7 inspirations to grow care
wherever you are

Welcome to Care Unbound Now: Seven ideas to challenge and inspire.

We are Here. Our purpose is Care Unbound – To create more possibilities for care in every moment. What does care without boundaries or restriction look like? Care Unbound Now is a journey into the substance and depth of what Care Unbound means to us today, in the places we work and live.

Here has six commitments and we listened to see how they are in action right now. These seven inspirations are the experiences and stories of our colleagues, citizens, co-care designers and friends. How these people work and live and give inspires us, they tell us something about what care needs to be and what it demands of us today.

We hope something here sparks for you where you are. Whatever matters to you, please join us in continuing to discover how to create more possibilities for care in every moment.

Each life
is immensely precious

"Sometimes it’s in those silences which you learn more"

Here Sally talks about her work as a First Contact Practitioner, enabling people to see a musculoskeletal specialist in their GP Practice before or instead of being referred on for specialist care.

 

It is inspiring to hear Sally talk about the experiences she has meeting people who need her help. As a clinician in the Sussex MSK Partnership she seems to effortlessly get underneath what appears to be the presenting issue to really meet a person’s needs on a deeper level.

 

Further watching: ‘Levels of Listening‘ by Practice Unbound.

Contributor

The ripples from what we do are infinite

"I don’t know, but let’s find out"

Partnership is essential for 21st century working. And it can be challenging to create the alignment of purpose, need, worldview and tolerance of risk needed to make partnerships work, especially in complex and challenging environments.

 

But when we do, partnership is extraordinarily generative. As you’ll see in this graphic description of the partnership between Kerry Few from Here’s Practice Unbound and Eilish Davoren of Bridport Medical Centre, what begins with a shared need, interest and willingness to try goes on to create learning that touches the lives of many thousands of people in small and big ways.

Contributors

Kerry Few, Integrated Operations Lead

Eilish Davoren, Practice Manager

Stefan Hanhart, Primary Care Systems & Data Lead

I will find my way to care

Presence / Absence

This photographic artwork has been created by Martina Silla, who also works in the Sussex MSK Partnership. What inspires us about Martina is her deep commitment to the issues that matter to her, her ability to look these challenges in the eye and how she is finding ways to bring her skills and interest to contribute to a collective response.

 

‘Presence/Absence’ moves us because it shows how an individual’s unique perspective can connect us to something bigger and universal, and that can shift us from feeling alone and helpless and to becoming part of a movement.

About ‘Presence / Absence’

This is a project about loss, in particular the loss of “our natural world”, and arguably the loss of ourselves. These trees (or what remains of them) are all within a mile radius of the office where I work, but they could be anywhere. This might help reframe the ecological crisis we are going through, often thought of as something which is happening “over there” and “in future”, as already here. This is also a tribute to the beauty they continue to offer even after they have been cut down. A form of appreciation. And we often do that, don’t we? We appreciate things after they’ve gone.

 

Learning about the ecological crisis and climate breakdown and engaging emotionally with what this means for all life on Earth is a painful process. It is one that I am glad I went through and stayed with. It has been transformative. It has helped reassessing my priorities in life. It has given me meaning. Last year I felt compelled to put my photography at the service of my values -to care for and protect others and the planet- and I spent 2019 documenting climate activism. This project is a new exploration of that need to work creatively in a purposeful way. At the end of spring last year felt this tremendous sense of urgency and I wasn’t sure how to channel it.

I had been thinking about the limitations of individual action (it is not possible to lead perfectly sustainable lives in an unsustainable system) and I wanted to expand my sphere of influence beyond my choices as a consumer and conversations with friends and colleagues (who were probably getting sick of me talking about the climate crisis all the time). I wanted to do something.

 

I asked if there was the possibility to do something at work and the answer was, of course, yes. A lot was already in place (for example we were already using a green energy provider), and a comprehensive sustainability strategy had already been created. Having reignited the intention behind this work and injected it with new energy meant that a new sustainability working group was formed: we are group of individuals who care deeply about these issues and come together to create opportunities for the organisation to have a positive impact.

 

The main difference is that I feel less alone with it all. There is enormous power in shared effort. I find huge comfort in knowing – having tangible evidence – that I work with dedicated, caring, loving, brave people who have decided

to face the reality of what is happening, to step up, to act. I am very grateful to every single one of them. Reflecting on what we are doing, as a species, to our planet and all its creatures (including ourselves) can lead to the arising of feelings of despair, anger, fear. These are perfectly reasonable emotional reactions that I believe it is important to acknowledge. Coming together as a group offers a form of therapy of sort.

