Welcome to Avail Learning Academy
Founded in 2019, Avail offers quality, flexible and cost-effective e-learning solutions to aid the development of a well-led, motivated and highly-skilled workforce for the care sector.
Many people access professional care at some point in their lives and when they do, we want to ensure they receive the very best. We also believe that those who have devoted their lives to care for others should be cherished.
Our courses are aligned to legislative and regulatory requirements and drive quality. They’re also designed to inspire carers – individuals and providers – to improve their provision and strive for excellence.
Our team of experts is focused on building and developing workforces that truly make a difference to those who need quality care and support.
Our core values
Our core values embody our culture, spirit and dedication to improve care provision internationally. We are passionate and committed to deliver impactful, innovative and flexible online training that will become the benchmark in quality e-learning.
We are committed to helping improve the lives of those who find themselves in care and support and enrich those who have dedicated their working lives to care for them.
Our sector-led courses will inspire and upskill every Avail learner to improve their practice and continue to aspire to deliver the very best care.
Together, with leaders across the care sector, we will strive to continually raise the bar for consistent, quality care.
We stand apart from ‘tick-box’ training solutions by creating bespoke courses that we will inspire a generation of life-time learners.
Our customers care and so do we. Our courses are designed and tested by experienced carers and providers who understand the demands and challenges in every corner of care.
We aim to achieve this by
Meet Our Team
Fay Gibbin - Chief Executive Officer, Avail Learning Academy
Fay’s passion for quality, accessible training has driven her ambition to develop the UK’s workforce, through the delivery of apprenticeships and CPD, especially within childcare, care and clinical care.
Since starting her career as a childcare practitioner, Fay’s dedication to training has seen her champion courses and qualifications for more than 18 years. She has held many key roles within the training sector, including chairing the trailblazer group to develop the Early Years Educator Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard, qualification development for awarding organisations and undertaking EQA roles.
While CEO of BB Training (formerly Busy Bees Training), it received an ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, expanded into health and social care and clinical care and was awarded the prestigious Royal Princess Training Award.
In 2019, Fay founded Avail Learning Academy which provides online courses for early years, health and social care, clinical care, education, residential childcare and management. Fay launched Avail Learning Academy to provide online learning that inspires practitioners and carers to deliver outstanding care every day.
Fay is also a judge for the Training Journal Awards. In 2018 she was on the panel for the ‘Best Apprenticeship Programme’ and in 2019 she is the category’s champion, taking on an active role to encourage nominations of those employers who are leading the way to develop their team.
Lynn Kearney - Director of Production- Non regulated courses, Avail Learning Academy
With over 23 years of experience in early years, 19 of which in the further education sector, Lynn has a wealth of expertise in understanding and sharing the importance of developing the workforce.
When Lynn left school she went straight to college and completed a childcare qualification. The work experience involved ignited a passion within Lynn to ensure children were provided with outstanding care. Lynn went on to become a Manager of a nursery, which received the highest rating from Social Services. This further inspired and motivated Lynn to go into further education and increase the impact she was able to have on the care of children by supporting more and more people to care for children in the best possible way, giving them the best experiences. Lynn’s experience at college taught her the need for thorough and creative learning. Lynn pledged to herself that any qualifications she had any say in within her future career would be in depth and thorough and would include all aspects needed for that person to carry out their desired role.
Lynn has since trained countless early years and management apprentices, taking great pride in supporting the workforce in delivering excellence for the children in their care.
Having worked at BB Training (formerly Busy Bees Training) for over 22 years, with the most recent role as Director of Quality and Compliance, Lynn is proud of many achievements, including receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted.
Lynn continues to work towards her goal of excellence in care as one of the Founding Directors for Avail Learning Academy; delivering exciting, interactive online training packages to aid learning and development in the care sector. Lynn is also working with awarding organisations as an EQA; sharing her knowledge and expertise with other training providers.
Claire McCarthy - Director of Production- Regulated Qualifications, Avail Learning Academy
Claire has over 23 years’ experience in the Early Years sector, including over 14 years in further education, during which Claire developed a passion for working with learners of all ages to help them progress and develop to achieve their personal and professional goals, encouraging them to continuously improve their knowledge and skills.
Since completing her childcare qualification, Claire has worked in a variety of positions in the Early Years sector, including Nursery Manager, which enabled Claire to see first-hand how vital workforce development is to the standard of care provided for the children. This experience inspired Claire to go into further education, using her passion and expertise to provide excellent training experiences for staff, which impacted positively on the quality of care demonstrated in Early Years settings.
