Helen Stephens

My name is Helen Stephens I’m 34 years old and I accessed Sefton Play Council Services when Fun 4 Kidz employed me through an ILM scheme in 2005.

I had moved back to Sefton after living in London for 6 years and was struggling to find work. After listening to a friend talking about his job I was inspired to change my career direction. My friend worked as a playworker in Bootle.

I found a leaflet in the Job Centre advertising the Making Choices Moving Forward course delivered by Sefton Play Council and contacted them to book a place. 

2 weeks into the course I was offered a casual job with Fun4Kidz providing cover when staff were absent. After a few months I applied for an ILM position, which provided a 12 month contract with Fun4Kidz and provided training opportunities within the playwork setting.

Once again I found myself studying with Sefton Play Council and took part in many short courses including 

·      Games Games Games

·      Face painting

·      Christmas Scrap Play

·      Outdoor play

·      Everyone can play

I also took the CACHE Level 3 award in Playwork and passed with top marks!

I really enjoyed the courses delivered by Sefton Play Council – from the first Making Choices course I was really inspired by Dave who made me the type of playworker that gets covered in paint, to the level 3 qualification that made me more aware of the importance of giving the kids a choice in what they do. I really enjoyed my work and came away from every lesson or day course with a new enthusiasm to put what I’d learned into practice.

After the ILM scheme finished I started working for Sefton Voices – a young peoples participation project within Sefton CVS. My career then moved towards communications and IT until 2011 when I was made redundant. I now run my own business and divide my time between website design and delivering art sessions working with a variety of participants from older learners to young people.

I have once again found myself working with Sefton Play Council in a different capacity…I’ve just finished building their new website – now I’ll get to train them on how to update it!

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