HISTORY OF CHEXS
How it all began…
I had a very strong and loving family upbringing, however, school seemed to focus on what I could not do instead of building on what I could do. When I was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 14 my school was finally able to understand why I struggled to spell simple words like my name and that I see and hear B/D/P and I/A, the wrong way round. Unfortunately, at this time there wasn’t the structure or knowledge about this condition to truly help me.
In spite of these barriers, I had an inner drive to join the Royal Navy and to be a diver. My entry exam and my medicals were passed and my first interview taken before I told my parents. My dad agreed to sign the forms (due to my age) so that I could attend the second interview.
Joined the Royal Navy in October 1989 aged 16.
The Royal Navy’s approach was completely different and this helped me to build my confidence so that I could express and challenging myself. I achieved fulfilment throughout my career with them.
My first roles in the Navy.
My first role was a Radar Operator. This was an entry position as a Junior Seaman serving in Iraq in 1990/91. I then qualified as a Ships Diver in 1992 and served in the former Yugoslavia in 1995. Following this, I was selected to undertake the rigorous Physical Training Instructor training and became a qualified PTI in 1996.
In 2000 I was part of the Royal Navy’s Physical Training Team. I visited schools and colleges throughout the country promoting careers in the Royal Navy. The course I delivered was designing activities which challenged, rewarded and developed self-confidence. The course highlighted the values of teamwork with young people aged 16 – 24 from diverse backgrounds
A one year secondment.
My next role was a one year’s secondment as a Sports Development Officer. This role was with the Federation of London Youth. This organisation was responsible for 540 youth clubs within London Boroughs. My role was to help young people interact in sport by identifying and creating pathways into the sporting world. The aims of this position was also to highlight a career within the Royal Navy.
Unfortunately, due to my injury, I was eventually medically discharged from the Royal Navy in October 2002.
A teaching career
All of this experience highlighted the skills I had to offer and that I had an aptitude to support children. So I moved into teaching with my first role being in Islington London in January 2003. In this role, my primary focus was on young people who were at high risk of exclusion from formal education. The programme I delivered was through an organisation called SkillForce. This was aimed at giving young people the skills and aspirations to be successful at school and in life.
In 2007 I was appointed a Cheshunt Extended Schools manager and Assistant Head at Turnford School. Extended Schools was a government initiative aimed at providing opportunities for children and their families outside of normal school hours.
“My personal experiences, especially around my own journey through school and my late diagnosis of dyslexia, had such an impact on my self-esteem and confidence. My decision to use these experiences as motivation to create a programme to help children reach their full potential is my greatest achievement.”
The way the Royal Navy supported, educated and gave me the opportunities to develop as a person was pivotal to my development. My drive to offer this type of support to other young people and to enable them to feel proud of their achievements and give them the confidence to ask for support when needed is what motivates me.
10 years of growth…
The whole team at CHEXS are committed to the values that underpin our work. We have a passion for delivering high-quality services that support children and young people. Our needs led GROWTH programme brings families together.
CHEXS looks beyond formal educational structures and uses coaching techniques outside of a classroom environment to listen, support and guide the children and young people to their goals.
We believe we have a clear understanding of the current challenges facing families and the local community. As a charity we are constantly exploring potential new collaborations across the public, voluntary and private sectors to enable families to secure further support that they may need.