Hello - my name is Hannah Edge and I am Co–Founder and Director of Aiding Independence Ltd. Having always had a personal connection with the Link Family Scheme, which supported families of children with disabilities, together with family fostering, I attended university where I completed a BA Hons degree in Social Sciences and Early Childhood studies. I commenced work as a CSO within the field of Children & Families, which involved providing emotional and practical support to families experiencing long or short term difficulties. This support would extensively include helping children to remain within their family, if this was indeed the best option. Needs of a family would arise as a result of many different circumstances such as drug / alcohol misuse, a parent being in prison, domestic violence, to name just a few. During this time, I worked alongside many other professionals, including Social Workers, the Probation Service, Family Liaison Teams, Courts and Prison Services and a great deal of experience was gained through other aspects of the job such as court work and care proceedings. As rewarding and challenging as this work was, after a time I returned to work within the field of disabilities and joined the South East Portage Team. The support delivered was vast however the main ethos of the service was a home – visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families. This work was where my heart lay and I am still in contact to this day with many of the families I supported.
Although I briefly returned to work within Fostering as a Placement Officer, I always knew that my passion was to make a positive impact on the lives of those individuals requiring support. Through family experience it was witnessed that there wasn’t a current service that provided Independent Living opportunities for individuals with Learning Disabilities – the rest as they say is history!
My name is Yve Doust. I am the old wise owl of the organisation. Co - founder and Director of Aiding Independence.
Since I was a teenager I have been involved in the care profession in some way or another. My experience over the years has included welfare officer, residential social worker, foster carer, registered manager and then on to being a qualified social worker and principal social worker as well as a practice teacher to social work students. My experience in so many areas has proved invaluable for the work that we do now. More importantly than all of the experience and qualifications I believe that the ability to truly care and support and nurture people is the pinnacle of our existence at Aiding Independence. However, for those that need to know I have the collected the following qualifications over the years.
• Diploma in Social Work
• BA (Hons) Social Science
• Diploma in Health & Social Care
• Certificate in Practice Teaching (Social Work)
• Cert + Dip Welfare Studies
My name is Sophie Thompson and I am extremely proud to introduce myself as the Registered Manager of Aiding Independence. Since Aiding Independence inception I have been part of the creation and development of the service. During this time I have gained so many new skills, mainly from the people we support and the people we work alongside. Even after over 10 years of supporting adults with learning disabilities I have found there is still so much more to learn. I have now completed my Level 5 QCF Diploma in Leadership and Management to help develop my management skills.
After leaving school I gained my Social Care Level 3 Diploma, and started out supporting young people in local authority care in a residential setting. I worked my way up to manage a service for young offenders working closely with Social workers, probation services and criminal justice workers. Whilst working within the children and family sector of social care I went onto achieve a Higher Education Diploma in Social Care at University.
Despite extensive knowledge gained from working in this sector I have always felt personally there was somewhere else that I could make a direct difference to people’s lives. Since moving into the Adult social care sector and having people with learning disabilities part of my life I have never looked back. I genuinely feel privileged to be part of these people’s lives.
Since the beginning of Aiding Independence I have been responsible for the development and training of our support workers to work within our ‘Hands Off’ model of support. I am very passionate about our approach and have witnessed the success that positive independence training can have on individuals.
Level 5 Diploma for Health and Social Care and Children and Young Person’s Services- Adult’s Management.
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care (England)
K100 Understanding Health and Social Care
K113 Foundation for Social Work Practice
Safeguarding Adults Awareness
Making Supervision and Appraisal Work
BTEC National Diploma in Social Care