If you would like to get involved in the next few months and support the After Work Club, drop us a note to hello-at-theafterworkclub.co.uk.
The Ageing Well Challenge prize is looking for innovations that can reduce the isolation and/or increase the mobility of vulnerable older people by providing new opportunities for communities to come together to give time, skills and resources.
Drop Emma and Bill a note to hello-at-theafterworkclub.co.uk if you would like to get involved or sign up for our next event in January 2013.
We are proud to announce that the IntergerenationAll programme we have been developing with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has won an award! The work was recognised as Leading The Way in the recent United For All Ages Awards.
You can have a look at the other categories and winners here.
But (before we crack open the champaign) this work is by no means over. We are still busy on the programme currently looking at ways we can support each IntergenerationAll project think about sustainability and enterprise. We will also be turning our learning into a tool-kit for people who are interested in prototyping and running innovative intergenerational ventures in the future.
If you are interested in finding out more about this work, or any of thinkpublic’s work in aging, please get in touch: email@example.com.
We have won an award
I’m just about to start reading my copy. The book explores how present moment mark a time of huge change and an opportunity for mankind to metamorphose into a new kind of humanity at the dawn of a New Creation.
Annie writes about: Cycles of Time, Aging is Cool, Walking the Talk, Mercy not Justice, Simplicity, Letting Go, The Bigger Picture, Growing our own value system and Learning is the meaning of life.
From what I know of Annie, I imagine the book to be beautifully written, with amazing insights into life and the future. Go on treat yourself or someone else to a copy!
Last week Ness and I found ourselves at Weston General Hospital A&E. Thankfully, our visit was a planned one, in support of a project we are doing with the NHS Institute for Excellence and Innovation into how we can use patient and staff experience to improve Ambulatory Care services.
Before I go any further I think it’s only right that I break down what Ambulatory Care actually is. The term is derived from the word ambulant, meaning walking, and refers to treatments that can be provided to patients on the same day, without the need for an overnight stay in hospital.
Within the NHS there is strong support for extending Ambulatory Care services in hospitals. For the NHS, Ambulatory Care is appreciated for reducing the number of people admitted overnight to hospitals and so reducing costs. For patients, Ambulatory Care can offer a convenient alternative to an overnight hospital stay.
In recognition the growing importance of Ambulatory Care, the NHS Institute asked thinkpublic to investigate how these services can use insights from patients and staff to drive future service improvement. Responding to the brief, we arranged a series of visits to hospital throughout the country, each at a different stage of developing Ambulatory Care services.
We designed we designed a number of tools to support our visits. On our visit to Weston General, we asked staff to photograph key elements of their service from both staff and patient perspectives. These images then facilitated a group discussion, with staff exploring how each group experiences or feels about the service, using descriptive adjectives such as ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘comfortable’ and ‘anxious’. Later on, patients were encouraged to use a basic storyboard tool to reflect on their experiences at different points in the service. We also made use of informally conversations and observation to understand how the service was working.
Overall, our visit to Weston-Super-Mare was extremely worthwhile. The Ambulatory Care team were incredibly welcoming and generous with both their time and insights into how their service works. Likewise, it was a privilege to be able to spend time with and learn from so many of Weston’s patients.
We’re still reflecting on our visit but already it is clear that it has yielded valuable insights. For instance, staff identified signs to the Ambulatory unit as a source of confusion for patients and irritation for staff. Elsewhere, patients told us simple things such as staff greeting them by their first names made them feel at ease. By acting on these insights, Ambulatory Care services will be able to improve patient and staff experience of their service.
Over the coming weeks we will develop a more detailed appreciation of how patients and staff currently experience Ambulatory Care and where improvement opportunities exist. We will also be exploring with patients and staff how services can better capture and make use of experience-based insights in their everyday works. We will, of course, let you know how we get on.
All outfits that help bring people closer together and bring a smile to more faces.
There will be more thinkpublic making days in the future so we will keep you posted.
As of this Friday I am going to be taking a break from thinkpublic after a year and (nearly) a half here.
I have had an amazingly rich and interesting time here. Its really pushed my thinking forward, improved my skills and exposed and introduced me to the incredible, the bizarre and the astounding. The reason for the move is to fulfil some personal ambitions, to try and get a fresh perspective on social enterprise, focus on getting some things up and running and to see much more deeply how local authorities are working in these truly difficult times.
The thing that has really struck me most during my time at thinkpublic has been the amazing people I have had the pleasure to work with everyday. I came to thinkpublic effectively working for some of my heros, in Debs, Ian and Ivo. When you meet your heros in life its always a bit daunting. They have been nothing but encouraging, down to earth and positive. Then you find out that all the other people who work there are equally incredible. Then it gets really scary. So, I resorted to being loud for the duration of my stay!
I just want to use this blog to reflect on some of the people who have made it amazing to be here, and what I have learnt from them.
Ivo G, your the man. The daddy. Your vision and integrity is, undoubtedly, very challenging but is such an admirable quality. I want to be as honourable and dignified as you are Sir. As I said you were my hero, and now your my buddy which is amazing. You keep walking tall, making the right decisions and challenging us to think differently without being impolite or arrogant. Your an incredible gentleman and tremendously kind. I have learnt that shirt, trouser, sock combo’s are something to behold and should be paid adequate attention, that kebabs are ok for lunch, and a bit about the internet.
