Staff development day 3/4

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Staff development day 3/4

Just before lunch break we had three people come in to speak with staff about the following

Briege Price – Briege is owner of Price Insurance services.

Sleepy Hollow has recently engaged Briege to source and manage a private insurance package for our staff team.  This is open to all staff to join if they wish and we also fund managers private health care once they have reached a certain number of years in their post.  This is also open to their immediate family members to join.  Briege was able to give staff an oversight of the following insurance :-

Life Insurance

Critical/Serious Illness

Income Protection

Key Man Cover

Relevant Life Plan

Private Medical Insurance


Orla Tennyson – Orla is a senior partner of St James’s Place Wealth Management.

Orla was able to give advice regarding a strategy required to achieve your financial goals or retirement.

This followed on from an earlier Ulster Bank finance health check clinic we held for staff and this really gave staff an insight into how they can start planning for their future goals and dreams, including retirement, by starting early …. even if its just a little at a time.

Kelly Irwin – Professional Mortgage Solutions NI .

As business owners we write many letters of support to staff who are seeking to rent properties, provide many financial statement of earnings to those applying for mortgages and see first hand the struggle some of our staff find themselves in regarding housing matters.  We want to be able to support our staff team through these times.

Kelly was able to provide support and advice which was bespoke to each individual staff member who spoke with them.  Again giving many hope that a mortgage is possible and often more affordable than renting.




We broke up for lunch, a huge batch of pizza’s from Domino’s (not sponsored but we look forward to sponsorship of our next event!).  During this time we gave one hour for staff to go into breakout areas to speak individually with the three advisers and the success of this was such we had to add time on to the lunch break to ensure everyone was afforded the time to speak with these advisers.  Again this was an invaluable addition to the day.

The power of photography

The topic after lunch was on the power of photography.   Anyone who knows Diane, or has worked with her, knows she is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to detail, and none more so than in a photograph.   Naturally she lead this session.    

A selection of photos which staff had uploaded to our social media channels, on Famly app or on our private staff workplace app,  were circulated amongst the groups.  Staff were asked to provide feedback on the photos 

  • Were these posed photos?   As we focus on process over product, as a company we would prefer to see photos of children in the process of play or art & craft rather than the finished product or a posed photo.
  • Can these photos be used for milestone recording or planning evaluation?
  • Can you use these photos in our journals to reflect and evaluate?
  • Can you risk assess these photos – are there any things which should have been picked up on as a risk?  If so how can we use this to review our risk assessment?
  • Does the photo require a narrative to provide explanation as to what’s happening – if so its not the perfect photo and as such has it any purpose?


  • Are the children and young people able to capture their own photos?


  • Does the photo demonstrate our ethos and values in Sleepy Hollow?  Its not the first time Diane would see a photo on social media and ask how did that plastic xxxx item find its way into our play rooms.  Often there is a simple explanation or a purpose to the item but such is the detail a photo represents.
  • How we send cameras home in our early childhood centre to help give us with planning and involvement with parents/families to inform us of children’s interests.  Diane discussed the importance of including parents and wider families to inform our planning 
  • How to capture alternative photos.

A really fun session which gave people more insight into how sometimes a photo is all you need for an observation, a feedback to parents/carers or to inform risk assessments etc.

There have been some amazing photos captured as a result of this session.



That lead us in nicely to the final three sessions of the day.  Check in next week to find out about

  • Discussions with our senior management team – Q&A session
  • Re branding
  • The most important part of the day – planning the next three years ….

….. little did we know that a blip was just around the corner!


Awards & Recognition