Cognus Post 16 Therapies staff collaborate through Microsoft Teams channel to share resources and good practice
Ashlea Stephens (Speech and Language Therapist, SaLT) and Emma Perridge (Occupational Therapist, OT) lead the Post 16 team at Cognus and in March 2022, they set up a Post 16 communication channel on Microsoft Teams to connect all members of therapies staff working in Post 16 at Cognus. There are currently 22 members of the group and Ashlea and Emma post on a weekly basis to distribute information, resources and opportunities from other organisations. Some of this information comes from our partners in the London Borough of Sutton who run a Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) delivery group, which Ashlea and Emma are part of.
The main purpose of the Post 16 Teams channel is to ensure that all therapists working in Post 16 are informed of all the opportunities available within Sutton to signpost or refer the young people they work with to. Children and young people with SEND have the same aspirations, needs and rights as all young people and therapists, along with many other professionals, are responsible for ensuring a good life for all of them.
After the first few months of the group, Ashlea and Emma sent out a survey to the team members to gain their feedback on the usefulness of the group. A third of members answered the survey and the results indicated that all responding team members were finding the group useful and would like the posts to continue on a weekly basis with content about PfA resources, training opportunities and local offers. It was also noted that they would like the wider Post 16 team to contribute resources and information on this page as well.
In response to this, November 2022 marked the start of Advocacy Awareness Week, so Ashlea and Emma thought this was a perfect time to empower other team members to speak up on all things Post 16 through a ‘Teams Takeover’. Over the course of the month, the group heard from four members of staff regarding some of the things they felt passionately about.
Ruby James (OT) shared information and resources about interoception and the curriculum they follow at Sherwood Park (a specialist school with Post 16 classes).
Danielle Huynh (OT) who works in NESCOT and Carshalton College, shared resources around mindset and mindfulness which she uses in her Post 16 work.
Grace Mullin (SaLT) who works in various Post 16 placements in and around the borough, shared a resource she put together outlining how our Post 16 learners can access mental health support at different colleges.
We loved learning from these brilliant therapists and adding their resources to our toolkit to continue providing support to the young people we work with. Since we’ve had our ‘Teams Takeover’, we’ve noticed that therapists share information more regularly and we hope to continue promoting collaboration as well as best outcomes for the young people we work with.
Find out more about Cognus Therapies and the work they do – Cognus Therapies Team