Doucecroft School

About the Doucecroft Wellbeing Hub

At Doucecroft, mental health and wellbeing interventions and advice underpins and complements our curriculum, enabling children to be able to better access education.  Doucecroft offers pupils a wellbeing hub that has support on hand to pupils and parents.  Pupils are encouraged to utilise the environment that aims to be to support them to regulate.  We believe the wellbeing hub should be a welcoming environment where pupils feel able to relax.

  • The Wellbeing team can make external referrals to Wellbeing Services such as CAMHS, offer individual interventions supported by Paws for Pals or Isla the dog.
  • The team offer emotional support to families and also sign post to local provisions that can work with families or provide financial guidance.
  • The Wellbeing Team run regular coffee mornings to bring parents together
  • They can assist parents with medical appointments/ referrals when parents feel this to be useful.
  • The Wellbeing team work with local authority and transport providers to ensure pupils journeys to and from school are as smooth as possible.
  • The Wellbeing team collate behaviour information that is shared with staff teams. Information is used to consider the interventions a pupil may need.



Meet The Team

Gayle Jones- Wellbeing Lead

Gayle has worked at Doucecroft since 2010, supporting pupils, the class teams and families.  Prior to working at Doucecroft Gayle worked with extremely vulnerable children and young adults in a therapeutic residential placement and this sparked her passion for building great relationships where young people feel safe.  Gayle has a Diploma in Heath and Social Care and is a trainer in SCERTS,  Team Teach, Designated Safeguarding Officer training and is a Sleep trainer.     

Gayle is a proud mother of three boys, she enjoys reading and longs walks in nature.  Gayle believes that collaboration with parents and professionals is essential in supporting both our young people and their families.  Gayle believes a nurturing environment where pupils can share their thoughts and feel valued enhances individuals to reach their potential.


Mandy Spragge Wellbeing assistant and pupil’s voice.

Mandy has worked at Doucecroft school for over 20 years, she started as a support worker in both the school and the residential environment, and over the years being promoted to more senior roles such as Team Leader, Deputy Care Manager and Care Manger. During this time Mandy has attended several training courses these include Safeguarding Officer, Administering Medication, Autism Awareness, Coaching and Mentoring and Social Integration and Intensive Interaction. The training attended has extended her knowledge and understanding of autism when supporting children/young people with autism. In 2015 She also gained a level 5 diploma in leadership and management qualification.

In 2021 Mandy decided to take on the role as wellbeing assistant and pupil’s voice. One of her main roles is to support the pupils with school council. She believes the school council helps the children to develop a responsible attitude, It also creates a feeling of belonging that encourages listening to others, develops pupils self-confidence, and above all improves pupils/staff relationships. The biggest change the school council implemented last year was lunch time, now the pupils are giving more food choices each day and they can sit with their friends from other classes.

Mandy encourages Doucecroft school pupils to also be involved with the local multi school council team, this consist of local SEN and mainstream schools. The pupils and Mandy attend regular meetings to discuss topics such as diversity, bullying and feeling included with the other schools. In 2022 Doucecroft were nominated school of the year due to the pupil’s participation and enthusiasm.

Being part of the wellbeing team is something Mandy enjoys, she believes it’s important that every staff member feels valued and appreciated.

Charlotte Ambrose – Wellbeing Assistant and Team Teach tutor

Charlotte has worked at Doucecroft for over 15 years. She started as a residential support worker, then working as a Learning Support Assistant and eventually a Teaching Assistant. She would step up support the Teacher to ensure all the pupils were receiving individual learning activities/tasks to develop and extend their education. In the absence of the teacher, she would ensure the pupils education was being delivered whilst organising and direct the rest of the class team. During this time, she extended qualifications by completing her NVQ 3 and her higher-level teaching assistant.  To expand her knowledge and understanding of autism Charlotte has attended a number of training courses such as attachment, first aid  and positive behaviour management.

Charlotte has broadened her experience working within Autism Anglia’s Adult services in various residential houses, community houses and at the Jigsaw Study Centre. This has helped her to have an insight to life after Doucecroft and the adult provisions available to the pupils when they finish schooling.

Charlottes current role is being part of the wellbeing team and has attended training to become a Team Teach Tutor.  Charlotte’s role as wellbeing assistant and pupils voice has been a learning curve in seeing what wellbeing means. She enjoys interacting with all the pupils and staff as well as being a source of support for them. She is a positive person and likes to resolve any issues others may have.  Charlotte is more involved with behaviour at Doucecroft and through experience shares her knowledge of strategies that have worked for children/young people in the past.

Charlotte is Isla’s owner and enjoys being involved with the interaction the pupils have with her and how she can instantly calm the pupils if they are having a difficult time.

Emma Mitchell – Family Liaison Officer

Emma has over 16 years’ experience supporting students with Autism and their families. Firstly working 1 to 1 in a mainstream primary before working as part of the local authority’s specialist teacher team as an Autism Support worker and SEND Engagement facilitator supporting students, families, and schools.

Emma has training in a variety of evidence-based Autism approaches such as Attention Autism, Zones of Regulation, TEACCH, Social Stories, and Lego Therapy. Emma is a fully trained facilitator and has co-produced and delivered bespoke training packages for families and schools as well as supporting parent groups. Emma was part of the team that delivered the Autism Education Trust package of training to a number of Essex schools.

As the Family Liaison Officer, Emma is the link between home and school helping to promote engagement, providing support around school’s transport as well as helping to promote greater school attendance and supporting the key transition for Young People and their families transitioning into Doucecroft School.

Emma believes that communication is key in supporting both our young people and their families.


Kelly King Activities Coordinator

Kelly has worked within the health care sector for over 17 years working with adults and children with complex needs in which she obtained her Advanced Level 3 diploma in clinical healthcare support and counselling skills certificate. She has gained valuable experience through the years working alone or as part of a team. Kelly is a mother of two girls, one of which has Autism which led her to want to work alongside children as she is extremely passionate about providing better outcomes for autistic children.

Kelly has been at Doucecroft since November 2022 starting as a lunch time learning support assistant then became the Activities Coordinator in February 2024. Whilst working at Doucecroft Kelly has built positive relationships throughout the school with her kind caring nature. Kelly provides a wide range of structured lunch activities changing the role play theme weekly in the play shed which enables pupils to learn through play developing their social, emotional, and creativity in imaginary play. Kelly offers dramatic play, constructive play, games with rules and physical activities including football, dodgeball, scooter, bike riding, allowing all activities to be accessible and inclusive for all pupils.  


Isla - Wellbeing Dog

Isla is a French bulldog and has worked at Doucecroft in the Wellbeing hub, joining us when she was 4 months old.   Isla loves meeting all the students around the school and really enjoys coming into Doucecroft and all the attention she gets from pupils and staff when she is there.

Isla mostly enjoys the cuddles and treats when students come to see her. Isla comes into school on a Tuesday and Thursday.

One of Isla’s favourite things to do is supporting within the classroom when some of her friends are having a difficult time. Isla often finds that a walk helps some students to regulate.

Isla really enjoys long walks, playing with her toys, cuddles on the sofa, watching films, sunbathing, and exploring. She is allergic to bee stings, and she also find it difficult in the summer with heat, but a fan always helps her to keep cool.

Isla understands that some students don’t like barking so she doesn’t bark very often. If she does it, it's because she's super happy and wants to play or just telling us she needs some more attention!

If she gets worried or scared Isla will hide in her crate.