Claire has since trained and supported countless Apprentices through their Early Years and Management Apprenticeships, focusing on providing high quality training and development to Apprentices to build a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, ensuring children are given the best start in life.
Claire worked at BB Training (formerly Busy Bees Training) for over 11 years, and most recently held the role of Head of Quality – Early Years. Claire is proud of many accomplishments during her time with BB Training, including receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted and the prestigious Princess Royal Award.
As one of the Founding Directors for Avail Learning Academy, Claire continues to work towards her goal of excellence in care; delivering powerful, interactive online training packages to develop the knowledge and skills across the care sector. Claire also works in partnership with Awarding Organisations as a question writer for End Point Assessments, has sat on a judging panel for industry awards and volunteers as a Mentor as part of the “One Million Mentors” scheme.
Rosie Caunt - Area of expertise: Adult Social Care
Rosie is part of the adult social care team at Avail Learning Academy. She writes and oversees the content of our adult social care courses to make sure they are up to date with current best practice, legislation and in line with CQC’s guidelines for ‘Outstanding’ care.
Rosie has worked in adult social care for more than 10 years across a varied number of roles. Her positions in care have included support worker, peer mentor, team manager and CQC registered homecare manager, which she currently holds at Kare plus in Blackpool.
Rosie values the importance of training and the impact this has to practitioners, not only to the care they provide each day but also for their professional development. Rosie has made training a central part of her own career in care.
As a community care worker within a domiciliary care team, she started her educational development. First, completing an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care, then completing an access to HE in health and social care (equivalent to level 3) before moving onto the University of Central Lancashire achieving a foundation degree and BSc honours in health & social care (rehabilitation) graduating with a 2:1 in July 2015.
Rosie’s passion for training has also seen her undertake a course in Level 3 Training and Education so that she can provide her team with impactful training that boosts their skills and gives them chance to take the next step in their career.
Jacqueline Midgley - Area of expertise: Early Years
For most of her life, Jacqueline Midgley has worked towards the goal of improving outcomes and quality of care for children in early years. She is on our early years team, writing and endorsing our courses that help empower early years practitioners – whatever stage of career they are at.
Jacqui has made ‘outstanding’ a key part of everything she does in the sector, providing guidance and knowledge to settings to ensure very high standards of care are upheld and to help them achieve that all important Ofsted grade.
Before moving into childcare, Jacqui was a police inspector working specifically as a child protection officer. She trained social workers, police officers and other child protection officers in their role to safeguard children. Her passion for the education, development and wellbeing of young children saw her start her own nursery business where all her settings achieved ‘outstanding’ grades.
Since then, Jacqui has worked as an Ofsted inspector where she inspected settings with the very highest standards and provided guidance to the ones that needed support. She now works as a consultant to the sector, sharing her vast experience with settings to make sure everything they do puts children first.
Alongside her career in childcare, Jacqui has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology, master’s degree in business (MBA) and Early Years Professional Status.
At Avail, Jacqui has put together many of our courses including; Your Ofsted Inspection, Outstanding Quality of Education and The Impact of a Settings Culture & Creating a Culture of Positivity and Excellence.
Tim Crossfield –Clinical Health Care
Tim is an experienced educator and dual registered nurse who has worked in nursing, nurse education, higher education, further education and the private sector as a senior lecturer, programme manager, clinical assessor, IQA, end point assessor and question writer. Tim holds a range of qualification including RGN, RMN, RNT, BSc, Cert Ed, MSc, A1 and V1.
Throughout his nursing career Tim has been passionate about developing opportunities for progression and access to learning for disadvantages groups of learners, including access to higher education and enrolled urse conversion courses. He captained work for sixteen years at the University of Wolverhampton as a course leader and principal lecturer heading up the undergraduate health studies programme as well as being successful in international recruitment in Taiwan, Japan and the EU.
He was a founding member of the Staffordshire and Shropshire Lifelong Learning Network which developed a wide range of opportunities for learners in partnership with stakeholders for individual bespoke learning packages such as the foundation degrees and undergraduate awards and was the lead on developing a higher education course in complementary therapies, which was amongst the first in the country to embed academically recognised practice. During his time as a charge nurse in psychiatry he was one of the key figures involved in setting up one of the first psychiatric mother and baby units in the county.
