Learning & Development

Investing in our colleagues

We will help everyone who comes to SJOG to achieve their personal best and we are commited to giving our colleagues every opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, with provision for training, upskilling and continuous learning opportunities. Our aim is to have a pathway of learning for each person that aligns with their career goals ensuring their growth within their service and in SJOG.

I have learned so much since I joined SJOG. I have been offered so much training that is second to none. I really feel my career is here.


During the year, we have delivered a number of masterclasses:

Delivering Personal Effectiveness and Insights Discovery – a lifelong system for optimising personal and professional effectiveness.

During this workshop, colleagues learn a common language to support their growth as an individual and as a team. They receive and work through a personal profile during the workshop that looks at their:

  • Personal style
  • Decision making preferences
  • Strengths
  • Potential challenges
  • Communication style preference
  • Potential blind spots

This course was delivered to service managers up to the Executive Management Team and each now has their own insights profile to help them grow and develop.

Leadership in Positive Behaviour Support

A course for managers, deputies, seniors and team leaders to explore what is needed to get practice leadership in place and ensure PBS is well-embedded within services.

Person-Centred Bespoke Masterclass

These masterclasses are specific to certain people we support -reviewing and delving into the deeper aspects of people’s needs in relation to:

Autism and Communication

Autism and sensory needs

Autism and Co-morbidities

Outcome Focused Daily Recording

Mental Wellbeing


A look into leadership

A look into leadership with Paul Bott (Chief Executive) and Lisa Alcorn (Chief Operations Officer)

SJOG's Autism Practice Model

Being Interviewed: Lisa Alcorn (Chief Operations Officer) Interviewer: Ashley Wilson (Service Development Manager)

Click here to visit our autism support page

Autism and Communication

Autism and Communication - A discussion from: Ashley Wilson (Head of Service Development & Quality)

Click here for more information

Case Studies

Photo of Julien AL Malak

Julien AL Malak

Promoted to Senior Project Worker in Ambrose House

Julien is at present undertaking Aspiring Leaders Program provided by SJOG. This is a modular based programme that explores leadership topics of interest and applying learning into practice.

Julien progressed to this role shortly after joining as a project worker in our MDS services. He is very dedicated and showed his commitment to the service and to learning very early on. He has a proactive approach and great initiative in supporting victims of modern slavery and trafficking. He is working very hard beyond his job description to improve service and to make sure staff and residents are well looked after.

Photo of Robel Gebreselassie

Robel Gebreselassie
Support Worker, Terry Yorath House

Level 3 in Health & Social Care

Having access to this training has really helped Robel in his role as support worker. It has given him more confidence; he is proactive and liaises well with management team and feeds into the decision-making process. He provides a high level of care and support to the people who live at TYH.

Photo of Sonilda Tanaj

Sonilda Tanaj

Promoted to Deputy Manager: London Outreach Team, MDS Services

Sonilda has risen up from project worker to team leader and finally to deputy manager. Sonilda has always demonstrated a genuine understanding of the organisation's values, proving that her motivation extended beyond the job description.

Her eagerness to learn and contribute set her above the rest. Sonilda’s unique skills and perspectives continue to contribute to the growth of the London Outreach Team.

Photo of Emily Alcorn

Emily Alcorn

Support Worker, Lindisfarne Court

Emily started her career in social care during her BSc in Nursing. Over the three years she gained invaluable insight into social care and the standards required to support and care for people well. Her training provided by SJOG helped her nursing studies, and in December 2023 Emily graduated with a 1st class honours degree.

Emily is now working at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle as a neo-natal nurse and credits SJOG for helping her achieve her ambition to become a nurse.

Photo of Salvador Rutuz

Salvador Rutuz

Deputy Service Manager, The Old Vicarage

Salvador has worked at the The Old Vicarage, a specialist autism service, since December 2022. Salvador is currently studying for his PhD in Public Health while employed within the service.

Salvador says, “It is my pleasure being employed at SJOG, an organisation that not only empowers the people it supports, but also its employees, which in turn improves the quality of life of people who use the services. I am personally so grateful to work for such a wonderful organisation that cares about its employees, because I couldn't continue my PhD in Public Health without their support.

My research project is focused on the exploration of the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in black children in the UK. Without SJOG’s support, particularly from my line manager who works with me when I need time to focus on my academic dream, I would not be able to complete this qualfication.

I greatly appreciate the senior management team and all that they do to fulfil the organisation’s core values - hospitality, compassion and respect. It's so refreshing to work for an organisation that cares about the people who use the services and its employees to the highest standard. SJOG is an organisation that welcomes everyone to LPA (Learn, Practice and Achieve).”

Salvador hopes that once he has finished his PhD he can continue to support others to enhance their knowledge around autism and improve the services we provide to those we support.

Photo of Ran Bradu

Ran Bradu

Team Leader, Ceuta House, MDSTH Services

Ran was promoted in September 2023 to team leader of Ceuta House MDSTH Services, and he is currently studying for the Diploma in Humanistic Creative Counselling at Dunamis Therapy Hub.

SJOG considers this a valued qualification that can help people who have suffered trauma to have successful lives in the future. SJOG os supporting Ran by providing flexible working to accommodate his studies. Good luck Ran!

From Ceuta House Service Manager: “I can only say that we are proud to have such a great person growing with us every day; looking after our colleagues and service users; always following SJOG values.”

Photo of Julie Lockyer

Julie Lockyer

Support Worker, Woodhall Day Opportunities

Julie is a great asset to Woodall. She has been really motivated to complete a number of additional courses. When we asked her if she would like to further her knowledge, Julie jumped at the chance.

Julie has recently completed a Level 3 in Health & Safety and also completed Fire Warden training.

Photo of Ashley Wilson

Ashley Wilson

Head of Service Development & Quality (Central Services)

Having completed my first Master’s Degree in 2018 in autism, I was able to utilise this in practice in the role I held within a previous organisation. I was however unsure at that time as to how I wanted to develop my career and my exploration of different career pathways led me to a role within SJOG. My first opportunity with SJOG was the role of peripatetic manager supporting individuals with complex care needs. This role was a great way for me to refresh my skills as a service manager whilst mapping out how I would like to move forward in work and education.

Four months into my role supporting this service, a new role was developed as part of the Operational Team. This role was in service development and this was the starting point to my own professional development moving away from a specialist practitioner and into a more strategic position. My professional development since starting with SJOG in 2019, has been championed and mentored through my line manager and people in varying roles in the charity have continuously inspired me to keep growing my knowledge. I have been provided with the autonomy to strengthen my skills and I have been supported fully by the charity to do this.

In 2022 following my annual appraisal, my line manager liaised with a business coach to support me over a series of 6 sessions to define my future needs. This after 4 years steered me to going back into education and completing a Level 7 CMI qualification in Strategic Leadership. This qualification spiked my interest into a wider curiosity of strategic career development. I am now currently 50% completed with my second Master’s Degree in Business & Leadership and hold the role of Head of Service Development & Quality.