W is for Warm-Hearted

This is Angela Brown. Angela is an educational visitor covering the areas around Newton Stewart and Stranraer.

W is for Warm Hearted

Angela's role is to support children with additional support needs (from birth to five years old) to reach their full potential by minimising barriers to education and learning. She assesses the needs of children and helps to provide a bespoke programme of support, known as an individual educational plan.

Angela helps families with additional support applications for many things, from basic equipment or resources to additional staffing resource. She delivers training to nursery staff and external agencies who support a child with their support needs.

An educational visitor is much like a train operator - there for the journey, however long it needs to be, where the passengers are the family and the child being supported. Angela plans stops on the journey of support, often bringing on board services like Speech and Language Therapy for example, while making time with the family to enjoy the learning journey.

The importance of early intervention in childhood development is key. What Angela does is incredibly important, but it is how Angela does her role that makes her stand out.

Best part of the job? "Being with the children. I love taking the time to simply be with the children, engage in play alongside them, to learn who they really are. It is so informative for me and my planning, not to mention so much fun. I also really appreciate working with families to alleviate some of the anxieties felt at times when services are involved. The relationships built are so positive."

FACT - 361 children were supported last year by educational visitors across Dumfries and Galloway.

Angela told us of one child who had issues with communication, was extremely shy and reserved. Angela met with the young child in nursery and conducted intensive interaction. What's that? Quite simply it's playing, it's engaging in child-led play, building a bond, it's reciprocating silly faces made, it's building confidence in ways that a little person enjoys.

Fast forward to a recent meeting, and this little girl came in head held high, smiled and waved, with sheer joy in her eyes. Across the table was Angela, with tears in her eyes after seeing such an improvement and shift in confidence.

And although it's the implementation of these educational plans that is Angela's role, it's the little things that Angela does that make her so memorable to all the children she works with. She is affectionately known by many as 'the lady with the sparkly nails' - especially by one young boy who is visually impaired and struggles to identify faces. Upon inspection of said sparkly nails, this young boy can identify Angela instantly and is overjoyed - and she may only see this little boy once a year.

Another young girl who struggled with verbal communication and found sentence structure difficult was supported by educational visitors and other services. They provided communication boards with individual words that nursery staff use each day. This encourages clear and concise communication by pointing to the boards and repeating what they say out loud, in order. Due to the commitment and hard work of nursery staff, this intervention was so successful that the achievements of this young person and the methods used were made into a short film to celebrate the successes.

Angela, your role changes lives. There is simply no other way to put it. You guide, you train, you implement and support young people at the most developmentally important stage - and you do so with joy. You sparkle in so many ways and are so valued by everyone you work with. Thank you for everything you do.



Page last updated: 01/05/2024
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