In-depth articles and guest posts on internal and sector-related topics.

The importance of explaining yourself

There is a ‘Little Britain’ sketch that stands out for me and it is the one of the computer saying no, because it so cleverly and clearly explains what it can feel like for a customer/patient/user to be confronted with a job worth system. I feel the biggest reason most people make a complaint or become frustrated is not necessarily the decision that has been made, but rather that the decision has not been properly explained to them in a manner they understand.

Care Opinion

Care and support is something all of us will receive at some point in our lives. However, our experiences of that care are likely to vary. Some of them will be good and perhaps even excellent, and some might be dissatisfactory and disappointing. Opportunities to express opinions about these good and bad experiences are not always available. Services often have complaints procedures in place but people may not wish to formally complain: rather they might prefer to suggest a change to improve a service, or comment on very good or bad care. And that's where Care Opinion comes in.

Brain Pickings

If you believe creativity comes from many places then you may be interested in Brain Pickings, a blog by Maria Popova that enquires into many different aspects of life.

Maria dips into and weaves between aspects such as: literature, art, science, the environment, psychology, design, philosophy and many others.

Going undercover

Undercover Boss is one of my TV guilty pleasures. The premise of each episode is simple: the head of a large organisation leaves their ivory tower to go ‘undercover’ to find out what everyday life is like for frontline workers inside their organisation. This means rolling up their sleeves and pitching in to do the dirty jobs, as well as facing no-holds-barred feedback on what the company's doing right and what it needs to do better.

By the end of the show, the leader is humbled, often contrite, and certainly better educated and more appreciative. And I’m in tears.

On encouraging storytelling

More and more of my work revolves around storytelling. I co-lead Swansea Digital Storytelling (see swanseastorytelling.com ) and at least one day a week I train staff and make stories for the health service – this encompasses stories about things that have gone wrong as well as things that show best practice and stories of people’s personal journeys. I plan to share a number of ideas of how I encourage storytelling in Creative Quarter blogs over the next few months.

Encouraging Storytelling Idea no. 1

I’ll tell you what we really really want

The new miracle cure is . . .aspirin! No, wait, that was last week. Must be a heart pill then, it’s difficult to keep up with all these tabloid stories.

Me, I’m waiting for the Daily Mail to report that the new miracle cure is . . . singing. Well, it probably does some good for those with COPD or for strengthening the voice in people with Parkinson’s.


Face-to-face meetings can be hard on resources. Often there's just not the time or the money to bring people together. This is especially true for those working in rural areas or those who need to communicate with others in regional offices. Therefore, people need to be more creative about how they communicate with each other. Online social networks, such as Yammer, LinkedIn and Facebook help to fill these communication gaps, offering spaces to share information and to engage in conversations with others.

Green Juice

Everyone has an attitude towards eating greens. We may like them or not; but we all know that they are good for us. However, we don't always prioritise eating them or other healthy foods. We tend to blame our busy lives for not taking sufficient care to give our bodies the nutrition they need unless we have had a recent illness or health scare.

Sharing stories about individualised funding, individualised supports and lifestyle arrangements

My previous note was about facing with the emotions that arise in a specific transition: that from receiving traditional support services to making lifestyle choices and then purchasing the support needed to implement these. How do you encourage people to be creative when in the past they have been used to be the passive recipients of ‘services’?.. with peers sharing transition stories!