Sylvie Travers – Assistant Project Manager for the Coram Innovation Incubator
Where did you work before Coram-i and how long have been here?
I have worked with Coram in some capacity for over a year, but joined Coram-i officially in October 2021. Prior to this, I was part of a small social enterprise, working on a number of innovative projects focused on children’s social care- one of which was the Coram Innovation Incubator. My first job after I graduated was in a similar area, at another social enterprise, using virtual reality in children’s services.
What was it that made you want to join the team?
I really enjoyed my previous work in children’s services and felt like this role would be a great opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills in an area I feel really passionate about. The fact that the team come with wide-ranging life experiences and perspective also appealed to me. The team are all really committed and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive.
Tell us about your job and what it involves?
My job is quite varied, which is great! Part of it involves helping to coordinate the logistics for the Coram Innovation Incubator, which means working with local authorities and our private sector colleagues to design and implement our broad programme of events, develop new projects and report on sector developments. I also work with local authorities to help them to design and implement a housing solutions scheme to enable foster carers to look after additional children by providing additional bedroom space. My role in this is to help the local authority to survey its foster carers to find out about their housing situations, draft policy recommendations, and liaise with a range of stakeholders so they can support the project and ensure it stays on track.
What’s the best bit of your job?
It’s brilliant to work with colleagues so committed and motivated to improve the situation for children and young people. Working across sectors and with those from across the UK means we get to hear from a really interesting and diverse range of experts.
And the most challenging?
The sector is facing some significant challenges related to rising demand and strains on resources and capacity, so it can be challenging to support colleagues to navigate these challenges and find solutions to the really complex issues they face.
What’s the piece of work you’re most proud of?
Last year, the CII team produced the first CII Innovation Collective, which compiled and analysed innovative approaches which have been trialled across children’s services. We were able to uncover so many interesting projects taking place across the sector and it was great to be able to showcase these so that others can learn from them.
Finally, away from work, what’s at the top of your bucket list?
I would definitely like to travel more widely beyond Europe. I’ve always been very keen to go to Japan so I’m hoping I can arrange a trip sometime soon!