At Forward2Employment, our dedicated staff team are passionate about supporting young adults with SEND into employment, within Medway and Kent.
Chief Executive Officer
Director and Head of Provision
Employer Engagement Lead
PA & Administration Assistant
Senior Job Coach
At Forward2Employment, we have a dedicated team of Directors. The role of the Directors is to oversee the direction and management of Forward2Employment’s business ensuring our vision, aims and values are upheld. Directors meet regularly to make the strategic and operational decisions of the company and are responsible for ensuring that the company meets its statutory obligations.
Director and Head of Provision
As Head of Forward2Employment, I work tirelessly to support young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) across Medway and Kent into employment. I firmly believe that by raising aspirations and giving these young people the helping hand they need, that they have many rich and diverse skills to bring to the workplace.
I am also Vice Principal at Bradfields Academy, which is part of Fortis Trust. Previously I have worked in mainstream provisions and also as a Psychologist. I bring all this experience to my current role to ensure that the provision for young people is the very best it can possibly be.
I take a lead role at Forward2Employment and I am always seeking ways to make this provision even better for the interns, be this by working with the job coaches and the support they give to the young people or searching out new and innovative employers who are eager to work with our interns. I enjoy nothing better than seeing the young people grow in confidence and develop their employability skills, then ultimately gain purposeful employment.
Chief Executive Officer
I am passionate about raising the aspirations and opportunities for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) across Medway and Kent and strongly believe that everyone has the right to work and to live a fulfilled life.
I am CEO of Fortis Trust which works as a family of collaborative and innovative academies and institutions. Together with Forward2Employment as our partner, we have the talents and strengths to improve the achievements and life chances of the students, families and communities we serve.
I oversee the work of Forward2Employment to ensure that the service delivered is of the highest standard and that all young adults are supported on their journeys towards gaining employment, developing sustainable employability skills and becoming active participants within their local communities.
Employment Engagement Lead
People are my passion, whether that be supporting young people with learning difficulties, supporting my colleagues, networking with partners or spending quality time with my family, my focus is on helping others. I believe in enabling young people whatever their background or abilities to reach their goals. It’s so important in my role that I understand every student as an individual and help them to identify their strengths.
I also really enjoy working with other agencies so the young people and their families or carers have access to all relevant information that can be helpful when they are making decisions.
Employer Engagement Lead
I have worked in Medway as a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Teaching Assistant for both mainstream and SEND schools. In 2018, when I was working for Bradfields Academy, I was given the opportunity to work as a Job Coach when Forward2Employment was just a pilot scheme.
I support young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the workplace, this includes, drawing up support plans, making workplace adjustments and teaching valuable life skills/work skills to support the interns into work and securing long term employment, helping them to gain independence for life. I also support the interns to develop their English and maths skills. I also help deliver travel training where necessary.
I am always looking out for new opportunities from businesses for our future students. My belief is that everyone deserves a chance and I am passionate about changing the way people think towards people working with disabilities. We just need the rest of the world to see how amazing our students are and what they can achieve when given a chance.
Project Search Tutor
Since I was a young child at Primary School, I had always wanted to be a teacher, as I admired them for all the work they did, as well as supporting me to do well at school. However, at Secondary School during a careers meeting, I was told that I would never be a teacher, as I wasn’t clever enough or have the ability to go to university. I was absolutely devastated by this and drifted into various jobs. However, my dream to be a teacher was always there in the background, so, in my mid-40s I went back to college and studied hard for the next 4 years, and achieved a Social Science Degree (with honours). I then worked at Mid-Kent College as a Teaching Assistant for two years, and was then offered the role of Tutor in the Level 1 & 2 Childcare Department. During this time, I did my Continue to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Ctlls), Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Ptlls) and Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Dtlls) and also my PGCE and TAQA award and became a teacher. My dream had finally come true.
