Wednesday, 22 May 2013

SHOUT: Summer Term Summary

The blog has been a little quiet since Easter - essay madness took hold and keeping the blog updated went out the window! But we've had two fantastic talks over the summer term in April and May, here's what we've been up to:

First of all a quick recap on "Occupational therapy in the 21st Century" with Jennifer Creek. She spoke to a packed room about OT past, present and future and the need to engage in political activism and challenge the status quo to drive OT forward. This sparked off a lively debate about whether or not it is realistic to strive for change - do we have the power to make a difference to the political system and OT's place in the world if we all work together, if we shout loudly enough? 

Jennifer encouraged us not to give away our power to hierarchy, and challenged students to become more questioning and build confidence in engaging with political and healthcare structures. Cultivate relationships with kindred sprits, she said, it is easier to think in company.

Then in April the energetic and inspiring Keith Norman presented "Beyond Mindfulness: being what you do and surviving changes as an Occupational Therapist in a private rehabilitation hospital".

Keith qualified from Sheffield Hallam University in 2011, joining Cambian Group to work at their men's rehabilitation hospital 'Cambian Oaks' in Barnsley. Before qualification Keith worked as a support worker for learning disabled adults, as rehabilitation assistant for a private company treating Brain Injury in the community and as a Senior Lecturer in Vascular Biology at the University of Sheffield! You can follow him on Twitter: @beingyourdoing. 

We first met Keith at the COT Conference last year, where he delivered an excellent presentation on how to BE your DOING, an interesting take on mindfulness in action during meaningful occupation, drawing on themes of occupational science and Wilcock's Being, Doing, Becoming, Belonging. So it was a pleasure to invite him back to Sheffield Hallam to speak on his experiences as an OT and how he uses mindfulness. 

You gave great feedback:

"Best SHOUT so far"

"Just what I needed to remind me why I am studying OT" 

"Reminded me that mindfulness is a part of OT not just a psychological approach and I now have an increased confidence in using it in practice"

"Keith was an empowering speaking and showed that students who suffer from mental health illness are not alone"

May welcomed Richard Davies, a fantastic Sheffield-based OT, known to Hallam students for his guest lectures on MOHO. He presented "OT's working with partners for social inclusion" with a team from the Oasis Gardening Service and cycling organisation CTC, showing how effectively mental health OTs can work alongside like-minded external organisations to achieve socially inclusive outcomes for service users. 

Speaking about their successes along the way, the team also addressed challenges and how to attract and retain funding during austerity.

Your feedback included:

"Very informative, interesting, useful in the current financial climate" 

"Really lovely to hear how services and partnerships have impacted on people" 

"See barriers as opportunities"

And at all three events, we've been pleased to host first year OT student Hannah, with her sterling effort to raise money for a summer volunteering project in India where she will be promoting education, health and sustainable livelihoods. Her delicious selection of homemade cakes, sold during the registration period and break, have helped her to reach her target. Well done Hannah! And good luck :)

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