Norlander Lorna: My career so far and volunteering with Twins Trust
30 April 2021
Norland has a special relationship with the charity Twins Trust which supports families with multiples. Since Norland partnered with the charity to set up up the award-winning Family Crisis Support service in 2014, Norlanders have volunteered more than 3,200 hours of specialist support to families in severe need.
One of those Norlanders is Lorna (Set 38). Lorna graduated from Norland in 2018 after completing her Newly Qualified Nanny (NQN) year. Here she discusses why she volunteers with the charity and her career as a Norland Nanny so far.
“After growing up in Cornwall, I wasn’t sure if London would be for me. However, after completing my NQN year in London and seeing all the fabulous things the city has to offer, I decided that it was absolutely definitely for me and I have lived here ever since. I’m currently employed as a live-out nanny in west London.
“I loved the small lecture group sizes too and that every student gets the teaching and attention they need. I never felt ‘lost’ which would be my main concern going to another university.”
I genuinely don’t ever remember wanting to do anything else other than pursue a career in the early years! Teachers at school would ask me what I wanted to do when I was older and I always remember saying something along the lines of nannying, being a nurse or working in the early years sector. I wasn’t that academic at school, so I made sure to choose practical GCSEs including music, cookery, PE and child development. After achieving my GCSEs, I attended Truro College where I studied for two years completing my CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce.
It was my child development teacher at school who introduced me to Norland. I attended an open day shortly after and since then I knew Norland was where I wanted to go. I loved the holistic approach to childcare and the practical elements such as food and nutrition and sewing that you study on the Norland diploma. I loved the idea of taking part in all the placements. I feel that Norland really gives students a hands-on practical experience. One of my most memorable placements was at a special educational needs school in Bath. I loved the small lecture group sizes too and that every student gets the teaching and attention they need. I never felt ‘lost’ which would be my main concern going to another university.
What definitely stands out to me about my time at Norland is the placement experience. I developed some really special relationships with families and children who I still keep in touch with five years on. I also feel like the level of teaching is second to none. We really are taught by the best of the best. There’s always a special Norland way of doing things that ensures that our charges and employers are receiving the best care and education possible.
Since graduating, I have worked for two families in London. I have been lucky enough to travel to destinations such as Marrakesh and Switzerland with these families. I have updated and enhanced my skills and knowledge by attending regular continuous professional development (CPD) courses offered by the Norland Agency. Some of my favourite courses have been sleep training and emotion coaching. I have also been lucky enough to be part of the amazing Twins Trust charity, and volunteer with them regularly on my weekends, evenings or when on annual leave.
“I’m so lucky to be able to see my charges grow and blossom into such delightful little humans! It makes me feel very proud to be part of their lives.”
As a Twins Trust volunteer before the pandemic, I would visit families of twins, triplets or more and establish what sort of help they need. I would work alongside the amazing Twins Trust team to ensure help was given. This may be help getting out of the house, assisting with bath time or giving the parents some free time. I have also provided toys and activity boxes to those families who are struggling financially.
During the pandemic, my role has been helping families virtually through video or phone calls. This has included offering advice on routines, behaviour management, managing older children, homeschooling and working from home, and offering support and tips on reflux. I’ve researched where families can find their local food bank or if they can get local food deliveries if they are unable to leave their home. I think a proportion of my job is also just being a listening ear.
It’s really hard to put into words what I find most rewarding about volunteering with the Twins Trust. My current nanny position is with a three-year-old child, so I really enjoy staying up-to-date with current baby advice and routines, implementing what I’ve learned and passing it on to the families. I absolutely adore volunteering for Twins Trust and it is a joy assisting the families.
I have had so many career highlights so far. The main one is that I’m so lucky to be able to see my charges grow and blossom into such delightful little humans! It makes me feel very proud to be part of their lives. Welcoming a new baby in my previous role was a very special time for all the family and I felt very privileged to be part of such a special time, caring for him from a newborn and seeing the family develop and grow.
Being nominated for Norland Nanny of the Year by my current employers in 2020 was also a really special time as I feel like it was such a tough year for everyone and I feel very lucky and thankful that my work was recognised.
I was also given a special recognition award by Twins Trust for my work with their families this month which totally took me by surprise.
As a nanny, I absolutely adore the one-to-one relationship I have with the parents. I get to be part of their family and I’m lucky enough to share the excitement of the first time riding a bike with no stabilisers, a first day at nursery and the nursery Christmas nativity!
In terms of volunteering for Twins Trust, I will always remember one of the first families I visited. When I arrived, the family were lacking in confidence and were exhausted. By the time I had left, they were smiling, more relaxed and laughing with me! Mum grabbed me and gave me the biggest hug when I left and that for me is when I realised that by offering a small chunk of my time I can really help and improve a family’s life. That for me is what volunteering is about … why wouldn’t you want to do that?!