park’s rotational system – where seniors swap between departments at three-monthly intervals. I officially became the outreach Senior in 2010, and took on more tasks such as budgeting and monthly reports. We have had some great successes at Wren Park and have seen people move forward and live independently in their own homes, which is always fantastic.
In 2009, I began a Masters in Applied Cognitive Neuroscience, a much more in-depth course. I studied part-time and worked full-time running the outreach team – needless to say I was a bit busy! But after two years I graduated and am looking to apply to become a clinical psychologist, so my studies have not finished yet. I have created some training for the ABI services that uses my knowledge of the workings of the brain, and attempts to explain it in simple terms. I can explain the technical nitty gritty and all the long words and we translate this into ‘real English’.
We have lots of activities throughout the training to keep people interested and focused, including brains made out of blancmange, games where people pretend to be neurons and communicate with each other, and trying to fool the brain into thinking people have extra-long noses!
I aim for it to be light-hearted and fun, but for people to go away with, if nothing else, a much greater respect for the human brain and how it works. I am glad to say that each time we have run the training course we have always had really positive feedback.”
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