Former fitness instructor Amy, 44, is delighted she made the effort to contact 4SX in the spring of 2019.
Thanks to the Building Better Opportunities Programme “Essex Carers The Way to Work” Programme that is co-funded by The European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund Amy is getting closer to her dream of becoming an advanced nutritional adviser –with a heart-felt interest in helping parents of special needs children.
The Southend-on-Sea-based mum cares for her son, who has special educational needs. The four-year-old lad has just made the big change from nursery school to mainstream infant education.
Amy’s engagement with 4SX BBO Programme stems from her concern for her son and her belief that some foods – particularly gluten and dairy – makes her son’s condition more difficult to manage.
The dedicated mum is about to embark on a Nutrition Diploma (Level 4 & 5) course arranged by Diet Specialists and designed to help her become an advanced advisor.
Amy believes that the course – arranged through 4SX Limited and paid for by the BBO Programme - will take her one step closer to her dream of becoming a nutritionist who can help schools understand about the positive effects of food.
But Amy’s story starts long before she and her now ex-partner had a child.
Amy, who had also worked as a PA and secretary, suffered from problems with her gut when she was younger and knew that her own issues – associated with “bacterial overgrowth” - were reduced considerably if she lowered her gluten intake.
She said: “I think that gluten has an effect on the way I feel.
“I want to do the best for my son and when I changed his diet, his behaviour and ability to cope with things improved,” she added.
Amy and her little boy had just moved into a new flat when 4SX spoke to her about her experience of the project.
And she said the experience was positive right from the start.
Amy was at Southend Job Centre when she found out about the 4SX BBO Programme.
She said: “They urged me to register as a carer and told me about 4SX, so I looked them up online and made contact.
“I have had two key workers looking after me – Olivia and Katharine – and they have both been very helpful.
“We looked at a number of options – including yoga - but eventually I felt that I wanted to do the nutrition diploma.
“My little boy has an Education, Health and Care plan in place and this should help teachers understand about him, but I’ve found that teachers don’t always understand the crucial part food plays in the lives of some special needs children.
“I’m excited at the prospect of becoming a nutritionist advisor to help others and specialise in children with special educational needs and also fussy eaters,” she added
And, given this loving mum’s determination and interest in nutrition and special needs children, no doubt she’ll succeed.