An Insider’s Guide to the Thrive Approach

After a busy three months as our brand new Central Region Coordinator, Lesley Ravenscroft unpacks her first 2,683 miles with the Thrive Approach.

You can never have too much glitter.

the thrive approach, child development, SENCO, training, thrive training
Lesley Ravenscroft – Central Region Coordinator

I am coming up to three months in my role as Coordinator for the Central Region for Thrive. So far, that is 2683 miles and hundreds of wonderful people embracing the Thrive Approach. My cats have got used to their cat sitter and will even let him stroke them now. That doesn’t stop them staring at me with opprobrium when my ‘Go-bag’ is out. They have tried sabotaging my trips by sitting in the bag and liberally coating my frocks with cat hair, but, using my cognitive brain, I have overcome that with a decoy go bag containing a couple of old jumpers now.

After thirty years of teaching (the last twenty at the same secondary school in Shropshire) the first week at Head Office in Seale-Hayne was a blur of new faces, new computer systems and new knowledge. Everyone was so lovely to me as they patiently explained how to enter names on the company’s software for the fortieth time. They were using the VRFs like champions! I just felt like someone had removed the top of my head and poured ‘stuff’ into it. What an amazing place to work though! I spent a short while sitting in the sunny courtyard munching the Pantry’s rocky road, laughing at a text from my nephew, “Mum won’t let us get a new pet. I want an invisible llama that helps the police solve murders,” and it felt pretty close to Heaven.

Another golden moment was at the Forging New Connections conference in Newport. It was the morning of the Grenfell Tower disaster and I was feeling a bit bruised. I looked around and saw 150 people who just wanted to improve the lives of children. They were all there to build on their practice and my heart swelled with joy. The people sitting next to me must have wondered why I was crying at the details about the coffee break, but I really couldn’t stop myself as I realised that this was just a few of the fantastic people who dedicate themselves to helping children in so many, many settings.

It is just wonderful getting out and seeing the Thrive settings, where there seems to be a huge emphasis on rainbows. My motto for life is ‘You can never have too much glitter.’ This is certainly true in many of the Thrive rooms and nooks and crannies that I have seen so far. They are crammed with miniatures, colour, creativity and warmth. All of them inviting fingers to explore and hearts to heal; I am really looking forward to seeing many more.

The worst thing about my new role? I miss working directly with the children and seeing them grow, develop and yes, even when they challenged me. Still, I do know that, in helping more settings take on the Thrive Approach, I am helping more children engage with life and that is perfect!