The theme for the last Getting In The Know event in July 2018 was “it’s good to talk”.

It certainly is. But as we all know, it’s also incredibly important to listen too! Hence the theme of #GITK19...

Once again, it was brilliant to see so many services represented by staff from all over the MioCare Group. Over 200 people descended upon Chadderton Town Hall last Thursday - it’s not often that we get the chance to come together like that.

Of course, not everyone could make it as our services need people to run them! Huge thanks to those that came along, as well as those who held the fort whilst colleagues were away for a short while.

We’ve made big strides as a company over the last few months. We continue to push forward into what will be an important year for us, something Managing Director Karl Dean outlined as he introduced the day. Some 2018 Group highlights include…

  • ‘Good’ CQC ratings at our Learning Disability Respite and Residential Enablement Services
  • We are an active member of the Oldham Cares Alliance
  • Amanda Robinson, Manager of the Helpline & Response Service won an Oldham Council TOP Award – a first TOP Award for MioCare
  • We recently entered into a Union Recognition Agreement, covering the whole Group

There were plenty more but that was a few that we looked back on. Looking forward, we continue to be a listening and learning organisation as we address our priorities for the next few months, which include…

  • Being a borough-wide lead on Community Enablement, with a focus on hospital prevention
  • A new, 20-apartment supported housing scheme for adults with learning disabilities in partnership with the Council, currently set to be completed in August 2019
  • With use of our current (and updated where necessary) policies / procedures and an updated training offer, we must put quality and safety at the forefront of our minds as we deliver our services

Another priority is successful integration as part of the aforementioned Oldham Cares Alliance. We were pleased to have Alliance Director Donna McLaughlin with us to provide an update. Donna revisited some of the detail presented in a recent staff engagement session hosted for providers in the Alliance and outlined some employee principles…

“We are working towards a one #teamOldham approach. Who employs you becomes less important – we all work for the good of Oldham!”

If you’re an Oldham resident or if you work for MioCare or one of the other companies in the alliance, make sure you visit regularly to keep up-to-date with progress.

We were also pleased to welcome friends and partners from across the town to host stalls in our bustling ‘market place’ – a good opportunity for Group staff to get advice, support and advice. A big thank you to the following for coming along and presenting their new year offer…

Costco, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, Fit for Oldham, GMB Trade Union, Healthy Minds, Maggie’s Oldham, Oldham Community Leisure, Oldham Credit Union, Positive Steps, Slimming World, Unison Trade Union, Weight Watchers and Welfare Rights.

Finally, we were honoured to have a special guest speaker visiting us from South London – Sophie Andrews, the CEO of The Silver Line and former Chair of the Samaritans. It was Sophie who really underlined the importance of listening as we go about our work.

She bravely told of her difficult childhood. It was a tough listen at times but was incredibly moving, prompting a standing ovation. And again, it brought home how important it is to be fully present in our work as support and care providers. In fact, not just in our work but in our day to day lives too. Thank you, Sophie – you have a large book order coming your way!

Once more, this is a tough listen but if you’d like to hear how Sophie went from vulnerable caller of the Samaritans helpline, to volunteering with them, then onto Chairing the organisation then watch her TED Talk below…

In her work with The Silver Line (a telephone helpline she launched to support isolated older people in the UK), Sophie tackles the issue of loneliness - a subject she describes as 'taboo' for way too many people. We thought this quote from her TED Talk was telling…

“In my life, the best help I’ve ever received has been from those personal connections and being listened to in an empathetic way…”

We are determined to listen and to learn.

 A great Getting In The Know #GITK19. We’re already looking forward to the next get together.