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Rachel Baker
Rachel Baker

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) social worker, Rachel Baker, is making a difference to the lives of fellow social workers.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) social worker, Rachel Baker, is making a difference to the lives of fellow social workers by delivering wellbeing workshops as part of the council’s ambition to provide support through a very rewarding but challenging career.

Rachel qualified as a coach and set up The Acorn Academy in 2019, alongside her part-time role as a social worker at WCC, to host wellbeing workshops focusing on life enhancement and improving the wellbeing of other children’s services staff.

Rachel said: “Being a social worker is like no other job out there. It’s a hugely rewarding role as you can make a big difference to the lives of families, building strong relationships with them and working with them to find solutions to any problems they face.

“However, it’s is a big responsibility that can be challenging at times. It’s a high-pressured job and sometimes you forget to take time for yourself, so it’s really important for social workers to look after their health and wellbeing.

“With this in mind, I set up The Acorn Academy to offer coaching and wellbeing training to other social workers so they can understand what’s stopping them achieving any goals and what changes they can make in their lives to improve their wellbeing and mental health.”

John Coleman, Assistant Director for Children and Families at Warwickshire County Council said:

“Not only is Rachel a fantastic social worker, she has made a lifelong difference to many of her colleagues and the feedback from our social workers, youth workers and family support workers has been phenomenal.

“We strive to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff members and Rachel has played a crucial role in supporting this aim.”

After setting up the business and planning to deliver face-to-face workshops, Rachel quickly had to adapt when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. She moved her workshops online at such pace that The Acorn Academy was nominated for a Leamington Business Resilience Award 2020 for adapting the service to allow for the business to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Cllr Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said:

“At Warwickshire County Council, we put children at the heart of everything we do and in order to ensure that we provide the best support for families, it is really important that we look after our most important asset – our staff.

“The Acorn Academy has been lifechanging for our social workers. It has helped them manage their own wellbeing during a very challenging time so they can continue to make a difference to the lives of families across Warwickshire and support them throughout the pandemic.”

“The way Rachel rapidly transformed her coaching business online meant that we were still able to support our social workers and bring out their best potential despite the challenges we have faced since the pandemic began.”

Wellbeing workshops are just one of the benefits available to Children’s Services staff at the council who also have access to an extensive range of learning and development opportunities.

To find out more about working in Children’s Services at Warwickshire County Council, go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/workforus

To find out more about The Acorn Academy visit www.acornacademycoaching.com

 

Published: 19th February 2021