10 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Three Cork organisations collaborate to support frontline workers
Three Cork organisations with shared values and a common interest in frontline practitioner care and development are holding a one-day, innovative seminar to open a conversation about the perception and realities of frontline practice.
Ag Eisteacht, Caidreamh Family & Practitioner Assessment & Therapeutic Services and SHEP (Social and Health Education Project) are holding ‘Reconnecting with the heart of frontline practice’ on Thursday 21st May 2020 from 9am-4pm at Northridge House, Castle Road, Blackrock, Cork.
The event is the first of a series of collaborative initiatives by the group exploring focused ways of supporting frontline workers.
The seminar is open to all frontline practitioners and managers working in health, education, social care and justice sector roles in public, private or community organisations.
Its aim is to create a safe space and time for frontline practitioners to gather together as a community to reflect on the values and sense of mission and purpose that drew them to their work in the first place and how they can reconnect with this and keep motivated and well.
Dr Maeve Hurley, founder of Ag Eisteacht, said: “With many services under resourced and under pressure, there often isn’t time for frontline workers to stop and think about how their work is impacting on them.
“We understand how challenging frontline work can be. Our vision is to create a safe space where we can all ‘hold each other in mind’.
“This is an opportunity for self-awareness, peer support and self-compassion. Attendees will have time to reflect on how it is for them and what they might need to support themselves by tuning into their own thoughts, behaviours and feelings. We will be exploring different reflective practice models and we hope that attendees will come away feeling nurtured, motivated and reconnected with their work.”
Dr Caroline Elton, Chartered Psychologist and author of the best-selling book, ‘Also Human – The Inner Lives of Doctors,’ will deliver the keynote speech.
Dr Nicola O’Sullivan from Caidreamh Family and Practitioner Assessment & Therapeutic Services will explore ‘Telling it like it is; Emotional Experience and Reflection at the Frontline’.
Dr Colm O’Connor, Clinical Psychologist, will talk about ‘Imagination and Self-compassion in Practice’.
Dr Nicola O’Sullivan said: “This first collaborative event has grown from the relationship held between our three organisations, drawn together by our shared interest in supporting those on the frontline.
“Being in roles where your heart has to be in your work can be hard to shoulder alone, and the interaction of your inner life with workplace situations can be painful, so it’s about acknowledging this and coming together to reflect on how we can sustain and support ourselves while supporting others.”
Jim Sheehan, Director of The Social & Health Education Project (SHEP), said: “We are co-creating and holding this space for practitioners because reflective practice requires good relationships and trust. It is really important that the challenges and struggles of our work can be aired and that we can have real and honest conversations that acknowledge our common humanity.
“Self-compassion is also hugely important so this seminar will provide time and a supportive environment for attendees to think about what might support them in their work and keep them well.”
The seminar will include four interactive workshops in the afternoon session.
The fee for this one-day seminar is €50 including light refreshments and lunch. Places are limited and booking is via Eventbrite.
The collaborative group has a series of follow-up, customised opportunities to explore how practitioners can sustain and support themselves in practice.