I am a Director of No Limits Community Café & Hub. Having lived in Devon for most of my life, I now live with my family in Teignbridge. I have one son who has additional needs himself.
My background includes a degree in Psychology and a career in Crime Analysis, but since having my son, my focus has altered. I have worked within Primary Schools as a Specialist Teaching Assistant and Assistant SENCo.
I have various qualifications in working with additional needs, am a Youth Mindfulness Practitioner, a Makaton Regional Tutor and qualified in Training Systematic Instruction to job coach adults with additional needs.
I am passionate about advocating for those with additional needs and our mission is to establish a Community Café & Hub where young people with additional needs learn new skills, gain work experience and are supported in their transition to work and a more independent adult life.
I Love this project!
Also a director of No Limits Community Cafe & Hub I met Sarah nearly ten years ago where she was parent supporter at Portage run music therapy sessions.
Our common ground in advocacy for children with additional needs and our passion for their equality and acceptance in society lead to an ongoing friendship and in time me joining Sarah on her mission to establish No LImits Cafe & Hub!
I have had training in Total Communication through Devon Portage, worked as a parent supporter at Portage run Music Therapy sessions and I have volunteered at the local Devon Portage ‘Step by Step’ play group for small children with additional needs and their parents.
I have undertaken some training with The National Autistic Society and I have a Level 2 qualification in British Sign Language.
I live in Kingsteignton with my husband and tween daughter. Life is busy and I’m really excited to be involved with this fantastic project.
This project developed as a result of watching our son grow and develop, master skills and work hard to find his way in society. As he starts to transition to adulthood, seek more independence and look towards employment, the lack of opportunities and provisions for young adults with additional needs became increasingly apparent. Unemployment figures for those with disabilities and learning difficulties are disproportionately large. I can’t understand why the opportunities are not there. Many young people I know who have developmental differences are hugely committed to hard work, are determined, love to learn new skills and are the friendliest and most caring individuals I’ve met.
Among many things, my son loves to cook, bake, serve, chat to people and be helpful. It was obvious to me…… and so it happens, a number of other charities and social enterprise projects around the world! And so it began……I began to research, recruit other interested parents, carers and like minded people, upskill and make contact and connections with other organisations, charities, local support groups, social enterprises and educational establishments around the country.
With lots of work and support we are now at the stage of working with young people on an ad-hoc basis for fund-raising events. We are making various funding applications, working hard to make ourselves and our cause known and searching for a permanent venue within Devon.
‘It is time….to teach young people early on, that in diversity, there is beauty and there is strength’ – Maya Angelou