About Us

Who is ELSA Support?

Hi everyone, I am Debbie and I created, run and own the ELSA Support website. My motto is ‘Together we can make a difference’. One of the things I noticed very quickly when I was working in school was that there was a real lack of ELSA resources. I am a bit of a Google queen but even so it was difficult, without spending a huge amount of money on things, to find anything really suitable. I ended up writing my own planning and coming up with ideas and thought why not share them, that was the start of ELSA Support……

It is all about the BEE’S! I love my bee’s and you might wonder why? Bee’s are:

  • Busy, they work incredibly hard
  • Work as a team always
  • Social creatures and do communicate with each other
  • Co-operate with each other for the same aim
  • All have very different roles and divide their ultimate job between them all
  • Create honey that feeds them, and us, they even store it for lean times
  • Adaptable and do so when environmental factors change

Bee’s work together for a common goal or aim, we can learn so much from them. They are the reason my very first ‘nurturing’ group was called ‘Busy Bees’. Well that and the fact I managed to buy some fabulous ‘bee cushions’! My vision for that first group was a group of children who belonged. We all know belonging boosts self-esteem. Feeling part of a community can have such an impact on children. Creating a group where children worked together as a team, who supported each other and socialised with each other. In fact, after the very first group I ran I overheard one of the very quiet and shy children organising for them all to meet up at playtime the next day. A major part of my role was helping children with social and emotional issues. It became a huge interest to me to try and break down barriers to learning. I am a big fan of group work and have written many interventions over the years which you can find on the website.

I try to keep the cost of resources as low as I can because to me it is important that you do use them, but it is important to me that you can have some free resources to work with children, I know how difficult it is with school budgets. Every Friday I create something for free and share with you all. The website has grown from strength to strength and I have had many emails and messages to tell me how useful it has been to people setting out on the ELSA journey but also helpful to teachers, teaching assistants, learning mentors, counsellors and many other professionals. Please read my testimonials page and do email me if there is something you want to say about the website.

Back to the Bee’s and community

My vision of my very first ‘nurturing group’ was based on Bee’s and my vision includes that for ELSA’s and other professionals working with children on social and emotional issues. Mental health awareness, quite rightly, is becoming a huge thing due to so many factors. I really wanted to create community amongst all those people working for the same aims. This is to support you in your role supporting children. Some ELSA’s/adults do work alone in school and just need a bit of support, a listening ear, reassurance and some kind words. Our main group on Facebook has nearly 3000 members, who are all so supportive of each other. It is a wonderful community of like minded people. We have a mentoring section where you can be paired up with another person if you feel you need that extra bit of support. I listen to you, I get involved in discussion, I suggest resources, I suggest ideas and I create resources for you. You tell me what you want, and I try my best to create it for you. Do join us, together we can make a difference!

What is ELSA?

An ELSA in a school is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. There is a recognised ELSA training course aimed specifically at Teaching Assistants in schools. Examples of things covered on the course are social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship. To find out more about this course, contact the Educational Psychologists in your LEA and ask them if they are running one, if not ask them if it is possible for the future. Also check out neighbouring LEAs, they will sometimes take people out of their area to make up numbers. The founder of ELSA, Sheila Burton, has her own website, ELSA Network site,where there is lots of information about the ELSA Role, so do also have a look on there.

What is ELSA Support?

ELSA Support is a website which provides downloadable resources that support the teaching of emotional literacy or emotional intelligence by ELSA’s. A lot of the resources on this website are perfectly suitable for all teaching professionals to use and there is also a parent section with resources suitable for parents to use. The interventions are ready to go, all you need to do is print them out and deliver the lessons, they do work.  I recently developed this NEW ELSA STARTER PACK which will completely set you up with resources that will be very useful to you beginning your ELSA journey. I also hope you will subscribe to the newsletter and keep up to date with new items added. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, join the Facebook group, follow us on Twitter or Pinterest.

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