Leanne’s Story

Feb 18, 2020 | Follow My Journey

Hey, I’m Leanne, a.k.a. Fitzy.

I have worked at NJH for 8 years & I just ❤️ it 😊

Favourite memories? I have loads! One that stands out is the time I took a young girl to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I was utterly terrified to go on the Pepsi Max due to my fear of heights. The young girl really wanted me to experience this with her and she gave me loads of encouragement, holding my hand to comfort me as I was shaking so much! I remember she kept telling me I would be OK. A bit of role reversal, but it was one of the most amazing experience’s I have had in my job; seeing how much it meant to her that she had been able to support me to do this with her. We both took so much from this and it has definitely helped shaped the way I think about my relationships with all of our children and young people.

My role at NJH is about supporting young people and helping them reach their full potential in life. I Feel I am able to build positive, healthy and meaningful relationships with all our young people. I find that this is about my approach; always reassuring them and making sure they feel safe whilst creating opportunities for them to have lots of fun and laughter. I am known for being a bit ‘ditzy’ (Ditzy Fitzy!) at times lol and being able to laugh at myself has turned things around many a time!

Key things I think are important:

❤️I am always honest no matter how difficult that can be at times.

❤️I make sure each young person feels very loved and………..

❤️ I do cuddle……… a lot 😊

NJH has always been a brilliant team; we all work together to make sure the young people feel that this isn’t a children’s unit, it’s their HOME❤️

It’s very important to build healthy nurturing relationships with our young people sometimes it can take a wee while and that’s OK.  I always make sure when I come in that I go and see our young people and check in with them. Handovers are really important but so is that direct connection. The young people have told me that knowing who is around reassures them. The young people know that I am married and have three kids.  I think it’s important to share some aspects of your life with them, so they get to really know you. I feel this really important as it can be really stressful for the young people to feel like we know all this stuff about them, and they know nothing about who’s caring for them. This approach works really well & helps to form genuine relationships.

I love spending one to one time with all young people doing whatever they love best. One young girl loves to just sit in her room listening to music and we just dance about silly. Another has a passion for cinema trips (which is defo one of my fav things to do lol 😊). Even if it’s something that I am not too keen on I will always try it because I know how much that effort means to our young people and they are soooooooo encouraging 😊. I will dance and sing about silly; I will sit and cuddle, I will always try my best to make sure they feel loved, cared for and safe. It never feels like I’m going to work I feel like I am just going to my other house.

All of our young people have experienced some form of trauma in their lives and this impacts on their thoughts, feelings and often actions. I work hard all of the time to see beyond the ‘behaviours’ and to help our young people make sense of their world in a way that allows them to take positive steps forward. This isn’t an easy journey, but I make sure that we take it together and they never feel like they are doing it all by themselves.

Over the years I have had lots of nice things done for me, but one thing that’s stands out was a young girl making me a wee love heart ceramic with my name on it ❤️. When she gave it to me she said “this is for u, thank you for being my second mum”, that moment of knowing how loved she felt I will always treasure. I knew then we had got it right for her ❤️

I love being a childcare worker at NJH, it’s so rewarding. Each day is different, but in a good way. I love seeing our young people laugh and love knowing that they know they are safe and loved. NJH is an amazing place to be, the team are all amazing, we all want the same goals; to help all young people thrive and reach for the stars, cause we know they are capable of anything ❤️❤️❤️❤️