I wanted to give a whistle stop tour of my first month at Shared Lives Plus…
Our new Shared Lives Consultancy and Development Manager, Emma Clarke wanted to write a staff blog after her first month with Shared Lives Plus.
My induction so far has been full of variety, from time spent in Liverpool being introduced to office based colleagues and my very swanky laptop, to attending the Parliamentary event during Shared Lives week, where I was given the joyous task of MP-spotting as keeper of the attendance list – not an easy activity given just how much they blend in with us normal folk. Week three saw me hone my skills at NCAS, where not only was I able to remember my own name, job title and say a little about Shared Lives and Homeshare, I got the chance to better understand what Local Authorities are seeking support with – and why they may choose to invest in Shared Lives. The whirlwind continued with last week’s conference where I soaked up information (and a couple of glasses of free wine) on everything from how to be an ‘outstanding’ scheme to hairdressers in Rochdale being engaged to promote Homeshare to their clients during a full head of highlights.
Skype meetings with homebased colleagues have been a really useful way of making contact. Each session usually starts with me introducing my dog in advance of his barking, and involves at least a few minutes of trying to get skype to work, but once we’re over those house-keeping hurdles, it’s full speed ahead. For those I haven’t yet had the pleasure of skyping with, you should be booked in - me and Bertie (cocker spaniel, age 5, very noisy) are looking forward to it.
The upcoming month sees me continuing on this steep learning curve. I meet with Sian Lockwood of Community Catalysts – I have my fingers crossed the trip to Harrogate will involve Betty’s tea room – meeting a local authority commissioner to learn about the opportunities and pitfalls of expending a scheme. Visits to Sheffield, Barnsley, Olympus, Avalon, Lancashire and PSS are scheduled as is a session with Social Finance to learn more about the incubator. I look forward to understanding more about the mental health work at the next SLP event in Birmingham, and I shall share any useful information from an NHS England Personal Health Budgets event in Leeds.
Conversations, visits and reading are helping shape my thinking about the types of consultancy work Shared Lives Plus has already provided and will offer in the future. I anticipate some planning sessions early in the New Year, where I will certainly be looking for everyones involvement, views and comments.
Until then, it’s a heartfelt thanks to those who have made me feel so welcome and onwards with induction.