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Exciting Times!

We have a few busy weeks ahead of us and then a busy year!

The Loddon Conference

Loddon Training and ConsultancyThis week, I am running a workshop at The Loddon Training and Consultancy Annual Conference on Promoting Wellbeing. Presenting isn’t one of my favourite things to do, but how could I resist talking about the work that we are starting to do at Liaise on Mindfulness!

PROACT-SCIPr-UK(r) instructors come from across the country to  listen to renowned speakers sharing new ideas and recent research.

This is a great opportunity for our many instructors to network with other professionals within our sector, sharing the work that we are doing and getting new ideas of how to continue to provide increasingly personalised support.
Liaise 20th

Annual Awards Evening

Next week, we have our annual co-worker awards evening. This is a great time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of everyone who works are Liaise Loddon. This year, we are also celebrating the organisation’s 20th birthday! Watch out for pictures and check out our twitter feed for (hopefully) some live updates on the night.

Another visit to Zambia

IMG_0136And then, the week after that, Marion is heading back over to Zambia to continue the work sharing good practice with the teachers at UTH Special School in Lusaka.

Because of the great successes that they have had, the staff at the school are arrange a conference to share information with others and the Ministry of Education is now interested!

Watch out for an update from Marion later on in November.

New Homes!

We have our new single person service, Marika 3, being built and everything is all to plan and we are aiming for a Christmas opening.

Also, we have now made offers on some new houses. It is our aim to be able to support another 3 or 4 individuals in Basingstoke by April 2016 and then another 4 in the Romsey area a few months later. We are so excited to talk about this, but really should wait until all the legal stuff is in place.

We will be looking to recruit new co-workers in a range of roles in both Basingstoke and Romsey area. Please contact us if you want to find out more – you can register on our recruitment page to get updates on new positions as they come up.

Keep in Touch

So, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, check back on our blogs – it is going to be an really exciting time at Liaise!

Deborah Cornick, Managing Director


 

Moving towards a Mindful Organisation

A few years ago, I was attending the annual Loddon Training & Consultancy Conference, and heard a presentation from Dene Donalds and Melanie Chapman on the increasing use of mindfulness practices in social care.

This struck a chord with me. I was intrigued and wanted to find out more.

So, a few days later, I found a local Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR) and started on a journey that has transformed both my life and my attitude to the workplace.

Being a natural sceptic, what has kept my attention is the increasing amount of research in this area. This is not some flaky, new age fad.

So, what is Mindfulness?

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School,

“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises by paying attention,
on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”

Sounds simple? And in some ways it is, but in others, it is really difficult. But when you do give yourself some time to stop and just pay attention to how you are feeling and how you are reacting to situations, then, it can be transformative.

There is lots of information on line about mindfulness, so I’m not going to go into more detail here for now. Check it out for yourself, or let me know if you would like me to write another blog on it!

Stepping Stones

stepping-stones-1549415

After my MBSR course and starting a journey of regular meditation practice, I wanted to find out more. So, I went back to University in Bangor for a year. Bangor University was one of the first places in the UK to set up a research centre to explore and develop mindfulness based approaches.

During the year, I have gradually developed my ideas on how we can integrate some of the ideas and concepts behind mindfulness into our work, mainly focusing on enabling and empowering co-workers to have the skills to manage the high stress situations that appear and also, to enjoy more the successes that happen in the present so much of the time.

We have now run a few general Introduction to Mindfulness Courses as a taster for co-workers from across the organisation and the feedback has been positive and encouraging.

Next Steps

So, what are the next steps?

I am setting up a small focus group of about 10 co-workers, who want to take the lead on how we develop mindfulness within the organisation.

The first step is to let them loose on a full eight week mindfulness course and then, once they have more information and can see for themselves what seems to work, then we can work together to provide a range of tools, training, skills, practices and ethics that will help us move forward.

This is not something that should be done in isolation. Nor is thing something that can be rushed.

We need to make sure that we can actually show that it works and makes a difference to the co-workers, and ultimately, the people we support. This will link into many other activities within the organisation, such as Driving Up Quality, Practice Leadership and the development of a Wellbeing Strategy.

It is not something that will change overnight, it might take a few years for positive change to happen but I hope that it will be an interesting and inspiring journey.

 “Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Happiness


 

Deborah Cornick, Managing Director

 

Research Autism: Beyond The Sacred Classroom

Marion CornickMarion, our managing director and founder, is speaking at a Research Autism conference in London on July 1.

This is a real privilege for Marion and for Liaise Loddon. Research Autism asked Marion to speak for them because of her brilliant early career working with children – which has led to her amazing work with Liaise Loddon and the Loddon School.

Marion worked to create curriculums that enable children with autism to develop crucial life skills as they become young adults.

An audience of parents and autism professionals will listen to Marion talk. Her presentation, Beyond the Sacred Classroom, will cover her pioneering work with the Loddon School and her much-needed move into working with young adults with autism at Liaise Loddon.

The Loddon School’s curriculum focuses on learning outside the classroom in a natural setting, where children can practise their skills in real life. We’ve found that children who resist learning in the traditional classroom discover that learning can be rewarding and fun – not threatening.

Most of the children at the Loddon School have struggled with the very idea of a classroom, or have spent most of their time outside it, because of their disruptive behaviour. Marion’s approach is to find a way to help children learn that suits them. After all, their disruptive behaviour isn’t down to them being ‘naughty’, it’s their way of showing they can’t cope with traditional learning. The Liaise Loddon and Loddon School way is a huge positive step for children and young adults with autism towards real learning for life.

You’ll be able to read more about Marion’s presentation next month.