Linda NEA Training and Education Officer reflects on her role

When you start a new job, there are a few things you are looking for, with support, guidance and patience from new colleagues being top of the list – as well as somewhere to sit in the office! After joining NEA’s training team as Training and Education Officer in Newcastle upon Tyne last April, I’m glad to say that every one of those boxes has been ticked.

Although relatively small in numbers, NEA’s training team is a force to be reckoned with! With the team’s collective extensive knowledge and understanding of areas such as fuel poverty, energy awareness, fuel debt and current developments in the energy markets, this has been a mine of information and support.

Being able to shadow and observe colleagues delivering a range of courses has been fantastic – and a real bonus to be given the time and support to do this. Backed up with effective organisation and a rigorous Trainer Development programme and quality control process, the last few months have ensured my progress in a professional, supportive and helpful way.

As well as the training commitment, my role takes me into a variety of educational settings, including primary schools, colleges and universities, and this has proved to be really rewarding. Again, it has been great to have had the time to build on existing resources and develop new ones – and then put these into action in classrooms across the country.

Linda in action

Working with 60 nine year olds and their teachers in a school hall in Haringey was quite an experience – but at the end of the morning, listening to the students’ pledges for improved energy efficiency in their homes gave me quite a buzz. They had clearly got the message.

On the other hand, offering advice to university students at a Green Fair about combatting problems in their cold student houses proved to be equally important and rewarding.

Perhaps the best thing about my role is that every day is different. Some might be more challenging than others but I have fully appreciated the help from the team in answering my questions, sharing their expertise in so many different ways – and even sorting out my mistakes with time sheets! Huge thanks to everyone for making the move to a new role so straightforward.

To find out more about NEA’s Schools and Further Education Resources click here.

By Linda Marsden

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