Staff stories – meet our team
We’re shining a spotlight on some of our team to give you a flavour of life inside Treloar’s. Today we’re introducing Julie!
For Gloucester House Manager and Deputy Head of Residential Services Julie Bodnar, dealing with Covid-19 has been challenging, but she says she has been overwhelmed with how the students in particular have adapted to what has been a year of constant change.
Coping with Covid-19
Everything that came with Covid-19 – the mask wearing, the temperature taking, the distancing was initially difficult, she says. But there’s been a real willingness to change, to keep everyone safe.
The speech therapy department get a special mention. The team provided students with symbol-rich social stories to help them understand Covid-19 and why staff were wearing PPE. “It’s been really humbling; everyone has been looking out to make sure the students have the best experience ever.”
Julie is now in her 23rd year at Treloar’s. She started as a member of Gauvain House staff in 1998. Keen to progress, she moved to Heywood House at the former school site at Froyle for 11 years, the last six of which as deputy manager, before a move back to the college in a similar role at Brewer House.
She became deputy head of residential services in autumn 2019. “I am looking after the residential management team, but I’m also managing Gloucester House. It’s a big job, very busy, but I just love it.”
Unsurprisingly, there is no such thing as a typical day for Julie. “I regularly meet with students, have chats, provide emotional support and complete mental capacity assessments. A couple of days a week I like to come in really early and help get the students up for breakfast.”
“Gloucester is a big team, but then again it’s the largest house with 25 day students and 25 residential students.”
Why Julie loves her role
“The best bit of my job is the students and watching the staff grow and develop with them. They build very professional relationships, but kind and family-orientated so the student doesn’t feel like they’re just doing their job.”
“There is a real family feel to the House,” she says. “I’ve never worked anywhere where the staff both dual role and house have been so committed and experienced and knowledgeable about their students. It’s quite incredible.”
“I’ve been house staff, I’ve been a team leader, I used to be a cleaner. It’s been quite a journey, but it’s really helped me to be where I am now.”
In more normal times, Julie relaxes by escaping for the weekend in her caravan, walking or simply parking up on Hayling Island in all weathers over the winter. But as she has lived onsite for more than seven years, she’s never far from Gloucester House!
We’re thrilled to have Julie as part of her team and are hugely grateful for all her years of service here.
Want to join the team?
If you’d like to be part of our team – check out our careers page – we’re currently hiring for a House Manager – could you be the next Julie?