Ali has been welcomed to our family and has been with us for a few weeks now! We thought you would like to know a bit about her and how she has found working in the schools team thus far...

Tell us a bit about yourself?
"I’m Ali and I’m married with three grownup children. I originally trained and worked as a nurse but took time out to be a full-time mum. Recently I worked as an activities coordinator in a care home which mainly catered for residents with dementia. And I also ran a very small cleaning and ironing business as I’m a bit strange and enjoy cleaning and ironing!"

How has your time on the Schools Team been so far?
"Great thanks to my friendly and patient colleagues! I have been into some of the schools that we work with already and met lots of pupils and staff. It’s always a bit daunting being ‘the new girl’ but everyone at OTF is very helpful and supportive."

Tell us a bit about the role you play in the Schools Team and how you came to be here?
"At the moment I’m very much playing an observing and learning role, but as time goes on I will be helping lead the break time clubs at some of the schools and I will be mentoring some pupils on a one-to-one basis. Also when we have a prayer/reflection space in a school the whole team pitches together to prepare for and deliver this.

I was a trustee on the board of OTF for the last year and was particularly interested in the schools work so when a staff position became available, I prayed about it and felt God say to me to push the door and see what happens! So I did and here I am!"

What in particular excites you about working at Off The Fence?
"It’s a really caring organisation looking out for the needs of people often marginalised. I love this. Also you get to live out your faith at work in a very real way by supporting people and showing them God’s love for them. It’s also great to pray together with your colleagues."

What is your favourite thing about working and living in Brighton?
"Although I wasn’t born in Brighton, I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else so it’s become my home. Lots of my favourite people and places are here so I love Brighton! And I really love living by the sea although I don’t go to the beach as much as I’d like to. I have a heart for this city and its people."

What would you say to someone interested in interning/volunteering?
"I’d say definitely come to find out more about all the different areas of work here. We cover such a diverse range of work that there could well be something for you to get involved in. It’s a great team to be a part of."