My passion, since becoming a teacher/tutor has always been to help students with SEN achieve the very best that they can. As a new Tutor on the Project Search, Supported Internship Programme, I will be teaching and supporting interns in the classroom as well as in the various departments at Medway Hospital. As a parent of a young man with Autism, I understand how hard it is for young people with this diagnosis, to gain employment. I believe that everyone, no matter what their ability, should be allowed to work in a field /department, that interests and excites them. Through the Project Search programme, I hope that the interns will be able to experience different departments, within the hospital, and learn not only employability skills, but also social, monetary and independence skills as well.
I have a wide range of experience working with students of all ages and abilities. My particular interests and training are with students who have autism/ASD, as well as other special educational needs/disabilities. I have worked in numerous educational settings, from Primary through to 16+/college, and I really enjoy seeing my students grow in confidence and gain qualifications, that have enabled them to achieve a good job.
I consider myself to be a patient, motivational person who takes an enthusiastic and positive approach to my work. I can adapt as a professional and alter my support methods in accordance with the young people that I am working with.
Most of my employment history has been in an educational setting, I started as a keyworker in a local pre-school for 3 years. I went on to work as a Teaching Assistant in an SEND school and college. I have been working at Bradfields Academy for six years, as a lead teaching assistant, supporting young people with SEND and mentoring a team of teaching assistants. I was successful in my application to become a job coach for Forward2Employment in 2021.
My new role has been a welcome challenge, I support young adults with SEND in the workplace, I write support plans, set targets, support and make workplace adjustments; ensuring support for both the young adults and the employer. I support the teaching of English, Maths, BTEC work skills and life skills, including travel training to ensure the young adults have the skills needed to secure long term employment and independence.
Senior Job Coach
I started my role as a Job Coach at Forward2Employment in September 2021, with over six years’ experience working with SEND, as a Teaching Assistant, at Bradfields Academy, one of which being a Lead Teaching Assistant.
My role includes working closely with Interns in the workplace by providing 1-to-1 support, guidance and on-the-job training, in the hope that they can gain independent employment. The role also involves completing support plans, and adjusting work placements to suit the skills and interests of the interns to ensure that they get the best results out of the Internship.
As well as supporting interns in the workplace I along with my colleagues teach maths, English, life skills, travel training and BTEC work skills qualifications. This work is vitally important in ensuring that interns effectively bridge the gap between leaving school and going into the world of work independently.
I am a hard-working professional with a caring nature and approachable personality who will always give a helping hand to those who require it. I take great pride in my work, and I am passionate about showing the world what young people with special needs can achieve if only given the opportunity.
I have had a varied career and gained a wealth of knowledge which I like to share with work colleagues and interns alike.
After leaving school, I worked for an Engineering firm on the factory floor. I then went on to be an Able Seaman working in Chatham Dockyard until the Dockyard eventually closed. Later jobs included: working in a paper mill for 13 years, being a volunteer coastguard and I also ran my own business as a photographer for 20 years.
I started working as a volunteer at a local preschool where I quickly found out that working with SEN children was where I wanted to go. I was offered the position of a Teaching Assistant at a school where all the students were on the autistic spectrum and I held this position for 5 years.
I am passionate about being able to provide support to the interns in order for them to gain employment in a job that they want to do. I aim to help them achieve good life skills, confidence, independence and to grow into mature adults so that they can offer their own unique qualities in the workplace.
Being able to share and promote professional life skills for the positive outcome of our interns is a privilege.
I have over 20 years of extensive work place experience as a coach mentor, my role was to support and develop new and existing employees to gain the necessary skills and competencies required to be successful within their employment. In 2017, I volunteered to work with Bradfields Academy where I worked towards and achieved my Teachers Assistant Level 2 qualification. In 2018, Bradfields employed me as a medical assistant where I supported the students with their medical needs.
Working in the medical room gave me an understanding of the students, knowing how to talk to the students and to calm any upsetting situations; this experience can be adapted in both the classroom and on-the-job support with the interns.
