“We’re all steering in the same direction for that greater change”: Joanna Lowes on joining the team

Joanna Lowes

In our latest team guest blog, Poverty Proofing Co-ordinator Joanna Lowes shares her experience of joining Children North East.

A good friend of mine sent me the job description; “Oh I’m not sure I thought” whilst researching all about the charity and being astounded by their work. I found my inner self talking to a much younger Jo, who as a child lived in some areas of deprivation. This gave me fire in my belly to want to help people, from a young age.

That was 30 plus years ago and It was incredible to find that Children North East have been supporting families just like this for over 130 years. The thought of leaving my job as a wellbeing champion in a large primary school was daunting. I had helped create meaningful relationships with families and children who needed support, nurture or just a helping hand – I got to see and feel the other side of education and so it was hard to say goodbye but I felt empowered to want greater change.

My first day at Children North East was a ‘service day’, bringing together all the frontline teams. I arrived early and sat nervously in the car… yet as I entered the room, I instantly felt at ease. The hall was buzzing with personalities that echoed the ethos of the charity. The day began with overviews and presentations from different people who worked in other areas of the organisation. The afternoon focused on a team building task that was brought out laughter and togetherness.

The nervous energy I felt prior to 9:30 now felt like excitement, readiness to learn, and everyone was genuinely lovely and welcoming.

Day two and I was off to visit a primary school with a colleague on an audit; meeting with children across the school, talking to staff to gather their views of potential barriers to education and how poverty may affect their school. Here I am weeks in and although there is still lots to learn. I am fascinated by the cause and learning something new every single day whilst helping break down barriers for children and families experiencing poverty.

I know I am working with an incredibly talented team who support one another. We’re all steering in the same direction for that greater change.

I still get to create those meaningful relationships just in a different way, engaging with, parents, staff and young people is brilliant! If leaders can plan the school day for just one child they know who is living in poverty then they will poverty proof their setting for all whilst still creating a fun experience – making sure that it is a fair playing field despite the disparities that society can create.

If you’re interested in joining Joanne and the team here at Children North East, explore our vacancies and find your next chapter.