Senior Child Protection Training Officer

In 1999 I moved to London and spent a year working in the London Borough of Hackney. The post had been vacant for 18 month. There were no records to be found and I was offered a computer that had less functionality than my current mobile phone. Hackney is not without its problems but I was well supported by Yolanda, my boss. I set about putting systems in place, running some basic courses and generally being the 'happy-chappy' around Morning Lane, the run-down offices in the heart of the Borough.

I'm particularly proud of the multi-agency training I developed and ran, the Memorandum of Good Practice programme that I co-facilitated with Debbie Townsend from the Metropolitan Police, and the introduction of the Assessment Framework. This later work allowed me to once again work with Liz Gosling who has been an inspiration and mentor over many years. I assisted with the proposal for Quality Protects funding and, after I resigned, I developed and presented Management Training on a number of occasions for the Early Years section.

I have fond memories of Ann Hollerbrand (finance), Isabel Trowler (then policy, now running the world), Paula Yeoman (now back in NZ as a journalist), Donna Lafaiette (lost in translation), Yvonne Sparks (from Education and now running the UKs best B&B) and Cynthia David (from Early Years, and still with the Learning Trust) -

Hackney was an organisational nightmare, a political nut-house and an administrative maze - I loved every minute of my time there!