Hello I’m Tim Brigden and I’ve recently been appointed as Exeter Deaf Academy’s new CSW Team Leader.

I’ve been working here as a Communication Support Worker (CSW) for nine years. Before that, I worked as a CSW in a mainstream college in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

My main responsibility now is to coordinate the Academy’s CSW Team on a daily basis, ensuring our General Further Education (GFE) students have the highest quality support we can give them. These students access mainstream courses up to Level 3 at our partner colleges, such as Exeter College.

Another important part of our service is our Outreach Service. We can offer Communication Support to any Deaf person who requires our service.

We currently work with a student attending South Devon College studying A-Levels, another doing a ‘Traineeship’, and two students attending mainstream primary schools. We have also supported Deaf students at university.

I was particularly attracted to this post because it means that I spend part of my week supporting students at our partnership colleges. This enables me to understand the kind of support Deaf young people require, and I can timetable my CSWs appropriately.

I am very proud to have the opportunity to lead the Academy’s CSW team. It is a very experienced team of professionals who have our students at the heart of everything they do.

I love working here because I know that I’m involved in building a positive and productive future for our young people.

My fondest memory over the last few years is working with two Deaf young men accessing a Level 3 Outdoor Leisure Course at Bicton College. We walked for 12 miles along the South West Coast Path from Beer back to Bicton College as part of their induction. I remember it was a roasting hot September day.. I was told we were just going for a short stroll!