Team Seashell – meet Emily!

In the first of a new series, we’ll be introducing you to some of the amazing staff members who make up #TeamSeashell. Emily Jones has worked at Seashell Trust for 3 years, and is a teaching assistant at our Royal School Manchester.

What does your role involve?
I’m classed as a hybrid worker because I work in education and care, as well as leading Seashell Trust’s climbing club for our children and young people.  In school, I support early years pupils and then I work one night and a couple of mornings in one of the houses supporting young adults.

My role is to support students to develop their independence and to teach life skills, as well as subjects like maths and literacy.  We’re very creative in how we teach and it’s all about tailoring our teaching to each individual child.  We support students to understand themselves and to learn how to communicate with others.

Can you tell us about the climbing club? How does it benefit our students?
Numbers vary, but we have our regulars who come every week. Climbing is completely safe for our students, but can feel a bit daunting and scary at first, particularly with the physical challenges our young people often have.  So overcoming that and progressing is a real achievement and makes them feel really good about themselves.

Climbing develops so many skills and it’s great to see students’ confidence come on. As well as being supported to become more independent, you have to trust the person helping you up the wall so it really helps with relationship building. 

I’ve been climbing for years and I’m a member of Manchester Climbing Wall so it’s great to bring something I’m passionate about to work and see it have a positive impact.

Can you tell us about some of the student achievements in climbing club?
We have a registered blind student who would only climb two metres when he first started, but can now go right up to the top of the wall, which is over four metres!

Some of our autistic students take part and to encourage them to go further, I put pictures of things they like on the wall. One student really likes Thomas the Tank Engine, so he’s motivated to go up further to touch the pictures of Thomas. You can definitely get very creative!

What’s the best thing about working at Seashell Trust?                           
I really enjoy my role, I get to experience both sides of Seashell Trust with education and care. Every day is different because our children and young people are all completely different, with different needs, strengths and interests.

Seashell Trust is a really positive workplace and I feel very supported by the staff team.  It can be a challenging working environment, but everyone is friendly and approachable which makes a real difference.

Working with our children and young people is something I love and have a real interest in, so it just doesn’t feel like work.  I can’t think of anything more rewarding than seeing our students develop and become more independent and confident.