The power of asking

Through the very act of asking people, I’d connected with them, and when you connect with them, people want to help you.

This quote comes from a brilliant TED talk by the musician Amanda Palmer called ‘The Art of Asking’. It’s only 15 minutes long and well worth a watch:

Enterprise Social Networks

The term 'Enterprise Social Network' is getting bandied about quite a lot of late. It sounds a bit techie, but it's really not. Enterprise Social Network (ESN) is a term that emcompasses social networking tools and software, some of which are used internally in organisations such as Sharepoint. However, ESNs also include the new wave of public social networking websites that allow people to connect, collaborate and share information on subjects of interest. Yammer and Socialcast are two popular examples. These websites can facilitate groups both within and outwith organisations.

Talking with images

I have boards on Pinterest full of quotes and images that I have collected because I am instinctively drawn to them. They talk to me, the quotes in an obvious way, the images in a not so obvious way, but they still have something to say.

Broken biscuits

In busy working lives it is very easy for individuals to get bogged down with the flood of urgent requests that we experience every day. At work, we have the continuous stream of electronic and face-to-face demands for this, that and the other from our managers, team leaders, colleagues and clients whereas at home we have  the never-ending administrative tasks and social interruptions of just living a 21st century life, bursting with multi-media and mobile communications.

Hafan y Mor (Haven by the Sea)

Hafan y Mor ( Haven by the Sea) is a new unit for children with disabilities in Swansea, Wales.

The families chose the theme for the centre and photos of the children enjoying an arts day on the beach cover the walls. The doors to the consulting rooms are beach huts and kites fly everywhere…

Is there time to be creative?

This is a massive question for teachers. I work all over the UK and the problem is the same, whatever the educational system and the complexion of the governing parties. Teachers and those who work with them feel under constant pressure to fulfill, what they perceive as,  expectations of them and to meet the increasingly complex needs of young people. We need be open about this and look seriously at how teachers manage their time and don’t inflict the sort of unsustainable workload that many are experiencing.

Let’s luminate

It has taken over 17 hours of train travel for me to be in Glasgow for the day today. Why did I do it? Was it worth it? 

I live in Swansea in South Wales, we have just become part of the Age Friendly Cities network and have been selected as one of four cities to have a peer review of their arts for older people provision. This involves knowledgeable people from around the country coming for the day and asking searching questions to help you improve what you are doing. 

Making tough decisions easier

While everyone wants to believe providing social care is giving service users what they need and ideally want, sometimes limited resources and other factors will mean that social workers may have to look at needing to cut people’s level of support in the name of fairness. Many disabled people fear, but not including myself, that the Independent Living Fund’s transfer to local authority control will result in a major cut of the support they will receive, including the possibility of being put into residential care.