Mark Burton

I originally trained and qualified in Graphic Design and Illustration and loved my years working as a freelance Illustrator. I did commissions for lots of high profile advertising agencies, book publishers and popular high-street magazines.

This led to offers of teaching at local colleges, which I grabbed with both hands. After qualifying as a lecturer, I soon came to the conclusion that what made me happiest was empowering learners to overcome the diverse barriers they faced; as opposed to academic delivery and achievement. I recognised that success can be measured in a variety of ways and is different for everyone. Taking a more holistic approach, addressing a person’s internal and external factors, I saw people grow in confidence, making huge steps towards achieving their personal goals.

With the blue touch paper now fully ablaze, I retrained in Psychology and Counselling Skills & Practice, which took my career in the direction of Safeguarding and Special Needs Education. I’ve enjoyed job roles at Swindon Carer’s Centre, followed by a period with the Learning Disabilities Team at Swindon Borough Council.

I first came across Phoenix when developing a solution for a vulnerable person I was working with. An impromptu telephone call with a Trustee led to an immediate invite to come and take a look around. On arrival, I witnessed a busy, diverse, friendly and, ultimately, an extremely inclusive environment. This is why I chose to join the team. I am passionate about improving outcomes and opportunities for young people and adults who experience complex difficulties. To this end, I feel as if I have turned the key to my own front door, having returned from a long, albeit a very educational, expedition.