What’s My Story?
I began this adventure a long time ago with the hope that I would be able to help people. I just wasn’t sure how.
After many years of training, gaining relevant qualifications and building up vital life experience, I am finally in a position to do exactly what I set out to do…..help people! Help them to reach their full potential. Help them learn a new language. Help with getting into the next chapter of their lives. Help discover mindful practices. And overall help them realise their dreams. (See more under Qualifications and Experience at the bottom of the page).
Generally, helping you to help yourself! Be more. Become more. And most importantly, be YOU! Be the very best that you can be, and never settle for less.
Here at TSK, we will ensure you have the skills you need to learn, to help you to educate yourself. To empower you in your journey. Wherever it may take you!
Our mission statement:
Training Solutions Kilkenny aims to instill a love of lifelong learning. To help everyone in their journey of self improvement. All learning is valuable and we hope to foster a sense of awe and value into your journey, where ever it takes you.
Whether you need academic writing support to get through assignments, relaxation strategies to help manage anxieties or daily life stressors, training delivered to help support your staff or for education providers, training designed for CPD training, assistance in learning English, or specialised daily workshops. Here at TSK we have something to suit most needs.
All courses can be tailored to your individual needs. Why not contact us to see what we can do for you?
Qualifications and Experience
This is long, so if you just want to know about my qualifications and main areas, they’re in bullet points!
I have a love of lifelong learning since entering back into education when I was 32. I took a degree after not studying since 16 when I completed me GCSE’s. It took me 6 years! Bear in mind I had a full time job in a banking call centre and was raising 5 children alone at the time, I didn’t think I did too bad.. So, 6 years later in 2013 I had gained my:
- BSc (Hons) Open degree. (Level 8 on the NFQ)
So, what does it mean to have an Open Degree? An Open Degree enables the learner to study modules from different, but associated disciplines. In order to make up the points required to gain the Honours Degree I studies 3 different areas gaining Diplomas for each subject area. These were in:
- Childhood & Youth Studies (Dip. Level 7)
- Health & Social Care (Dip. Level 7)
- Mental Health Studies (Cert. Level 6)
Since then, I moved out of the bank and went into Healthcare, gaining 2 years experience and many CPD certificates along the way (gained in 2013-15, so now out of date),in subject areas such as:
- Medication Management
- Epilepsy Care
- Diabetes Care
- Manual Handling & Patient Moving
- Report Writing
- Safeguarding of vulnerable adults
- Autism & Aspergers Awareness
Finding it very difficult emotionally losing people I had been supporting for so long and becoming somewhat attached, I decided it was time for a change.
I took a move to the Social Care sector and began working in a specialist Autism Unit in Kilkenny, working as a keyworker with an 18year old autistic lady initially. I worked alongside a team as we worked hard to provide appropriate support for our client. With continous work on behaviour support plans, activity planning and taking into consideration all of her sensory integration needs, within a year of working with her, we had got her down to 1:1 support and in a place where she could comfortably go on day trips, trips to the cinema, to a restaurant, etc. I was then required for other clients within the unit and moved to their team to provide keywork support and the same level of care and support.
I worked in the Autism Unit for 3 years, gaining valuable experience of the varying needs of autistic people and supporting them to live full lives within the community, enabling them to gain social role valorisation. Some of the CPD courses I undertook while in this sector were:
- Autism Awareness
- Communication Skills
- Studio III
- Autism – A Parents Perspective
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Children and Young People
- Fire Safety
Sadly, this employment came to an end due to a personal change in circumstance, so I made a move to Childcare where the hours were guarenteed to be during the day without weekends, which suited me better at the time.
I quickly discovered as I worked in an Afterschools club for a marginalised community that my Level 7 Childhood and Youth Diploma was inadequate for childcare as there had been a move to the QQI certification. So, off we go again…I went back to education again and took:
- QQI Level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education
I also became an active member in the CFSN Meetings (Child and Family Support Networks). I took CPD courses in:
- Meitheal Training
- Outdoor Play Workshop
- Child Protection
Moving into ECCE, I was assigned as an AIM support worker, to support children with additional needs including children whose first language was not English, but because of my experience, my role was confused with that of an SNA, so I thought I would take the next step in my CPD and I took the:
- QQI Level 6 Special Needs Assisting
- TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
- TEYL (Teaching English to Young Learners)
In the course of my learning journey, I also took:
- Mindfulness for Individuals
- Mindfulness for Children
- 20 hour Brand You
- 40 hour Teaching English Online
- 40 hour Start Your Own Business
Ok, so all these qualifications..people were constantly telling me I could do more. But I lacked the confidence. I loved teaching people and supporting people to better themselves or do things for themselves. I was spurred on and went to take the Train the Trainer. I am the proud owner of this since 2018.
- QQI Level 6 Training Needs Identification and Design
- QQI Level 6 Training Delivery and Evaluation
I have gone on to leave the childcare sector in the favour of teaching the modules. I aslo teach healthcare and social care modules, thanks to the vast experience and the scope of my qualifications. My clients for this training to date are:
- Barrow Training and Consultancy
- Iona College
I also work for University College Cork as a Lecturers support, where I teach adult learners of an Autism Diploma Course in academic support. I have worked with UCC for 2 years and will be entering my 3rd year this year. I teach:
- Assignment Support
- Harvard Referencing & Avoiding Plagairism
- Presentation Skills
- Research Skills
- Mind Mapping
- Academic Style Writing
- Critical Thinking and Self-reflection skills
- Time management & Learning Styles
Along with this I work for Core Care. These are a family support company. When I began in this company I was a Supervised Access Facilitator, facilitating court ordered access arrangements between estranged parent and child/ren. I still do this, but since starting with them, I have taken on advocacy roles for autistic adolescents that need to get their voice heard in court, supervision of existing employees and am now the training co-ordinator. It is here that I gained the confidence to bring my career forward to the next level in my teaching and training journey as my employer required me to design the CPD courses. I have worked for Core Care for 3 years.
I have designed a number of courses for CPD of which some will be online shortly. Some of them are already in use by other companies and some are in the pipelines for funding through relevent departments.
Finally, I am signed up to take the MA in Child, Youth and Family Studies. The modules in this course are:
- Contemporary Issues in Childhood & Youth
- Applied Psychology
- Perspectives on Family and Society
- Leadership, Strategy & Governance
- Research Methods & Dissertation
The elective modules I intend to take for my expert area are:
- Child & Family Rights
- Adult & Community Education
This is me. It seems like a lot, but I don’t think it is. Everything I have done has been to get me here. To teach others. But to teach them right. We need people in healthcare, social care and childcare that actually care about their clients and want to do their best by them. We no longer want people with their own agenda, or with old school ethics (in the sene of children or additional needs are inherently evil and must be punished, or are a burden). These are what we do not want.
We can do better. We can give respect. We can give our everything. Everyone is entitled to an equitable life, no matter what.
This is what I instill in my teaching. Along with motivation and a love of lifelong learning.