Recently I attended a Youth Mental Health First Aider course and refreshed myself in the numerous elements involved in looking after young people’s wellbeing. I’ve been doing this type of work for many years, as a professionally qualified Youth Worker, yet there is always something to learn or educate yourself on and I thoroughly enjoyed the course. One of the great advantages of a face-to-face training course is the networking opportunities it offers. This course did not disappoint.
I was introduced to a lady who works in the Wellbeing Team at my old boarding school and that meeting was the start of an adventure. It turned out that she was organising a living library event at the school a few weeks later and some authors were attending, as well as other support organisations. An invitation was extended, and I readily accepted.
Trawling through some old photo albums later that day I was whisked back to the 1980’s – pictures of me in my school uniform standing outside makeshift classrooms that in today’s culture would be condemned under health & safety law! I chose a few of the best and decided to show them at the event and that turned out to be a great icebreaker. “How old are you?”, was mentioned more than once!
I enjoyed my day back in school, meeting vibrant and polite young people. I got a buzz by being able to offer a little insight into what could happen many years after leaving the school. You can have a plan in mind, but life can provide you with options for a completely different career path. I even had the chance to showcase my 3 books and talk about the impact of illustrations on a reader. And finally, I got to eat some of those incredible chocolate biscuits that schools make and reminisce about communal mealtimes long ago.
I drove home feeling very fulfilled. Being an author is partly influenced by my educational roots and foundation. A love of reading was always encouraged, and my A level English Literature classes helped me to expand my knowledge and natural curiosity around storytelling. I have a lot to be thankful for.
The current students should be grateful that their classrooms are more comfortable in comparison to those olden days!
For more information on how you can sponsor my books in schools or other education settings, please look at the shop www.lornavyse.com/shop