My First Shared Lives Event
My first Shared Lives event last week took me to Chelmsford in Essex for the first time in my life. The day began with each person introducing themselves briefly. Sporting a name badge with the job title “Marketing Manager”, I thought it was best to come clean to everybody before we started that I hadn’t actually been promoted and that I was only in my second week.
Once introductions were over, Lyn explained how Shared Lives Plus membership works. It was interesting to gain an overview of how the membership can benefit Shared Lives carers and gave me an insight into how best to explain this to carers in future.
Next, Dianne Perry (Guideposts Director of Services) discussed some marketing approaches Guideposts have used. It was great to share ideas on how we could look at marketing Shared Lives effectively and what methods have been used in the past. Having the opportunity to see a final design of a poster from Guideposts which will be sent to print in the near future was also helpful. It made me think about different possible layouts, which I can take into my work with Shared Lives Plus over the coming months.
Dianne was followed by Sarah Butler (Guideposts People Involvement Co-ordinator). Sarah talked about the importance of consistently showcasing even the smallest of positive developments around Shared Lives, to help raise greater awareness at a local level. The Shared Lives Channel 4 national news coverage from May (Cathy Newman interview with Jacqui and Jason) was also praised for the publicity it has gained for Shared Lives on a national level.
The event came to an end with lunch and a chance to network. It was beneficial to hear what others thought of some of our current marketing materials such as Sharing magazine and how we might be able to develop these in future.
So, all in all my first event with Shared Lives Plus was one I really enjoyed. I learnt a lot about Shared Lives, saw a different city and met some great people. I look forward to attending similar events in the future and continuing to raise awareness of Shared Lives Plus.