In a week when Artisans Collective have received an award for innovation and “thinking outside of the box”. It has also taken some self discipline to remain inside the box.
One of the most well-worn phrases in the business world is “thinking outside the box”. It is supposed to mean thinking creatively, freely, and off the beaten path.
It’s the kind of thinking that , in an age of increasingly powerful algorithms and neural networks, attracts significant attention. For now, it’s the kind of stuff that machines can’t do that well.
Sometimes we have to remain inside the box.
This week I received my Dementia Friends Champion Training. Which has an absolutely set format of delivery. Ensuring all friends receive very similar information. Regardless of the person delivering. To me this is inside the box thinking.
“A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help. It’s easy to get involved. “
“If you never venture outside the box, you will probably not be creative. But if you never get inside the box, you will certainly be stupid. “
The origin of the phrase is not clear, but it became popular because of the nine-dot puzzle. Now a management consultancy staple that poses a problem: how to connect nine dots with four straight lives drawn by never lifting one’s pencil?
The temptation is to draw a box, which does not solve the problem. Rather, one must draw lines outside the confines of the box shape suggested by the arrangement of the nine dots.
So why does it matter?
We are involved in lots of community activities, which brings us in to contact with lots of different organisations, agencies and groups.
Some of the organisations have very strict guidelines and procedures. I see them as restricted by the box. It is not a criticism as sometimes it is statutory requirements that dictate it.
However we are fortunate to have met some very innovative leaders within some of the organisations who see the benefits of co-producing with others “outside of the box”.
One such example is that we have been working recently with Heléna Herklots CBE, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
When you get messages like the one below from The Commissioner, it helps us realise that our “out of the box” thinking is sometimes appreciated.
“Thank you very much for coming to the session on Tuesday to review the feedback from the consultation on my priorities, and to contribute your knowledge, experience and ideas to the development of my work programme. I thought it was both an enjoyable and useful meeting, and I hope you felt so too.
I will be publishing my one year work programme and three year strategy in the first week of April and I will of course send you a copy. In the meantime if you have any other thoughts on the work programme please don’t hesitate to contact me.”
Other more regional organisations such as, North Wales Police and the Health Board. In my own personal opinion have leaders who are willing and indeed encouraging input from the grass root level.
Talking about Roots!
I have to mention another major organisation that “get” what we are trying to achieve here in Prestatyn. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Through Grow Wild, Kew is inspiring millions of people to grow as a group, get active, learn about and engage with nature, and give back through volunteering. All of which can improve health and wellbeing, as well as urban and unloved spaces across the UK.
The start of this year has been really amazing already. Below are just some of the things that I have done within the past Two weeks. These are over and above our normal weekly activities at The Old Library. Plus attending a funeral.
Start of the ICAN centres.
As part of my involvement with the LIT (Local Implementation Team) for mental health. I am very pleased that Artisans Collective will be hosting an ICAN volunteer information recruitment session on the 22nd January 2019. More event information here.
The ICAN CENTRES are based at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Maelor and support the Emergency Departments at each hospital. They will be offering a listening ear to patients who come to the ED. But don’t have a physical injury or a medical reason for seeking help. On a nightly basis many people will arrive at the ED Departments via Ambulance, the Police. In a car or taxi or on foot simply because the lights are on and they have nowhere else to turn for help.
The ICAN Centres are open every night of the week between 7am and 2am. They are looking for Session Supervisors and also Volunteers to join our teams across the three hospitals of North Wales.
We are inviting applications to become part of the ICAN Centre teams from people from all walks of life. From people who are already working within the Third Sector supporting organisations. To dedicated individuals who could offer their time, to students and Health Board Robins. Or retired professionals who want to be part of this huge and innovative new venture.
Full training and induction will be provided. Additionally you will be required to supply a current DBS Certificate. Alternatively be happy for us to apply for a DBS Certificate on your behalf. The Supervisor Session staff will be paid on an hourly range basis. Volunteers will be paid their expenses (up to 15 miles each way from the sites).
Friday 11th January, it was a pleasure to give a talk to about 80 ladies at Dyserth WI all about what we get involved with. Mostly about Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community and ICAN.
It felt like I was amongst friends and had some great feedback. Also there was cake.
Making a start with Ageing Well in Denbighshire.
I am delighted to have been invited to join the Ageing Well in Denbighshire (AWD) Group.
The group comprises various organisations and individuals who come together to consider wellbeing of our citizens in Denbighshire. Whilst the Ageing Well in Denbighshire forum is predominantly about Older People’s issues. It seeks to develop and promote its activities, intergenerationally. Across all age groups in Denbighshire.
The meetings will encourage members to share information and exchange best practice relating to recent. Current and suggested future activity. Particularly in terms of influencing and promoting, health, social care and wellbeing.
Further more on March 7th I will be presenting at the National conference in Cardiff after an early morning start. Talking about all we do in Prestatyn and North Wales to help promote awareness of Dementia Friends and community engagement.
Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community
Myself and Steve who is One of our champions were volunteering at the Morfa Gateway Project on Thursday 17th. When we received a message telling us about a chap in distress at a local business. Where staff have recently become Dementia Friends.
I went to offer help and support and thankfully there was a good resolution.
We did not realise that a member of the public had been observing the proceedings. Furthermore they have written a wonderful message to the manager of the establishment, part of which we have included below.
We will be holding a general meeting of Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community soon. Everybody will be welcome to attend and can sign up to become a Dementia Friend or additionally become part of our steering group.
Everybody can make a difference in our community and to the wellbeing of its citizens.
This is a very simple 1Km accessible flat terrain walk ideal for somebody just getting back or making a start into exercise. The start is from the car park at Morfa Gateway. Also the walk finishes in the same place.
Based around the existing trim trail. We are using smartphone GPS technology to notify the app user of their current location. Furthermore the completion level.
Future bounds will have much more detailed information and will be extended to other areas of our locality.
A huge thanks to both establishments for connecting with our community groups.
It is great presenting about connecting within communities. In conclusion we have engaged with over 60 different different organisations locally and nationally as part of our voluntary efforts. Amazingly this is in just the first Two weeks at the start of 2019.