Together Sarah and Alison have a wealth of hands-on practice and experience spanning over 40 years. They are both passionate in their belief that anyone, regardless of their learning disability can learn new skills. They have been working together delivering TSI courses since 2009. They have trained hundreds of people across the country in public, private and third sector, including Supported Internship, Supported Employment, Supported Living, Day and Residential Service staff, Teachers, Occupational Therapists and Autism Specialists.
Sarah has over 40 years’ experience of working with people who have a learning disability/autism. She has worked in a range of settings including Supported Employment, Residential and Day Services and Speech Therapy teams and has worked with children and adults. Sarah and Alison were among the first to set up a Supported Employment Service in the UK in 1990. Sarah worked in supported employment services for 26 years. Sarah who has an HNC in Care Practice and the Certificate for Supported Employment Practitioners, worked as a Job Coach for 15 years using TSI techniques on a daily basis to support individuals in their work places.
Sarah moved into a more strategic development role which involved training staff and employers and supporting organisations to develop accessible recruitment practices and was also involved in a project exploring self-employment options with people who had a learning disability/autism. Initially within their own local authorities, and then as Turn it Around Training, Sarah and Alison have trained hundreds of people in TSI and Sarah also had a role for a number of years, mentoring TSI trained staff to embed the TSI approach, in the local authority where she worked. In 2015 Sarah was recognised for her work and contribution to the world of Supported Employment and was awarded BASE practitioner of the year.
As the parent of a young man who is autistic, Sarah has the additional experience of being a receiver of services as well as a provider. This insight has informed her practice and added a unique perspective to her training. As a parent ‘Expert by Experience’ Sarah has worked with CQC inspectors monitoring and inspecting Residential and Supported Living Services.
Alison has a Psychology (BScHons) degree, and has worked within the field of Learning Disabilities since 1986, when she began work as a Job Coach, finding work/experience for people attending a large Adult Training Centre in the North East of England. She then worked as part of a resettlement team with adults leaving long stay hospitals, still finding employment but also supporting people to take part in their local communities, using Community Link work. In 1990 Alison and Sarah attended their first TSI workshop together and were so inspired that they persuaded their manager at the time that all of their work should be focussed on finding people jobs. Along with Sarah, she set up DIRECT Employment service, one of the first Supported Employment services for people with learning disabilities.
Alison also has experience in managing mental health day services and Independent Living services for adults with learning disabilities and Autism, where she has used TSI to support people to learn new skills and become more independent. Sarah and Alison have provided training in TSI since 2009, but in addition Alison is a qualified Advocate and has worked in a range of settings with adults and children. She works as an Independent Expert by Experience for NHS England and local CCG’s, carrying out Care and Treatment Reviews (CTR’s).
Alison also holds a Diploma in the Management of Care Services, NVQ level 4 Management, Level 3 Award in Advocacy and Independent Mental Health Advocacy, Level 3 Award in Education and Training and Counselling Cert.
I have found what I’ve learnt on this TSI course almost ‘life changing’ as it means I will have to re-set my thinking and way of working, training and supporting . Even though I have worked in further education for a number of years I have never had training so impactful / powerful.
The trainers wealth of knowledge and experience provided a value filled 4 days.
I have learnt so much that I cannot focus on one part alone as the best bit. This course will influence every interaction I have with the people I support in the future “
(People Matters, Leeds)
Very well thought out course. I liked the way the course was layed out and loved the practical work. “ (Gateshead LA)
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