New Na­tional Star prin­ci­pal ‘val­ues high qual­ity across board’

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

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NA­TIONAL Star, one of the coun­try’s lead­ing char­i­ties work­ing with young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, has ap­pointed a new prin­ci­pal.

Simon Welch will over­see Na­tional Star’s learn­ing pro­grammes in Chel­tenham, where the char­ity is based, and its cen­tre in Here­ford. He is also re­spon­si­ble for the char­ity’s work­based pro­grammes in­clud­ing sup­ported in­tern­ships, Na­tional Star’s ex­ten­sive ther­apy pro­vi­sion and its Lift­train­ing course.

Simon first started at Na­tional Star ex­actly a decade ago as a per­son­alised learn­ing men­tor, work­ing one-to-one with learn­ers.

But it wasn’t his first en­counter with Na­tional Star. As a 14-yearold Simon vis­ited the Ul­len­wood cam­pus with a friend to find out more about what the char­ity did.

“Through my friend I met James, who was a stu­dent at Na­tional Star, and I was in­ter­ested in the chal­lenges he faced,” said Simon, 37. “James’s carer watched me with James and asked me if I had ever con­sid­ered a ca­reer work­ing with young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and it went from there.”

He added: “What I value most about Na­tional Star is that we all be­lieve in a high qual­ity across the board and in ev­ery­thing we do, from our res­i­den­tial care, to our teach­ing to our fa­cil­i­ties.”

Born in Glouces­ter Simon grew up in the For­est of Dean where he lives with his wife and three daugh­ters, aged two, five and seven. Chief ex­ec­u­tive David El­lis said Simon was the strong­est can­di­date for the post. He said: “What makes Na­tional Star is that ev­ery­thing we do has the young peo­ple we sup­port at its heart, which has al­ways driven Simon in his roles here.”

Simon suc­ceeds Pauline Bayliss-jones, who re­tired ear­lier this year.

Simon Welch, the new prin­ci­pal of Na­tional Star, with learner Alex Smith

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