• Sign In
  • |
  • Register
Dawn's Story

Working at KIDS

I have worked for 16 and a half years. I first came in contact with KIDS as a parent of a disabled child. KIDS supported my son for 16 years.

Matthew attended the Nursery in 2004. Whilst I was dropping him off for one of his sessions, I was chatting to the receptionist, who mentioned that a part time post was being advertised for. It was for an assistant administrator, she suggested that I apply. I had a background / qualifications in admin, , however I hadn’t been in an office for a couple of years, I had been working at Sainsburys in the evenings so I could spend days at home with my 2 little boys. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go back to working during the day and knew that I would have child care to contend with. Matthew was due to start school in the September, but after much deliberation I applied. I had been so impressed with KIDS and everything they were doing for us as a family, I wanted to be part of that and really thought that I would fit into to the role. I was successful at my interview and formerly started as assistant administrator on the 7th July 2004. My contract was for 10hrs per week, I can’t even imagine only working 10hrs now, it seems such a long time ago.

I was based at the KIDS family centre in Fareham, which was a very busy hub with so many different services running, we had the nursery and residential unit on site, and all the other services where run from the offices, so had many colleagues from finance, young carers, play schemes, shortbreaks, senior management. We were a very big team. The admin team was a key component, the office I shared with the Senior administrator and other assistant administrator was always busy. We were the “go to” department, everyone came to us with queries, advice and a chat. It was one of the best times I have had in my career. During the holidays the young people would come on site for play schemes and we would go down and meet the families and young people and all mix in together to make they days so very special. We were a very close nit group and would often support each other during stressful times. As a team, we were always organising fundraising events, family days, BBQ’s Christmas fayres were the highlight of the year. The whole team would work together to put on the fayre, man the stalls, donate gifts, dress up and even take turns to be Santa’s helper. We would all work late into the night wrapping Christmas presents for the children, and decorating the building.

It seemed that I had only been with KIDS for 5 minutes before the option came for me to increase my hours to a more full time role. I was asked if I would consider this, I loved my job and wanted nothing more to be able to extend my hours, however I had concerns around child care and the fact that I had a child with special educational needs that required my support. KIDS was so very supportive and discussed ways that I could both increase my hours but also support my family. They were fully aware that my boys being so young were my priority and I had to put them first. Without that support I would have never been able to stay with KIDS for so long. KIDS gave me the flexibility and allowed me to care for Matthew, taking him to hospital, professionals, education appointments whenever I needed, taking holiday at short notice when he had to go in for emergency operations. I in return worked hard, made up my hours and went the extra mile to ensure my tasks were always completed. I would praise KIDS to my family and friends who would often say to me, “I don’t know how you do it, work full time, have a family and constantly fight for Matthew”. My answer would always be if it wasn’t for KIDS supporting me, I would be able to do it.

I stayed within the admin team for many years and gradually developed through the roles of Senior administrator, Regional Director’s PA, and office Manager. I loved every minute of it!

I then was offered a complete change of role and was asked to join the shortbreaks team as a Senior practitioner and take on the role within the respite team. This was completely new to me and something I was nervous about taking on. KIDS put me through the formal qualifications for the role, and my confidence grew. I have now been within this service for the last 6 years, and again developed within the service, to co-ordinator and more recently the CQC Registered Manager, being supported through to gain qualifications for my own personal development.

In my 16 years at KIDS, I have seen so many people come and go, people that have had a major impact on my career and, my life. There have been good times, and bad times, we have lost services, gained services, we have moved locations and nearly got through a pandemic! The KIDS south East Region is a very different region from when I started so many years ago, and I often think of the good old days, and miss the camaraderie of the team. However my passion for KIDS and ethos in everything we do in supporting disabled young people and their families has never wavered and I hope and look forward to many more years to come. Happy 50th Birthday KIDS I am so very proud of who you are and so glad I have been a part of your journey

Suggested Jobs

Early Years Practitioner

  • Location:  Birmingham
  • Salary Details:  £17,297 FTE per annum

Summer Sessional Play Worker

  • Location:  Buckinghamshire
  • Salary Details:  £8.91

Summer Play Worker Bracknell

  • Location:  Bracknell Forest
  • Salary Details:  £8.91

Play Worker

  • Location:  Wokingham
  • Salary Details:  £8.91

Young Person's Participation Assistant

  • Location:  Hull
  • Salary Details:  £9.73 per hour

Show All Vacancies