Tim is part of the clinical health team at Avail Learning Academy. He writes and oversees the content of our clinical courses to make sure they are up to date with current best practice, legislation and in line with CQC’s guidelines.
Linzie Newport – Areas of Expertise – Mental Health First Aider
Raising awareness of healthy mental wellbeing has been an important focus of Linzie Newport’s career – spanning more than 30 years. She is our Mental Health First Aider and has written our Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health course.
As a police officer for the Greater Manchester Police Linzie was in a role which was mentally challenging for herself and her colleagues.
Linzie has vast experience in all aspects of policing as a constable and sergeant and for the last 6 years of her service she was posted in the serious crime division. Within this division she worked closely with Manchester coroners, on cases involving unexplained and sudden deaths, this included cot death and suicide. These cases had a significant impact on all involved, the families, the medical staff and the officers. With these experiences, Linzie understands the importance of mental health and how it can affect someone’s everyday life. She knows how to spot the signs and indicators and how to direct people to the help and support they need.
Two years into her career as a police officer, she became a tutor constable and a law trainer, which meant she trained police officers in all aspects of policing. She realised that there was a culture within the police to avoid the subject of mental health and that officers should just be able to deal with the challenging situations they face because it’s ‘their job’. Linzie believed that for police to be effective in their roles, as well as be mentally healthy this had to change and has spent most of her career ensuring people understand the importance of mental health inside and outside the police.
After retiring from the police, Linzie now runs her own training company called New Port Training Limited. Using all her experience she has put together our course to give practitioners in care and early years a taster of cognitive awareness of mental health.
As part of her work, Linzie is striving to ensure every office in the UK has an appointed wellbeing champion for mental health. The wellbeing champion would be the ‘go to’ person who could take early intervention steps to signpost people who may be experiencing anxiety, stress or depression to the right help. By raising awareness and prioritising mental wellbeing, a culture of openness can be nurtured and the stigma surrounding mental illness can be eradicated. Ultimately, healthy staff will bring about healthy business.
Claire Fitgerald – Areas of Expertise – Safeguarding
Claire Fitzgerald’s commitment to outstanding outcomes for younger people began in 2005, when she completed her level 2 in early years.
Since then, Claire has delivered early years care in a number of roles, gaining valuable experience as a nursery practitioner. Claire was swiftly promoted to deputy nursery manager in early 2008. Later that year, Claire set up her own childminding business, which she ran successfully until 2014.
To further develop her understanding of the theory of childcare and education, Claire then undertook a teacher training course. During the full-time, heavily placement-based course, Claire spent much of her time helping children with special educational needs, giving her a deep understanding of the safeguarding requirements of vulnerable children.
Claire then became a training officer at an ‘Outstanding’ rated training provider and has since worked in other training officer roles helping to provide apprenticeships for teaching assistants, continuing with her passion of helping those with special educational needs. Claire currently trains early years practitioners on a freelance basis and is also a school governor.
At Avail, Claire is our safeguarding expert, writing our safeguarding level 1 course, and endorsing our safeguarding level 2 course. Claire’s vast experience of working in the early years sector, in a variety of roles, gives her the expertise and understanding of the sector’s challenges, meaning she is perfectly placed to help us deliver our safeguarding courses.
Natasha Young – Areas of Expertise – Education and Governance
Natasha’s passion is to inspire a lifelong love of learning. As a newly qualified teacher in 1996, she progressed quickly through the ranks to become an assistant headteacher in 2001, then a deputy headteacher in 2002.
While working as a teacher, Natasha undertook counselling training, and also completed a degree in Psychology. Her drive to help the socially and economically disadvantaged, and those who find learning more difficult, led her to pursue a number of roles supporting vulnerable children.
Working as a special educational needs coordinator as part of her Deputy Headteacher role, Natasha helped develop programmes for children who require extra support. Building on this experience, she has recently become a safeguarding and welfare coordinator, assisting pupils who need it most.
Working closely with school leaders, Natasha works to raise teaching standards, lending her expertise on education, child welfare, and special needs. In her current role as Education Engagement Officer for Brighton and Hove City Council, Natasha is working with schools and families who home school to ensure every child has access to an appropriate and effective education.
At Avail we select the experts who write and endorse our courses with great care. Each must have a deep understanding of their sector, which can only be achieved through experience in a wide variety of roles, from entry-level through to senior management. Natasha is writing and endorsing many of our courses on education and governance and her vast experience in the education sector makes her the perfect choice to help us deliver quality e-learning.