On Wednesday 24th June Pause held the first in a series of Learning Forums. These are designed for Practitioners across the Pause sites to meet and share practice and learning experiences. It enables Pause staff to enhance their professional knowledge and hone their skills in utilising the Pause model to work systemically with their clients. The Learning Forum was chaired by Director of Practice and Learning Georgina Perry, with an overarching focus on innovation.
The keynote speech was given by Nick Crichton, founder of FDAC, who acknowledged that setting up an innovative and new service was exciting but challenging and that workers needed to have “Passion, Perseverance and Patience” in their problem solving approach, in order to combat the immense social and emotional costs and make the service work well for clients and the wider community.
The forum also focused on capturing emerging themes from the pilot areas. Pause staff working in groups designed the subsequent Learning Forums around issues that were relevant to them. All sites operating Pause therefore have the opportunity to share learning and create a flexible approach to working on the programme.
This event also gave Practitioners a chance to hear from two of the Pause service users. Both were from the initial Hackney Pilot and were invited to attend with their key Pause Practitioner for a session of group question and answers. This proved to be a positive and motivating session for both Pause clients and staff. One Pause service user commented that due to Pause “I feel like I’m starting to achieve things I haven’t before”. In hearing the experiences of services users directly Practitioners, Unit Coordinators and Practice Leaders alike could see the personal impact of Pause and understand the direct importance that the service has.
The Learning Forum was a great success with a real buzz of excitement from Pause staff about their upcoming work for the programme. The next Learning Forum, for Pause Practitioners, will focus on areas of mental health that affect the women that Pause works with.