I’m Group Operations Manager for Dingley’s Promise, where I have been for just over a year.
I’m a passionate, fun loving individual with 18 years experience in the early years sector supporting children aged 0-5 and their families. My previous role being a manager of a cluster of children centres within the local authority.
I am a mum of a 6 (going on 26) year old, and step mum to an 8 and 13 year old… oh and not forgetting Jasper, the cat!
Why I Joined BNI Bourne
After being invited to BNI Bourne alongside other colleagues from local charities, I was taken back by the Bourne members. They were welcoming, professional, and showed great passion in supporting each other in their businesses.
I left feeling energised and positive that this would be a great opportunity for Dingley’s Promise to make new connections and grow, and also for my own personal and professional development.
What BNI has meant for me & my business
Having a well-established network has become an important part of charity work. The easiest way to expand our current network has been to build on the relationships with people we already know.
BNI has enabled me to extend those networks further and build relationships with people I didn’t know. Already we have have seen the positive impacts of this by gaining more supporters for the charity, more links to businesses that can provide support in all manner of ways from pledges and fundraising to support with staff training and a better internet connection in the office!!
About My Business
Dingley’s Promise are a charity working with children aged 0-5 with SEND, and their families.
Dingley’s mission is to deliver life changing support by;
- providing specialist learning through play,
- family support & training, and
- advice to mainstream settings to enable a smooth transition into the child’s next steps of education.
We began our work in Reading in 1983 and became a registered charity in 1988. Originally based at Battle Hospital, we then moved to a room within Reading’s specialist children’s centre on the Royal Berkshire Hospital site.
With a successful track record in supporting the whole family and with the numbers of children being referred to us growing, in 2009 we moved into larger premises in Reading. To assist parents and carers, we have two more centres in the key locations of Wokingham (opened in 1996) and Newbury (opened in 1997).
We now have three Ofsted Outstanding centres in Reading, Wokingham and Newbury and as an organisation we have been operating 34 years this August.
It costs £600,000 to run Dingley’s Promise (organisational wide), with diminishing local authority funding (West Berkshire Local Authority funding is set to cease in March 2018). We rely on fundraising and the kind support of our local community in order to keep the Centre’s open.
We have a shortfall of £12.08 to secure for an hour of Learn Through Play (our term time sessions) per child.
However, we are always trying to look to the future and this year are launching a nationwide training offer to other professionals and practitioners in early years settings, to enable them to develop strategies for including children with additional needs and disabilities.
Therefore supporting mainstream settings to fully deliver the entitlement of 30 hours of childcare that the government is introducing in September.