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Coming Together to Make a Difference

On March 2, 2016 Emergence was proud to work with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to present the latest in a long line of Regional Learning Network events.

The aim of these events is to provide an opportunity for practitioners, service users and carers in the Yorkshire and Humber region to network, share best practice and learn about innovations in the field both regionally and nationally. It offers all who attend a variety of experiential workshops in which the divisions between service users and care providers can be put aside for a time as they work side by side and learn with and from each other.

The day was held at St Mary’s Church and Conference Centre, Sheffield and over 100 delegates braved the snow and joined us for the day. Workshops this year aimed to give participants practical tools they could use in their professional and personal lives and were led by a combination of service users and those working in the field. Topics explored were:

  • An Introduction to Mindfulness
  • Service user involvement: The rewards and challenges
  • Otis Doesn’t Scratch: A training tool developed by service users for children of parents who self-harm
  • Occupational Therapy and the role it can play when working with people with personality disorder
  • Does Speech and Language Therapy have a place within the world of personality disorder?

Throughout the day, Tom Bailey (Animateur) was on hand to capture our discussions in cartoon form and as we closed he presented his work. It was an innovative way to review the day and gave us insight into the workshops we could not attend.

There is always such a wonderful, marked difference in the atmosphere as the day progresses. At first there is an air of expectant nervousness as people sit determinedly with those they arrived with and then gradually they visibly relax, ties are loosened and sleeves rolled up and there is a real sense of ‘mucking in.’ I was struck anew by the necessity for us all to work together, particularly in the current climate and to see ourselves less as, ‘us and them’ and more as a team with a wealth of knowledge and experience between us.

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