Role Models for a Compassionate Culture in Essex

The first day of the ‘Everyone Matters’ project at Essex University on the 30th of June bought together 19 compassionate people who were seen as role models in the places where they work for the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Thank you all for an inspiring day.

We started with the question we now always begin with:-


why do you care, why do you do the job you do, and we all listened to each others stories and passion for figuring out how to give the most consitently compassionate care.

Lindsey – it is personal for me

Julie – it is about the here and now

Lynn – i do care deeply

Kim – customer service, moments of truth,  i love the job

Jill – to observe, has the person lost something?

Beverley – dedicated and compassionate

Russell – a compassionate person, known since school

Lee – listening to families, they are the experts

Denise – youngest of eight, family gave me essence of compassion and compassionate skills

David – always been an OT without knowing; how can i help?

Preerna – a passion for the physical side of people who have mental problems

Simon – a naturally kind mother taught me about a ‘state of acceptance’

Maria – mum made me cut my neighbours toe nails – made me come and now I love it!

Sebastian – i am interested, motivated and open

Olivia – my mum said why don’t you try it – my passion is dementia

Zoe – i want to help, changed me as a person

Carol – it is interesting, rewarding, working with families

Priscilla – elders are inspirational, it is my love and my passion

Sharon – always compassionate and caring, love sport…best of both worlds, the care and the physical

Imagine a moment in the future when you no longer provide the care as you now require it. There is a care worker coming towards you, what quality do you hope they will have? Here is what this amazing group of people said:-

Look at Me; Kindness in Approach; Eye contact and listening; Treat me with respect; Privacy and the least interference; Listening in the moment; Calm, reassuring and inviting body language; Acknowledged; Time; Understanding; A genuine smile; Clear personal explanation; See me; See beyond what i am saying; Caring approach; Ask my permission; A natural smile which shows the person wants to be there.

We thought about power and relationships and the ‘distancing effect’ in which care can be cold, authoriatarian or overprotective. We all want the qualities above which we call SOLIDARITY.

A bit of an aha moment – we must………

NAME IT (the unhelpful way of caring) –  THEN CHANGE IT (to a compassionate way)

How can people change and bring compassion if they are not first made aware?

This was a day to remember. The time by the lake thinking about how we know we matter will stay with me as i witnessed people in pairs listening to each other with a quiet mind and an open heart.

The leaders of this work understand that breaking old habits is complex and takes time and effort;  cultivating new compassionate habits can then begin.

A wonderful start – a wholehearted thank you!

Please add your comments, they always mean a lot.












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