Congratulations to our September Featured Coach, Melanie Rickerby.
'Magical Mel has worked with children for 24 years in Schools, Groups, both voluntary and paid work. When working in Primary school 11 years ago she was looking for something to fill a gap in her sessions with children, a form of relaxation. Using relaxation techniques personally, and seeing the chaos in children’s lives and minds, her search began to find that something.
A colleague, at the time, brought me a copy of The Wishing Star Book, which she had found online. I wasn’t looking for relaxations to read as I felt the children needed a role model and to see myself participating alongside them. I had a mixed group of children all with different abilities and each their own needs. The book led me to find the Relax Kids website and WOW! what an array of choice. I spent the evening reading the website over and over but could see that I could not afford the training at the time. I could however, afford to buy all the CDs on offer as I just couldn’t decide which to try. As soon as they arrived I introduced them to the children within my weekly sessions, the benefits were clear even after 2 sessions and the children’s response was just what I had hoped for. It soon developed into a full Relax Kids session as we created artwork and creative writing, alongside the visualisation.
I was closely following the website and a competition for children to write their own story encouraged even more children within the school to get involved. Meanwhile I was frantically saving to do the training, eager to find out more about Relax Kids. I have always been creative and was running creative workshops for children at my Parents Therapy Centre so knew I could not only use Relax Kids in School, but also as a holiday activity.
I trained in 2008 and returned to school buzzing with excitement if what I had learned could help even one child a day then it had all been worthwhile. Working in a fantastic school with open minded teachers everyone was happy for me to run trial sessions and monitor the benefits. By the next School year the headteacher allowed me to implement Relax Kids throughout the whole school, so one day per week I delivered back to back sessions throughout school, from Reception to Year 6. Each Class had their own resources and used the CDs daily, alongside the Star Cards. I was also able to use it as a base for learning within our Nurture Room. I was working part time so also able to offer myself out to other schools and groups.