Barnardo’s are authorised and approved to provide training across the UK by SEL Worldwide.

Photograph of Mairead Ewart

Mairead Ewart

Children's Services Manager and Master Trainer, UK-wide

Mairead Ewart has worked in the Education sector for over 10 years, as a teacher, a coach and a trainer. Mairead began her career as a Secondary School teacher, teaching Religious Studies, English, Personal, Social and Moral Education, and Citizenship Studies for 6 years. She then moved to Barnardo’s, the Children’s Charity, where she was employed initially as a Coach for the PATHS® Curriculum in Northern Ireland. Mairead was also involved in anglicizing the PATHS® Programme to make it culturally suitable for a UK audience. She is currently managing the wide-scale implementations of PATHS® across NI and the UK. As Children’s Services Manager for both the PATHS® UK, Mairead is responsible for managing the Coaches and Friendship Group across the UK and for overseeing the day-to-day implementation of the PATHS® programme. In addition to this, Mairead has also received accreditation with SEL Worldwide as a Certified Trainer and coordinates and leads Trainings across the UK for Barnardo’s.

Elaine Britton

Senior Programme Co-ordinator/Senior Coach and Affiliate Trainer, United Kingdom

Elaine is the PATHS® co-ordinator in Wales. She has a BA Honours degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher status and is also a qualified Learning Coach.

Before joining Barnardo’s Elaine worked as a Primary School teacher and has experience across the full age range from Nursery to Year 6. Alongside this Elaine has much experience of working with older pupils in her role as Leaning Coach. Elaine worked closely with pupils who had disengaged with school and also pupils who were displaying difficulties in regards to social and emotional skills. It was whilst working with these pupils that Elaine recognised the importance of early intervention and delivery of effective social emotional leaning programmes that provide children with the fundamental life skills required to cope with everyday issues and maximise learning.

Elaine also has two daughters that love the characters introduced in PATHS® and she often uses PATHS® strategies at home to support the development of her own children.

Gail Irwin

Programme Co-ordinator/Coach and Affiliate Trainer, Northern Ireland

Gail is a PATHS® co-ordinator/coach across the Western region of Northern Ireland. Prior to this Gail was a Primary school teacher and subject co-ordinator with 8+ years of experience across foundation, KS1 and KS2 in both Northern Ireland and London. During this time Gail took breaks from her teaching career to work on two large scale educational research projects called the EPPNI Project (Effective pre-school provision in NI) and ‘Our Shared Vision Project’- Belfast. Working on these projects helped her recognise the impact early education and parental input has on a child’s academic success and Social/Emotional wellbeing.

Gail has also spent 2 years training and facilitating young people and adults in Apprenticeship NI and QCF qualifications in Childcare and Essential skills. All of these experiences combined with having achieved a BSc Psychology have cemented her belief that early intervention programmes in SEL can eliminate many of the behavioural and emotional problems that act as barriers to learning in many children, young people and adults, thus preventing them from achieving their full potential both academically and in many areas of their lives. Social and Emotional understanding can provide children with the tools to overcome these barriers.

Lindsay McSparron

Programme Co-ordinator/Coach and Affiliate Trainer, Northern Ireland

​Lindsay is an affiliated trainer and one of three Programme Co-ordinators/Coaches of PATHS® for the West of Northern Ireland, with Barnardo’s NI in supporting schools with effective implementation of PATHS®.

Lindsay is a qualified primary school teacher with BEd(Hons) degree with Science and before joining the Barnardo’s NI PATHS® team in August 2014, she taught for 8 years in schools across the West of Northern Ireland.

Throughout her teaching career, Lindsay looked to the individual needs of her pupils and recognised that the first step in academic success was often through first addressing the individual’s social and emotional needs.

Lindsay views working with the young people of our society as much more than a career but as a vocation and feels privileged in being able to equip our next generation with the strategies and skills needed to be able to reach their full potential with confidence.

Next Steps…

For more information on how your school can benefit from the PATHS® programme, training and coaching or to order a pack from us, get in touch.

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