A fortnight in the life of a YoungMinds participation worker
Today I planned to spend most of the day preparing for training that I’m running with CAMHS tomorrow – but I spent a good few hours replying to all the emails that had flooded my inbox during my week off. This included two emails from new young people wanting to get involved, which is always exciting!
Up bright and early today to go and run a half-day of participation training for Greenwich CAMHS staff out in Plumstead. My favourite bit of these sessions is always getting the clinicians to play games (just because everyone needs more play in their life!) but it is also really rewarding to be able to facilitate creative thinking and support them to develop ideas to improve their service. I’ll be doing a second half-day with this team in July.
I had two really good meetings today. The first was with the new project manager for the London IAPT collaborative – I updated him on all the work myself and my colleague Kevin have been doing in trying to support the IAPT partnerships with their service user participation and we made a plan for some future work. The second was a planning meeting with young people from VIK and the Peer Outreach Team at City Hall – we’re running a small State of Mind campaign visioning session next week so we got together to plan the activities etc.
Another day of training in Greenwich today – this time a full day with some different teams up on Shooters Hill. Very long day, but really enjoyable and inspiring, one of my VIKs (Lauren) co-facilitated in the afternoon which brought some extra energy (when she wasn’t building lego people with the therapy room toys!). The clinicians came up with a lot of barriers to participation within their services but were fantastic at thinking of creative and realistic solutions for them.
This morning I had supervision with my manager Matt, it's always a treat when we get to do these face-to-face rather than via Skype – and today it even included a hot chocolate with marshmallows from Joe's cafe! We had a great meeting afterwards with our chief exec, training manager and participation manager looking at the future of training within YoungMinds. I spent the rest of the day searching for venues for our Closing The Gap away day in July (Closing the Gap is a shared decision-making in CAMHS project we are working on with EBPU and CORC).
THE WEEKEND (no work this weekend thankfully!)
The morning was spent desperately trying to finish a job advert and job pack for a role we are recruiting for with NHS London as part of our State of Mind campaign work. We’re going to employ an 18-25 to assist in consulting with young people and producing an interactive map of wellbeing services for young people across London. Once I had successfully got the job advert out, one of my VIK (Zviki) came in to help me prep for our visioning session (this included dragging giant beanbags across the office, ordering pizza and hanging up a washing line!). The visioning session was a great success, we had a fantastic little team of eight young people and the foundations for a great campaign. Didn’t get home till 10pm though *yawn*.
We had a VIK team conference call this morning where we updated each other on our IAPT work (as regional workers it can be hard to keep track of what everyone is doing). In the afternoon popped over to Greenwich for a meeting with the Bexley CAMHS service manager and an IAPT steering group meeting. Then I did my emails on the number 89 bus to Lewisham until my phone battery died!
Today was the final day of our VIK staff team development days. We’ve been working hard on reviewing our internal processes (risk management, job roles, lone working policies, rewards for young people etc) and planning for the next stage of the project. It was a pretty intense day (I’m never good at sitting at a desk in one room all day!) but we got massive amounts done and have lots to take to our VIK panel now.
I spent the morning writing up my monthly report (reporting on what work I’ve been doing and what milestones I’m hitting) and doing lots of boring admin stuff. Had a few calls with young people to touch base and spent the afternoon planning the activities for the Closing the Gap away day next week – we’re going to collaboratively write a magazine article in 45 mins, model some shared decision-making and create our vision for shared decision-making in the future!
I’m off work! Working with young people means I often do a lot of odd hours on top of my 9-5, so today I’m taking some TOIL to even it out – it's important to model wellbeing :D