I am Jenni and a decade ago I had my first brush with burnout. I had been working in schools and volunteering at a Friday night youth club, as well as being on the church leadership team, doing the administration for the choir I was a member of on top of being a Mum to two young children. I was over-committed and utterly overwhelmed.
As I began to sink under the weight of all these commitments, a few different people came alongside me to offer support. It was thanks to these people that I was able to rest, and then go again. It has taken me most of that decade and particularly this last 12 months to truly learn the lessons that each episode has been trying to show me.
All of this experience puts me in a unique position to offer support to those working with young people. It is a demanding and rewarding role, requiring a lot of energy being given out and not always presenting the opportunity to either vent when there are problems or to recharge your energy levels.
Being a lifelong youth worker means that I’m a good listener and sounding board. I have been privileged to listen to a lot of people’s stories and in doing so have realised just how precious it is to have someone to talk to, to be accountable to, who will encourage us to become our best selves.
I have had a varied career, most of which has been in and around schools from teacher to outside agency and then into training those going into schools as volunteers to bring faith-based assemblies and lessons or groups. Since 2016 I have been self-employed and in that time I have held some varied roles including Chair of Governors at local infant & junior schools, facilitating the Concrete Youth Work think tank on Young People and Mental Health in the Church, overseeing the training of youth workers in hubs across the country, and mentoring of youth workers on a one-to-one basis online. I write a regular column for Premier Youth and Children’s Work Magazine on school’s work and am the author of two books, ‘Mental Health and Young People’ published by Grove Books and ‘From Isolation to Community’ published by Issachar Press. I launched a podcast called ‘Jenni Talks’ which focusses on supporting those who support young people and I am an active member at my local church in Eastbourne, The Gather Collective.
Over the years I have seen how trauma has an impact on lives and been able to support many young people and adults either directly or indirectly through different experiences of mental health. This drives me to help those working with young people to understand themselves and others better.
Hit the contact button to find out more about working with me.