My early career started off in education and many years later it has come full circle.
Throughout my second career as a police officer, I developed a curiosity for the brain and a love of learning. I achieved a BA (Hons) in Education at Leeds University and a Certificate in Education from Sunderland University.
Since then I have continued to study and hold advanced qualifications in Neurolinguistic Programming; Hypnotherapy; and Applied Neuroscience as well as being a Practitioner in Brain and Behaviour Change.
I am the creator of The Brainy Bunch. I developed The Brainy Bunch because during my time delivering workshops and coaching sessions, my adult clients often shared a view that their life would have been very different if they had known how to get the best out of their minds and had had the tools to do so earlier in life.
Combining my fascination with neuroscience and my love of learning, this enabled me to develop the Brainy Bunch concept – a unique and creative means of being able to support children and young people to reach their full potential.
The Brainy Bunch is my first published book, but my collaboration as part of the Team Up education programme is entering its third successful year in primary education in many schools.
Utilising the expertise of PE specialists at Go Well, this creative programme combines the power of physical activity with neuroscience that is brought to life through The Brainy Bunch – a quirky family of characters who represent chemicals and parts of the brain.
Bespoke activities are designed for children to help them to understand how they can work with their brains to develop their very own unique Brainy Bunch Toolkit.
Being able to provide children with the right tools and techniques like this from an early age will undoubtedly lead to them developing into confident, self-aware and resilient adults.
The BOUNCE Resilience Academy
The BOUNCE Resilience Academy was developed in 2016. It is an intense summer programme for children and young people, designed to build personal resilience, self-esteem and confidence. Utilising cutting edge techniques, the programme combines consultant led workshops and activities interspersed with drama and immersive-based learning sessions. All of these are themed around a specific objective to meet the needs of the participants.
BOUNCE is a unique and collaborative project which has achieved positive and life-changing outcomes for children and young people. Recent collaborations have been with Darlington Children’s and Young People’s Service; Durham Constabulary; The Durham Police Crime and Victim’s Commissioner and Durham County Council.
In 2019 I was honoured to receive a Chief Constables Commendation for my commitment and success with the BOUNCE Resilience Academy.
The Brainy Bunch
The Brainy Bunch are a quirky, fun, family of characters that I developed as a teaching aid to help children understand what is going on inside their brains. Each unique character represents one of the brain chemicals or one of the parts of the brain.
The Brainy Bunch characters are used alongside practical learning activities to highlight the effect of these brain chemicals and allow them to experience them for themselves.
As the characters begin to be brought to life in an interactive way for children, they help them to understand how to be able to control their amazing brains, how to manufacture more of the chemicals that they need and how to manage the unhelpful ones.
I love to be able to collaborate with other like-minded individuals and organisations. I am proud to have enjoyed a long-term relationship with Sedgefield School Sports Partnership and together we have developed ‘Team Up’ which is a unique programme that blends the positive powers of physical activity with wellbeing tools and techniques to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and adults.
We recognise that physical activity has a key role to play in not only physical health but also personal development, mental health, emotional wellbeing and even academic achievement.
By combining my wellbeing techniques with physical activity in this way, Team Up successfully achieves our goals to inspire children to be the best they can be, and to educate professionals to become the best possible role models.
The success of Team Up is growing at a rapid rate and the team is currently supporting more than twenty five schools in the North East of England.