 

It is safe to say that most people are, on some level, in denial. I know that I am; I probably wouldn’t be able to function if I wasn’t. Denial offers some level of psychological protection, I guess. Having said that, I don’t think in terms of hope anymore because I don’t see strong evidence that there is the will to make the rapid and radical systemic changes all around the globe which would allow us to stay below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, as recommended in the 2018 IPCC report. This might sound depressing; however taking this view can be somehow freeing: it is worth taking action, not necessarily because of its impact and contribution towards a desired outcome but because it is the right thing to do.

 

Martina

What’s the gift
in this disaster?

"I was having these disasters..."

Sarah Andersen is a GP at Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre and Here shareholder. At a meeting she asked ‘what if we see illness as an opportunity?’ It is a striking idea. Things can and do go wrong in life. In these times is there a message or a possibility that could be the start of something new and even perhaps better?

 

This made us think of Elspeth, who we know through the Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Service. We are awed by her pragmatic response to her illness – she says she has ‘never been happier’.

 

Further watching: ‘Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing’.

Contributor

Elspeth Parsons-Glover – Brighton resident

Change is inevitable
and it can hurt

Care is a group activity

"This is your open space"

At Here, we practice bringing our whole selves to work. This is a story of how Lisa, a CBT Therapist for the Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service, brought her whole self and then took it home again all the richer, wiser and more playful. Her story offers a beautiful window on her experience of exploring what it means to care for herself and others, what she learned and how she brought this home to the rest of her life.

Further listening: Guided meditation with Una Nicholson

Contributor

Lisa Nightingale – CBT Therapist, Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service

Your voice is needed

Our Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service partner YMCA introduced us to Audio Active, a ground breaking music organisation working with young people using music as an end in itself as well as a tool for social change. They describe themselves as “restless, unafraid and excited about what they do.”

 

Sade Weaver, aka Phonetic, wrote and recorded this piece as a commissioned response to what Care Unbound means to her. We are proud to showcase this, and Marshall’s track ‘Little Child’ (found on the next page), as inspiring expressions of creative voices working with personal challenge to empower change.

"You were born great, let ‘em see that firstly"

Sade:

“I’ve seen more than my fair share of the impacts of mental ill-health in my community. Of late, the ultimate price seems to be paid mostly by men. I wrote this piece to highlight the importance of women acknowledging the quiet struggles that men go through with mental health. A gentle reminder that I’m here for the good and the bad times, and that seeking help from friends or professionals does not make you less of the man you are. I hope these words talk to both men and women and put emphasis on the importance of communication with one another.”

Contributor

Sade Weaver a.k.a Phonetic

About 'Little Child'

Marshall:

“The meaning behind the poem was me talking to my younger Self; it was a way for me to vent and be able to put my childhood trauma into words. Having realised the impact, I have the opportunity to be a voice for children that have been abused by their parents, or by someone that is meant to protect them. Childhood trauma is a real thing, and the meaning/significance behind this poetic piece was me saying that I was sorry for not giving my Younger Self the love that he rightfully needed.”

 

“For me, I was physically/mentally/emotionally abused growing up and, my abuser died. This was the beginning of the healing process, as well as me having to sit through those emotions: anger, relief, sadness, confusion; which led to an overwhelming sense of peace, love and forgiveness, both for my abuser and the abuse itself. Now that I understand the weight of those words and how transparent they are in their emotional honesty and vulnerability; I am extremely honoured to have this piece be something that is a part of mental health. I give this my blessing, and I am extremely excited to see the positive impact that this will have on people that need those words to help them keep going.”

 

“I’ve gone from being abused and dealing with addiction; to being four years, 19 days sober and living my best life. I am a proud survivor.”

Contributor

Marshall Mandiangu a.k.a. Marshall

Thank you for coming on this journey into Care Unbound with us. We hope found something here that moves you as much as we have been. Please share what feels useful and inspiring. We would love to know what you think.

We invite you to join us at the Care Unbound Now Unconference in Summer 2020 – an open space day for digging deeper into the meaning and depth of terms such as care, listening, leadership, partnership and values, and for sharing what you’re learning where you are.

To sign up and get details, including the Care Unbound Now webinars we are hosting in April and October, just push the button below. We hope to see you there.

Paul, Una, Sarah & Zoe