The annual conference for Pippa’s Guardians staff was held in August at the Abbey Hotel in Malvern. In addition to the informative workshops and talks, it was also a chance for all the regional teams to come together and for new staff to be introduced and welcomed.

After an introduction and overview of the company by MD Ben Hughes, the first talk was on E-safety. Karl Hopwood covered this very important topic, bringing awareness of the changes and current trends in the use of social media, and providing strategies to help keep our students safe online. The next talk was by Evie Kitt on Academic Mentoring, in which she explained how pupils thrive academically when given close, tailored support. Pippa’s Guardians has two mentors who play an important role in checking progress and ensuring pupils are achieving their full potential.

The second day kicked off with a Mental Health Workshop run by Olive Branch Consultancy. Everyone wondered what was in store when shown a selection of random objects and asked to describe the challenge of their role through one of these. Russian dolls, a Christmas tree, a basket of eggs, toy figures and a globe were all used most imaginatively! After describing some of the mental health issues affecting young people today, the presenters Esther Usiskin-Cohen and Mandy Sarankin then gave some practical techniques and tips for supporting students. It was an extremely informative and enlightening morning.

The whole team left the two-day conference having learnt some valuable strategies to deliver the best possible care to the young people they look after and feeling fully prepared and excited to start the new academic year in September.