Outreach programmes manager
An interview with Ed Curry
We speak to Ed Curry, outreach programmes manager, who works in the central inclusion team, about his day-to-day work, being a taxi driver (of sorts) and his love of the great outdoors.
What do you do on a typical working day?
The outreach programmes’ remit is to lead on initiatives that enable vulnerable and at-risk young people to take part in NCS.
This includes the evaluation and the development of the learning and behavioural specialist role, overseeing personal coach support and I lead on managing high-risk cases. We also provide advice and guidance in relation to young people who have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties; are looked-after or involved with the youth justice system. This year I’ve also supported the team that delivered the pre-NCS outreach programme pilot for the NCS Trust.
On a typical day during programme delivery, my main focus is to oversee applications from young people that require high-level risk management and make sure we have all the information we need to support and keep that young person safe. Another part of my job is to respond reactively to cases that may need my attention while the young people are on NCS.
My next big project is looking at how we can improve the reactive risk assessment process that we developed this summer and embed it as a proactive risk management process.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
During the summer programme, it’s definitely finding the balance between the demand for case management and reactive support for other teams. It can be a challenge but I think we manage it!
What do you get up to outside of work?
My wife and I have two children so I do a lot of ‘Dad taxi-ing’! I spend a lot of time at the side of the pool watching my daughter swim and helping with my son’s under 15’s football team (even though I know absolutely nothing about football!). For the past four years, I’ve been a governor at my daughter’s primary school, which is fascinating and rewarding. I’m also an active runner so I enjoy doing that in my spare time.
What did you do before you were at The Challenge?
My background is in outdoor education. I’ve always loved it and started instructing when I was just 14. Towards the end of university, I became interested in special educational needs so, when I graduated, I got a job teaching in a residential special school for boys who had been excluded from local authority special schools. Then I ran a business delivering alternative education programmes for young people that were excluded from school until 2009.
Skip forward to 2011 and 2012 and I was working as a programme leader for The Challenge on NCS and that’s how I ended up where I am now. My first permanent role was as a programme manager before I moved to the central inclusion team. My role ties together my work with vulnerable young people and programme delivery, so I feel very lucky to do both.
If you were going to a desert island, which three things would you bring with you?
I would definitely bring my running kit (Editor: that’s more than one item but we’ll let him have it!), also my water bottle that I’ve had for 10 years and, lastly, a leaving present I had from a previous role, which is a Leatherman multi-tool – which is kind of like a Swiss army knife. I’m sure that would come in handy!