It was the first day of September 2022 when the Wemms staff entered the Gorse Hill Conference Centre to attend the annual Wemms staff conference. What followed was a warm welcome back by Joy and a quick overview of what Wemms is about and our vision to teach children who need an alternative education. Wemms' Chair of Trustees gave a clear and detailed presentation of all the changes that had been made to Wemms as an education provider, both legally in terms of becoming a charity and physically, as staff looked forward to teaching these valuable young people in a new, bigger site that could fit the old site almost into its Sports Hall.
Set up for the new year and the new location, our Assistant Principals - Jackie and Gail - delivered an informative session on Safeguarding, sharing key stories from their previous professional experiences to help new and old staff think more carefully about how to spot Safeguarding issues and deal with them quickly and sensitively.
Lunch was swiftly followed by a quick figurative dancing exercise to get staff warmed up and active before GamCare staff delivered an honest and open account of why gambling can be so addictive, and the associated issues that can arise. They fielded the many quick-fire questions from Wemms staff gracefully, leaving just enough time to put their audience in touch with websites and links that can be used for further help and support.
Evening rolled on, opening with a splendid gala dinner, which drew people together, creating new friendships amongst many dinner guests, as well as enjoying company with old friends. The speeches were particularly good this year, and the evening was thoroughly enjoyable.
Training continued the next day with plenty of interesting stories, useful tips and some great conversations among the staff mingling at breaktime. It is going to be a good year!