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News > Alumni News > Eve Bent, née Wallace (Class of 2005)

Eve Bent, née Wallace (Class of 2005)

From researching and teaching developmental Psychology, Eve is now a published author of a book for parents of children with neurodiverse profiles.
24 May 2024
Alumni News

Please describe your journey since leaving BGS and how you progressed to your most recent/current position.

I left Bury Grammar School (Girls) in 2003 and went to Holy Cross College down the road because at the time they were the only local college to do an A Level in Psychology - (however, I know that BGS now offer this briliant course). I enjoyed my time at college and went on to study Social Work at university. Unfortunately, I found university difficult and left soon after starting. I then started working with children and quickly worked my way up from a Nursery Assistant to a Nursery Manager over the period of a few years. Whilst I was doing this, I got my degree in Children’s Learning and Development and also started my own family.

Although I loved working with children on a daily basis, I always knew I wanted to do more to make changes on a larger scale and so I went back to university to study Psychology. I got involved with the developmental research lab in the department and began to fall in love with psychological research. I worked with a great, supportive team, and we were able to conduct some interesting studies which were published. Much of our focus was on children and digital media and children and autism.

Whilst I have been researching and teaching developmental Psychology, I have completed my family with my fourth child and got through a UK lockdown too!

My four children all have additional needs, some more significant than others, and because of this I needed to spend more time at home. But still I wanted to make a difference, and so rather than researching, I decided to put my knowledge of child development and psycholoy together to write a book for parents of children with neurodiverse profiles.

What does your role involve, what is an average day like for you?

Becoming a writer has been very interesting for me and is certainly less rigid in schedule than a typical 9 to 5. However, it does include many aspects that are not writing! On an average day I will get the children to school, come home and get set up at my home office. There are lots of emails to deal with and correspondence from publishers, editors, marketing, and people who are interested in promoting the book. I try to get a few hours of writing done – but it can depend on the day – some days the writing just doesn’t flow. There is then social media to take care of, making sure content is regularly updated and relevant to promote the book and generate sales. Often, there can be blogs to write or podcasts to join too. Then, I pick the children up from school and do my parent duties for a few hours. Once the smallest are in bed, I’m back to the office to try and write some more; I often find night time is my most productive time for writing. Then off to bed to start again the next day! It definitely isn’t typical hours, but I do like how flexible it is around my family life and working from home definitely has it benefits.

What is the biggest challenge that you have encountered professionally?

During 2020 I was working as a developmental psychology lecturer and research assistant on an autism project – and then the world went into lockdown. For many of us this was a difficult period and it meant that all our typical ways of working had to be changed. We began teaching online lectures, we communicated via email and zoom rather than in person and we had to change the entire course of our research project which was meant to see me visit the houses of 40 young people every week. Although this was a massive challenge in changing the way we worked, I found the skills I had developed over the years in dynamic thinking, resilience and adaptability helped me during this time. In the end much of our working was improved and the department where I worked is still encouraging hybrid working to balance the needs of the team with the needs of the business. Sometimes, we need to change the way we do things to progress in life.

What advice would you give to our alumni starting their first steps in their career journey?

Whatever career you want to go into… get out there and join in. One of the best ways to learn is by watching and doing. Find somewhere to volunteer, where you can learn from more experienced mentors. Work hard and be proactive – this goes a long way in showing people you are serious and worth their effort. Opportunities rarely just present themselves to you in life, it is up to you to make opportunities happen through your commitment and hard work.

How did Bury Grammar School help you to be successful in your chosen career?

My time at Bury Grammar School (Girls) was not always an easy one. Having never felt as academic as others I was always described as a shy child. But throughout my time at school, I was taught things that have stayed with me for life. I learnt to be hardworking, persistent, and to strive for the very best that I can do; I learnt to be strong, competitive and a team player; I learnt to be kind, compassionate and understanding of others.

I think all of these things have helped me through the years in getting to where I am now. Life will throw challenges at us and sometimes the path isn’t always clear, but using the skills we develop can help us be the best that we can.

When you look back at your time at BGS, what are some of your fondest memories?

I have some wonderful memories of BGS (Girls), particularly the friends I made there and the teaching staff we had. The most wonderful Mrs Curry was our Year 7 Form Tutor, and I don’t think we could have had a nicer teacher to start our senior school journey. I was part of the cross-country club and remember running every year in a large multi-school competition in Heaton Park where half the challenge was to get through it without losing a shoe! I also have fond memories of being a librarian and learning the dewy decimal system, being on the school paper and part of the CCF in my older years.

But my favourite memory from school is the large choral assemblies that were held, particularly at Christmas and Founders’ Day. With songs in French, German and Latin, echoing through the lofty halls. I don’t think I have ever experienced anything like that since.

My own children are now high school age and I hope they get to make as many fond memories where they are as I did at Bury Grammar.

My book “No Labels Here: A day-to-day guide for parenting children with neurodiverse needs” is available now: Click here 

 

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