Jim Thomas

Curating social care digital content - learning from other industries

Keeping track of digital content, deciding what to read. listen to and watch can be daunting.

In the music industry radio and the music press used to be how peoples listening and buying decisions would be influenced. Helping people to navigate genres, styles, fads, the niche and eccentric.

However, today radio and the printed word are no longer preeminent. With youtube being the biggest music discovery platform and the hype machine being the 'have to go to' music blog review site how can people get heard above the crowd?

Integration and the arts

Integration is at the top of many social care, housing and health professionals agendas which made me wonder about the role of the arts and artists the integration debate.

In my mind there are two forms of integration, service (or process) integration and workforce (or people) integration. It's the latter, rather than the former, where I think that the arts has much to offer.

Time to get rid of the forms

Good assessment of someone's care and support needs to start from a blank sheet of paper. This is a notion that has the power to strike terror into hearts of seasoned professionals - or does it?

When one of organisations I've been working with decided to experiment with blank sheet assessments there was an uproar, as some people saw it as reducing their professionalism.

Six months on and moving away from ' boxed in' assessments has allowed people to use their creativity and be creative in finding solutions to the care and support issues people were presenting.

If sport is theatre and theatre is art

With the World Cup up and running and a family with connections to Denmark, England, Wales, Germany and France I'm left wondering who to support and what sport as a form of live theatre brings to social care.

Whilst sport may seem unscripted it conforms to all the rules of theatre. With sports, people rehearse, learn a script, play a role and then have to 'ad lib' when the 'live' performance starts.

Being able to explain art

One of the projects I'm involved with at the moment is focused on end of life care and understanding the skills that people have to offer and the skills that they can learn even as they approach the end of their lives.

Listening to one of the projects I was struck by how little I know or understand about different art forms. In particular, how knowing more about how and why people paint pictures in the way that they do can bring a whole new perspective to visiting an art gallery.

Why the arts matter

I've always had a passion for the arts - whether it's music, visual art, or performance art. I’ve spent most of my career working in adult social care training and development. I've always said that being a trainer is a bit like being a writer and a performer and that the more you can entertain people when you are teaching the more they are likely to learn.