Sixth Former Ashlea Walton had always wanted to work with children when she left school and Alison Wheeler, the deputy head at Palmerston School was keen to help her achieve her goal but knew she needed a little help in her quest.
Palmerston is a Special School in Woolton for 11-19 year old pupils who have severe and profound learning disabilities. They believe every student can achieve if they are provided with a learning environment that meets their needs.
So, Alison approached Liverpool Compact – Education Business Partnership, to see if they could find Ashlea some regular work experience in a nursery.
Liverpool Compact EBP works with schools and over 6000 employers to develop the career aspirations and employability skills of young people.
Maria Hart, sixth form extended work experience manager at Liverpool Compact EBP approached one of their supportive employers, Woolton Village Day Nursery to ask if they could work with Ashlea for just half a day a week for three months to equip her with some of the skills and experience she needed in the profession.
Maria said: “That was over a year ago and Ashlea is still working there to this day!”
So impressed was her employer that they asked Ashlea to continue working with them indefinitely and she was delighted to accept!
Working in the toddler room at Woolton Village Day Nursery, Ashlea assists staff with breakfast duties, learning and play and singing and dancing activities with the children.
Nursery nanager & SENCO Nicola Kavanagh said: “We believe in supporting all young people focusing on their ability not disability. Ashlea is a natural with the children.”
Ashlea said: “Working with the toddlers is great fun.”
Her mum Marg added: “I’d like to thank Liverpool Compact EBP, Palmerston School and Woolton Village Day Nursery for giving Ashlea this opportunity. It has increased her independence skills.”
In fact Ashlea and the nursery were presented with an Award for Independence in the Workplace by the Lord Mayor Erica Kemp and North West Community Services to celebrate her achievements.
Maria from Liverpool Compact EBP reflected “Ashlea is a fine example of how to achieve your aims, with a little help from a Liverpool employer.”