I thought I would just do a quick check in after a whirlwind year and share some of my highlights and challenges on my secondment!

Hi All,

I thought I would just do a quick check in after a whirlwind year and share some of my highlights and challenges on my secondment!

I set out just over a year ago in this new role (on a Monday and Friday) to meet you all, have a look round services, see the amazing work you are all doing and hear your recovery stories and support Holly and Jo in the already Fabulous work they were undertaking in collaboration with you all.

I did just about manage to meet some people in real life before the pandemic began, (some will know me from old anyway, I have been hanging round the tea and biscuits at Sandal RUFC for ages and have worked at Waterloo Manor for 8 years). What a year to start a new role! Everything quickly went out of the window and instead of meeting people in real life everything became virtual and we had to adapt and think how we could do things differently. Some of you will only know me as a talking square on a computer screen; I can assure you I am more than looking forward to the day when that is no longer our only way of communication (… and as soon as it is safe to do so I will be back hanging out at the biscuits at Sandal RUFC).

Although in saying that one of my favourite things about this year has had to be how secure services have pushed the technology boundary, an area that has been the centre of many a restrictive practice discussion for years, and run with it. We have opened up new and creative ways of thinking and working and communicating and it has made it possible for us to stay in touch over these unprecedented times. I’m really hoping we can use technology moving forward and incorporate it into the Networks norm. The virtual meetings have been fantastic too, seeing how everyone has adapted and coped through a really tough time.

The virtual barrier has been lifted, but only in response to services shutting their doors for safety reasons, and that has been a challenge, technology is not for everyone and it has also meant we have lost some of the in person comradery and fun. I have missed the ice breakers, the days out to Sandal, the conference, and the people, (as I am sure we all have). I do take my role very seriously, as in my opinion there is no greater voice in how services are run day to day and on a developmental level than yours, you are the assurance that quality care is delivered. But there is no reason you cannot enjoy yourself whilst influencing change! Remember the time I dressed as a nun and sang live with my service at the coal mine?… Good times!

Hopefully those times are on the horizon once again… we are following the Government Roadmap out of Lockdown and will be able to meet when safe to do so for all.

From my virtual rounds it has been apparent how well everyone has come together to face such a challenging time, I have heard some really humbling service user and staff stories. I have also experienced it alongside my work family and the service users I work with at Waterloo (*shout out*)

A full year and a bit to reflect on my secondment role and the constant adapting and new experiences, I realise I am not the only one. We have all been on secondment in 2020, I have been ‘temporarily transferred’ to a new role, we have all been ‘temporarily transferred’ to a new reality! We have all faced challenges in this secondment period, but I hope you can all take some highlights from it too like I have!

Meeting new people and learning from their experiences

Attending the Virtual NSUA’s

Learning about Wellbeing, Relational Movements, LGBTQ+ History in the NHS

Being part of the ‘women’s pathway group’ with West Yorkshire

Here are some of my other ‘secondment’ highlights too:

Growing out my roots

Watching all the Star Wars films in chronological order

Finding beauty in the nature on my doorstep (named a magpie that visits)

Taking on a 30 day song challenge (well 6 back to back actually) and discovering new music

Charlotte 🙂

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