Britton, meeting you has really changed my perspective and outlook on the world, the whole world. Your the most incredible person I think I have ever met, bar none. The way you see the world and people is so inspiring. You are passionate, artistic, loving, open minded and enthusiastic – your love for life has had a huge effect on me both personally and professionally. I have learnt from your patience, support and kindness to me, I really can’t thank you enough. You know what matters. Your one of my best friends – my big (ish) sister!
Francois, the newboy! It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked with you for a few months and shared the occasional beverage, you’re really challenging and really passionate, and although I don’t like to admit it, pretty darn creative. You have taught me so many facts about reggae I can’t even begin to disseminate , but also shown me that I should question myself, that the world is far more complex than it seems, and that you don’t need to be the loudest man in the room to be heard.
Alice, Alice, Alice. Super dooper Alice. You are like no one else I have ever met. Your sensitivity, sensibility, and sense of humour are so charming, and so valuable in the work we have been doing. You embody what it means to think public, and have taught me to look closer at things to really be able to see them. You also make a mean dinner. I have learnt to be a bit less fearful, a bit less abrupt and a bit more reflective. Your my other sister.
Jess, you are just a legend. So chilled out with such an interesting, down to earth perspective. How you have the energy to do everything you do I do not understand, but it’s super impressive. You also stay relaxed which is incredible and infectious. I have learnt to love life a bit more, to be nicer to my friends and to not take everything (including myself) to seriously.
Kelly, firstly thank you for your patience! You have made me feel really welcome from the outset, made my life easier and also whipped me into shape (a bit). Your such a warm hearted, dedicated and honest person. No rubbish, which I love about you. You have taught me not to get ahead of myself, to be more respectful and to wash-up to a level way beyond my natural capabilities.
Deborah, you are my mentor and my hero. You get me. I cant really articulate how much I admire your gusto and your vision. Your a leader and I hugely respect you for everything you have achieved so far and for your plans for the future.You have also just been lovely to me and made me feel confident to speak my mind and share my opinions, and to get over some of the weird hang ups I had. I really can’t thank you enough for everything. You have taught me to be more like Barry White!
It is a really amazing thing when the people you work with also become some of your best friends, so for that, I feel really blessed. You seriously couldn’t ask to work with a more intelligent, caring, creative and considerate bunch. You are my family and I’m really sad to be leaving for now. I’m sure we will cross paths again.
I’m off to cry and be sick. : ) So here are 5 things I’ve learnt;
1. Be nice. Its nice to be nice.
2. Act with integrity. Always.
3. Work should be fun, but you should care passionately about it.
4. Blame has no place in change. Working together and working hard is where your energy should go.
5. Be optimistic and excited. Always.
I have set been arranging for people to join us for lunch to speak to us about the interesting, inspiring and fun work they are doing. As a terrible blogger I hadn’t documented the first one we held a week or so ago…Sorry.
The week before last we had a visit from Alison Thomson. Alison is currently working in the NHS as a designer on the outpatient experience. Alison talked to us about the different ways she had worked with patients and staff, including using food as a visualisation tool.
It was also really interesting to talk with Alison about the similarities and differences between scientific and design research approaches. Alison talked about how in science to prove a research theory another scientist must go through the same process and reach the same outcome and what designers can learn from this rigorous approach.
Makerhood is an initiative to promote local makers and connect them with people in their neighbourhoods who wish to buy local goods. We believe Makerhood can benefit our communities, economies and environment. It’s also a great way to get hold of cool, unique things. Makerhood is a non-profit initiative in support of makers, sustainable local economies, creativity and skills. They are currently building a website to enable people to buy products made in their neighbourhoods.
I had been really inspired by Makerhood since I saw this blog on their site over Christmas and have been trying to meet up with Kristina for a while. It was great of her to spare some time to share the project with the rest of us.
Some of the things we talked about were:
1. Makerhood is an online marketplace – trying to be a “marketplace” in a traditional sense. It isn’t simply a place to buy things. It hopes to foster communication, community, conversations and relationships in the real world, in the same way a physical bustling market place does.
2. Kristina had the idea for Makerhood after looking for locally made products in her area and finding there was no online resource selling locally made products. Her vision and desire to make this happen led her to connect with like-minded individuals and that collective drive and enthusiasm has made the project possible.
3. Balancing the development of an online presence with meetings, events and conversations in the real world has been key to the project’s development. Meeting informally in pubs and cafes keeps people interested and involved, and has lead to friendships based on place.
4. The organic nature the project has allowed for many different people to get involved. This involvement goes far beyond traditional consultation and engagement; people are invited to help shape the project’s development and direction and collectively make decisions despite having a loosely structured network.
There are many other interesting things about the project – so check it out here.
Kristina’s vision, passion, new ways of working, making and doing was massively inspiring. And shes lovely.
The project could go in all kinds of directions and we are interested and excited to see how it develops.