FreeBird Associates was formed by Corinne Leverton and Anna Elwood in November 2015, following redundancy from our previous employment with Cornwall Council. We had both been fortunate enough to really enjoy our roles as Continuing Professional Development workers and wanted to continue to work as independent facilitators with learners to empower them to develop their skills, confidence and competence, especially in a health and social care setting.
We also wanted to further our interest in supporting organisations to foster positive cultures that inspire their teams to be the best they can, in order to give an outstanding service to their customers, whatever their area of business.
So, out of the ashes of redundancy rose Free Bird Associates and our passion for learning continues, albeit in a new form.
Grounded in the principles of social justice, we have a fundamental belief in the power of effective learning and development to change lives through the transfer of learning into practice.
We have a background in front line social care practice and management and most recently had specialist roles in learning and development for a large local authority.
Whilst the word may be over-used I would describe myself as being passionate about learning. In particular in the realms of Health and Social Care. There is nothing better than a good old debate about Human Rights, Mental Capacity, or Safeguarding Adults; even better when delegates say they feel inspired by the debate.
I am from St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom, where I live with my two faithful furry faced companions, Jack and Izzy ( Westies in case you were wondering).
I am so excited to be part of FreeBird Associates: Corinne and I have worked together for over 10 years, and I love how we compliment one another, how we can challenge each other over ideas and suggestions, making sure that what ever we are working on, it will be something to be proud off.
I draw upon my experiences of not only working as a support worker and manager of services (Residential and Domiciliary Care), but also as an informal carer. I have previously worked for Sutton and Merton Health Authority, Cornwall Health Authority ( gosh they were a long time ago!) Mencap & Cornwall Council.
I am also an Associate with RiPFA and work with them on projects to embed evidence informed practice with a focus on training transfer.
Education / qualifications:
2013 MSc (Distinction) Coaching and Mentoring, Organisational studies- University of the West of England
2010 Action Learning Set Facilitation – Action Learning Associate (ILM Accredited)
2005 Post-graduate Certificate in Management – Coventry University
2001 NVQ 4 in Management
1999 City and Guilds 730 adult teaching certificate
1994 City and Guilds 325 Foundation Care Management
I have worked in health and social care, in a number of guises, for over twenty five years, and count myself very lucky to have enjoyed (almost!) every minute of it.
My first role was as Deputy Projects Manager for a small local charity that provided services for informal carers. I visited people in their own home in order to set up packages of care that enabled carers to take a break from their caring role. This was in the days before satnavs and mobile phones, so getting lost in the wilds of North Cornwall was an occupational hazard!
I have always had a keen interest in learning and development and was fortunate enough to be one of the first multi-agency Safeguarding Adults trainers for Cornwall Council in 2004. I joined the Council full time in 2006 as the lead for Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Training, and worked there for nine years, before Anna and I set up FreeBird Associates.
I am also a qualified coach and completed an MSc in Coaching and Mentoring in 2013. My dissertation focused on managing value dissonance within organisations, using a narrative approach to inquiry and an auto-ethnographical methodology.
I particularly enjoy working with organisations in order to support them develop a positive culture and foster resilience, through the use of tools such as Appreciative Inquiry, Action Learning Sets and Restorative Approaches to harm.
When I am not busy with FreeBird, I love pottering in my garden, writing, and enjoying the company of a rather bad tempered cat!