Meet Charly. After graduating top of her class, she now supports children with their mental health and wellbeing.
|Current job role
|Education Mental Health Practitioner
|Year of graduation
|Course of study
|BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education
A home away from home
Charly has a passion for working with children. She remembers fondly those who helped her thrive as a youngster, and as an adult she wants to have that same impact on the next generation.
Charly chose Herts because of its quality teaching and the high likelihood of employment post-degree. Herts was also close to home, which allowed her to commute easily to campus. Charly adds, ‘I visited Herts for an open day and found the environment very welcoming. Compared to the other universities I visited, I felt more at home at Herts, and I could see myself studying here.’
One of Charly’s favourite aspects of the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education course was its flexibility. Charly says, ‘We were always given different options on how to learn, from the way lectures were structured to being offered a choice of topics for our assignments.
‘There were plenty of opportunities to be hands-on too and have fun. I remember one lecture where we had to think like a child and just play! We used playdough, did some painting, played with Lego, and all sorts. It was a memorable and fun session, and it helped me understand the value of play in childhood.
‘One of my favourite memories from Herts was graduation. I graduated top of my class and won a university prize, which was an amazing end to my time at Herts.’
‘I also met a lot of new people at Herts, including one of my best friends. I’ve just asked them to be a bridesmaid at my upcoming wedding!’
Supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing
Charly is now an Education Mental Health Practitioner, who visits schools to provide mental health and wellbeing support for children and their families. She also works closely with the schools to provide staff with mental health training, help them shape their school’s mental health policies, and aid in the design of school environments to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
Charly believes her course prepared her well for her current role. She says, ‘I was taught modules on children’s wellbeing and SEND (special educational needs and disabilities). I work with lots of children with special educational needs, and my course at Herts taught me how to adapt as a professional to best support them. The module on interprofessional work also prepared me well, as I now work alongside many different agencies.’
Charly enjoys the work she is doing now, and although she is not quite sure where she’ll end up in the future, she knows that she wants to continue supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. Charly adds, ‘I don’t think children’s mental health and wellbeing is spoken about enough in schools and we need to do more to change this. I’d like to find myself in a role where I have the authority to make significant changes in schools and make a real difference.’
Charly’s advice to future Herts students is to enjoy your time studying. She says, ‘University is hard, but it does give you some of the best years of your life.
‘If you are in your final year, my advice would be to ask for help if you need it. Your tutors are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for support. Everyone wants you to succeed as much as you want to succeed!’