MEET THE DREAM TEAM
With European funding I was able to take 8 parents of children
with complex medical needs on an educational exchange programme to Denmark, Hungary and Portugal. It was through spending extended time with these families that I came to a greater understanding of the emotional stresses they are under and how lack of sleep exacerbated their problems. This group of parents gave me the impetus to create Sleep East. I am a qualified sleep counsellor, completing my training with Sleep Scotland in 2007 and previously ran a Sleep Clinic for a local charity. I have a diploma in counselling from the University of East Anglia. I was a Norfolk Steps tutor for three years, training staff in cognitive behaviour modifications for children with challenging behaviour and have 18 years experience working with parents/carers of children with additional needs. I also make a great lemon polenta cake.
Marian Pearson (BSc(Hons), MA(ECS), PhD, EYPS) is an Early Years Professional with over twenty years of experience of working with children and families. She was Children’s Service Coordinator of the Hamlet Centre Trust, a Norwich-based charity providing services and support to children with disabilities and their families, from 1992-2008. She has worked for UEA as an Associate Tutor on Early Years courses and as mentor and assessor of Early Years Professional Status students. She lived for 2 years in Chilomoni, a township of Blantyre, Malawi, as a volunteer with The Krizevac Project, training local people to staff a Sure-Start-style Children’s Centre. Since her return she has completed an MA from UEA in Early Childhood Studies and broadened her experience by working in both private and public sector Early Years provision.
The causes of sleep difficulties are multi-factorial. It is important to understand issues such as the developmental stage of the child, the effect of specific conditions, the management of behaviours which are challenging, the routines which families follow and the influence of different types of play. Therefore Marian brings valuable experience to Sleep East. Marian and Joy have enjoyed working together on successful collaborative projects in the past.
Michelle of MS IMPACT (our consultant trainer) is mum to her daughter diagnosed with autism at age 3 and who is now a young adult. She studied with the University of Birmingham for two years to gain a qualification in autism in order to help her daughter. This led to continuing study in an honours degree in psychology and other courses in structured teaching for people with autism. She chose to use her psychology degree to gain an Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and also currently volunteers as a mentor helping parents for Carers UK. Michelle has helped many families who also have children on the autistic spectrum referred for support by staff of Norfolk County Council. She is a trained trainer in Early Support on the National Children's Bureau website and has co-delivered training in Early Support and Setting SENCO training with Norfolk County Council. She delivers her own autism training and is also the Right From The Start co-ordinator managed by Norfolk and Norwich Scope Association in a part-time capacity. Michelle is very passionate that parents and carers have the opportunity to attend training and courses and have support that will empower them in their role. Contact Michelle at: firstname.lastname@example.org