Having a Teacher’s Assistant qualification allowed me to spend time in the classroom, supporting the students, and breaking down the understanding of learning, so students are able to progress. This enhanced my experience to work with various ages and supporting students when on work experience. Supporting young adults with SEND is a passion of mine, and being able to see the interns develop and thrive is very rewarding. I am a patient and positive individual that thrives on excellence. I have a caring approach and am able to adapt my abilities to each individual’s needs.
Within my job role, I fully support the interns 1 to 1 whilst in their work placement. I assist in the teaching of English, Maths BTEC, as well as Life skills and Work skills qualifications. I also guide them to develop their independence with travel training to secure permanent employment.
I am an approachable, caring individual with a passion for supporting and assisting others.
I began my career volunteering in a Childcare setting, which has led to 13 years experience of working within childcare and with young adults. Prior to my current role, I excelled in my position as a Teaching Assistant and loved the fact I was able to make a difference to people’s lives and be the role model they require.
I chose to work for Forward2Employment as I get a huge satisfaction out of supporting and helping others and find it really rewarding that I can make a difference to an individual’s life. During my current role as a Job Coach I can confidently support and help young adults in the workplace to enable them to eventually take that leap out into the world of work independently. As well as being able to support the interns within the workplace I also work alongside my peers to teach life skills, travel training and English and Maths to ensure they have the qualification and skills required to secure long term employment.
I’ve been working at Forward2Employment since September 2023. Prior to this I undertook a temporary administrator role at Bradfields Academy.
Whilst working at Bradfields I soon realised I wanted to stay working within SEN and applied for the position as Job Coach for Forward2Employment.
My previous working experience includes over 20 years of financial administration, and although this background knowledge is completely different to the Job Coach role, I spent a vast majority of time training, coaching and mentoring other colleagues.
This role allowed me to understand how important it is to be able to adapt and cater to individual learning abilities, whilst providing them with the support and guidance they need. I am a patient, approachable, kind and empathetic individual.
At Forward2Employment I have the opportunity to put all my best strengths and abilities towards a programme that is committed to helping young people integrate in to a suitable working environment and to gain further confidence within themselves.
Director and Head of Provision
I trained as a psychology teacher in 2003. Prior to that, I worked for Her Majesty’s Prison service. I started my teaching in a mainstream provision but have taught in special educational needs since 2015.
It was whilst as an Assistant Principal at Bradfields that I realised that there was a gap in provision for those young people who need a little extra support to get into employment. With this in mind, I have worked tirelessly to develop Forward2Employment and I have a strong vision of how I want to move the provision forward to support more young adults in Medway and further into Kent to gain employment.
I started my career in the British Army where I served as an Infantry Soldier for 9 years. I then joined her Majesty’s Prison Service as a Prison Officer and have worked in several establishments with various categories of prisoner. I have seen first-hand how important it is that young people have the right start in their adult life and how badly things can go wrong if there isn’t support in place. I strongly believe that supported internships and employment provide that support.
I am currently Kent, Sussex and Essex regional Health, Safety and Fire Advisor working at establishments through the region. I am qualified to carry out Health Safety and Fire risk assessments and I will be vigilant in ensuring the safety of the interns when they undertake their placements.
I am a carpenter by training, but fell into the hospitality industry early in my working life where I learned very quickly the importance of strong teams, quality customer service and the building of healthy working relationships. It was through this role that I met my current employers.
I have worked for Richard Austin Alloys for 7 years now and manage our skilled and experienced sales team in their day to day tasks. RAA began offering placements for interns in 2022 after we were approached by Forward2Employment. I have experienced their workfirst hand and the critical role they play in the development and growth of the interns that join their programme and the support offered to interns and associated businesses (Like RAA) toensure successful placements and a fair chance for interns to experience working life.
I was excited to be asked to join the board at F2E and hope that my experiences can offer an insight into ways to maximise the potential from associated businesses and work towards successful placements where our interns and businesses have the support and reassurances that they need.