Showing posts from March, 2014

What can you learn from the disruptive innovators?

It’s impossible to live in Scotland just now and not experience the impact of being told all the things you can’t do if we vote for independence. Undoubtedly there are a variety of responses to this and the polls would suggest relentless negativity is perhaps having a perverse effect than that desired. But there is no doubt it creates a sense of burden, a weariness, an undermining worry that could feed the poverty of hope we see in so many of our isolated communities. The Independence referendum is tapping in to the call for change I see in so much of my work and a campaign that   fosters a sense of helplessness can’t fail to have an impact. The diversity of work I do in organisations and in health and social care and the people I work with make my life hugely interesting. And what I notice too is there are threads that join them all. The threads mainly are about how do we reach for more humanity in our work, how do we bring our values and work with integrity, how do we

In search of selfie

Even the dogs are at it! Well who would have thought it, women (and men) are proudly taking their own photos of themselves without makeup and posting it on “tinternet”. What next I wonder? You need to get up early for a photo of me without makeup I admit. I’ve seen some views pros and against this latest social media trend and it has made me ponder on both. I believe it started with celebrities in solidarity for an older woman (and it would be a woman of course) criticised for her looks at the Oscars. But it changed (perhaps in protest to the selfie indulgence?!) to do the #nomakeupselfie in support of breast cancer. Cancer Research UK and the other breast cancer charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign have all benefited too in this social media/community led campaign. I have seen my exceptionally beautiful friends and family take part, post breast awareness information and text money too. They are awesome! I still haven’t post

The crocus, the symbol of hope.

 A visit to Edinburgh's Botanic gardens and three lovely days of sunshine inspired these photos and the poem. I was recently clearing out and found a lapel pin with a crocus. When I first worked with Breakthrough Breast Cancer  the crocus was an emblem they used. The crocus being the first flower of spring was a symbol of hope that the charity adopted.The emblem always moved me especially every spring when I saw my first crocus. The promise of better times to come. Hope of Spring  Relentless grey of winter Then the sun so,so welcome The sky blue and full of promise Warmth swiftly lost to frost Sunsets promising more to come Faces up turned and smiling Streets and gardens life abounding Parks of barking dogs Screams too of childish excitement Can winter be gone at last? The crocus, first flower of spring A bed of colour emerging from The grey grey winter A symbol of hope After hard times Flowers bloom again The sun brings its warmth Smiles return to faces Life promises n

Another week ,another controversy for breast cancer....

Another week ;another breast cancer controversy.   This week it involves page 3 of The Sun which is guaranteed to raise my irritation levels at best. But it is to raise awareness of breast cancer so that’s makes it all right? Really? It’s a dilemma on many levels and represents the kind of moral and ethical dilemmas charities often face. Balancing opportunity to meet important objectives with what could be seen as a moral or ethical thin line. With a social movement called “ No more Page 3 ” in the UK any charity   working with the newspaper will be aware that many women ( and men too) are offended by the use of topless models to sell newspapers. Many are concerned that our children and young people   grow up accepting that woman’s bodies are fair game for any marketing ploy; that it potentially diminishes and disrespects women in our society and perhaps even contributes to growing trends of violence against women. But it is to raise awareness of the importance of checkin

Kindness: a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

I heard this poem at the weekend and wanted to share it with you. It speaks to me in such a profound way. May we all know kindness when we need it. Audrey Kindness Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever. Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive. Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up w

People and relationships and a beautiful journey back in time.

I was a teenager when I first visited Argyll. I was entranced. A week in Lochgoilhead won me over, although I confess to falling in the loch and moaning on my way up the Cobbler! So when many years late as an adult I moved to Helensburgh, on the doorstep of the beauty I was delighted to return. For several years I worked in service redesign in the area and it took me all over. I remember sometimes having my breath taken away by the scenery, even with the frustrations of driving around including log lorries and caravans doing emergency castle stops! It's years since I worked in Argyll but in my new role I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be working there again.   The team working across health and social care have an impressive commitment to wanting to improve care and to make it more person-centred. They have looked at what has happened around the world and close to home and now want to make it a reality in Argyll and Bute. This is terrain that covers more than