Positive Practice Awards
Positive Practice Awards

Claire Smith

Outstanding Student Mentor


Supporting staff to improve their skills and achieve their goals at work is the reason that Claire has been recognised as an outstanding mentor.

Claire works with the Education and Training Team to assess people’s maths and English skills and offer advice and guidance to help staff improve their abilities.

She works closely with Sussex Partnership’s Apprenticeship Team developing and running skills sessions and supporting staff to increase their knowledge so that they can apply for future apprenticeship opportunities. For example, she has supported Healthcare Support Workers who want to work towards a nursing qualification but who feel they lack the numerical skills they need to take on responsibilities such as administering medication and reading or recording the necessary charts.

In supporting staff, Claire demonstrates incredible empathy. It can be incredibly personal and debilitating for someone to admit they are struggling with English or numeracy skills, and Claire does everything she can to protect and support their wellbeing, treating each person as an individual.

She has also been instrumental in promoting the National Numeracy Campaign to staff in an effort to get people thinking about their skills, and what they could do to improve them and enhance their chances of career progression. 

She is also responsible for raising the profile of skills training, being active on Twitter and developing content for our staff intranet to share the stories of people who have gone through training and come out the other side with renewed confidence – something which is invaluable in encouraging others to come forward and ask for support.

Claire lives and breathes Sussex Partnership’s values of being people and future focused, and is committed to continuous improvement. She often offers support to people out of hours if it’s needed and won’t stop until she knows that each member of staff is fully supported to passing their course.

Claire was nominated by a number of colleagues, who described her as ‘incredibly supportive’, ‘really interested in me and supporting me to achieve my personal goals’ and ‘someone who encourages staff members to achieve what they at first feel is unobtainable.’

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