As Stowe grows as a firm, we want our people to grow and develop with us. Stowe’s personal development fund is available to colleagues for financial support to complete training in something that is important or of interest to them. We know that people who feel fulfilled and happy outside of work, will feel more able to bring your full self to work, and this is our way of giving colleagues the nudge to sign up for that course in learning how to teach yoga or how to decorate fabulous cakes!
Since it’s launched last year, Stowe employees have been on Italian baking courses, learnt bike mechanics, sewing lessons, Spanish classes and much more.
Want to be inspired? Check out how Scott Fenney from our finance team has fulfilled an ambition of learning Makaton
After watching last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, seeing Rose and Giovanni win, I was inspired by how well Rose managed to communicate and really thought it would be something good to learn. Not for anything specific or a need for myself, but just as a useful tool to have. After some research, I discovered that learning British Sign Language is a lengthy process and so it wasn’t applicable to go down that route, but I looked into Makaton instead – a signing language but aimed more at people with speech difficulties/learning difficulties/non verbal.
Thanks to support from the Stowe Personal Development Grant, I have completed levels 1-4 which have given me over 500 signs of the ‘core vocabulary’ (there are more than 50,000 signs but the core vocabulary tends to be the main ones that you need to use). The aim is to empower those who can’t communicate effectively to be given a ‘voice’. When you think how frustrating it must be, say, for a child who hasn’t yet discovered how to communicate properly to get a message across, they end up screaming at you, crying in frustration etc. Makaton can help give even the youngest ways of messaging. But in addition to this, as mentioned, it can give a voice to those who struggle to communicate through learning disabilities/physical disabilities etc. It allows them to be heard and with that, they can engage in tasks that perhaps they probably never would have been able to.