Archive for August, 2017

The 20th of June 2017 saw our 3rd annual strategy day, our second at the superbly appointed Community Centre in Cullompton.

This events is always a great opportunity to meet with our fellow colleagues from all across our diverse range of services including Childrens Homes, schools and colleges, supported living and residential care. A chance to update and review the previous year’s activity and showcase Phoenix’s successes!

Again this year we got to bring our HEART values to life by visiting Heartfelt Inspirations workshops which showcased latest best practice across our services, attended Open Heart Surgery, having the chance to have group discussions on diverse topics such as Our Brand, What’s next? and Telling the Story.

“The recent strategy day was fantastic. I was so pleased to be able to attend. I really enjoy being able to speak to people from the other branches of the company and see the great progress they are making. The workshops were all very interesting and brought some really useful skills and ideas which I know I will be able to use in my own role. I especially enjoyed the guest speaker, Laurence Harvey, who spoke about Unconscious Bias. He presented his session in a way that was very enjoyable and thought provoking!.- Michelle Dower-Team Leader – Eldra Court and Supported Living Services

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This years Heart Felt Inspirations saw Kelly Rowlands, Principal of Oakwood College discussing Autism and Sensory Processing. She communicated instructions on how to draw a picture whist simultaneously playing an audio track, which helped us understand how an individual with Autism may interpret their surrounding – sensory overload was had by all!

Kate Patten, our recently appointed GroupSpeech and Language Therapist (SaLT) based at Oakwood College and college learner Freya showcased the Communication Board and how they use them within the college environment.

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Music teacher Chris Trundle’s ever popular workshop, saw the audience exposed to different styles and genres of music and the group were asked how the music made them feel, this was coupled to videos illustrating how Chris had worked with learners with very complex needs and how they had responded to the music.

Myself and Anna Garrard along with Young Person Faye, talked about the Faye-mazing bags. Now, I won’t go into to much detail here about the bags, as we have another blog coming out on this very soon (watch this space!).  Faye did so well standing up in front of the groups and explaining what our Faye-mazing bags are and what they mean for new Young People moving into our Children’s Homes.

“I thought that the strategy day (apart from being hot) was inspirational.
The film from the assisted living at Oakwood Court was fabulous. You could see how much the learners loved their education.
Faye’s bags were fantastic. I can imagine the young people finding something just for them – a real welcome to their new homes.”

Chrissie Thomas- Acorn School Teacher

After a lovely lunch (as always), enjoyed in the glorious summer sunshine of the grounds, we were introduced to our guest speaker Laurence Harvey, talking to us about the Unconscious Bias  with full audience participation! Laurence had everybody’s attention as he had all of us engaged (and amused!) whilst getting everyone thinking about their own ‘first impressions’ and how that can effect our thoughts and actions in the work environment.

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The afternoon saw us split up into our Open Heart Surgery sessions lead by session Champions. Steve Nicholson lead Telling the Story, how we showcase our best  practice to Commissionaires and regulators.  Ian Taylor took the session on What’s Next? for our employees in terms of career development  and François Delbaere discussed Our Brand and how we might take this forward in the near future.

Everyone then re-grouped and our findings from each surgery were discussed across the group.

Despite it being one of the hottest days of the year, it was an extremely productive and successful day, and it was great to see both some new and familiar faces from across the services.

“I thought the day was very interesting and insightful. A great introduction to the company as a new staff member with regards becoming familiar with facts about the company and how it is run in detail

 I was able to gain knowledge and understanding in the topics covered in the workshops there.

 I especially liked the Faye-mazing bags initiative and the workshop on unconscious bias 

 The unconscious bias workshop really opened my eyes to my own thinking etc that I may or may not have been aware of and allowed me to be aware of this and use this in my everyday working practice.” Rebecca Lessiter- Residential Care Worker at Osbourne Childrens Home

 We are now planning the Annual Employee awards for later in the Autumn!

Sarah Jury

Social Media Co-ordinator