Relishing change -
building adaptability, resilience and enthusiasm for a changing world

Signs of Spring v. Bleakness

January 26, 2015 @ 5:00 pm

Today you may notice there are just the first signs of spring appearing. The snowdrops have been blooming in my garden for a couple of weeks; the catkins are beginning to show and the shoots of daffodils and hyacinths are coming. image

However this time of year is also associated with bleakness and a reality check about whether your life is where you want it to be. The return to work after the Christmas /New Year break is often associated with an increase of divorce applications or concern about mounting debts or just a realisation that another year without the changes you wished for has taken place.

Whichever viewpoint you subscribe to, and in reality it could be a bit of both; joining in a group to take action is a good way of doing something differently and thereby beginning a process of change.

Standing on the side lines at a football match a friend wondered aloud whether she should make it her new year resolution to aspire to running the line, this would keep her warmer than spectating but does have the drawback of requiring better knowledge of the rules.

What aspirations do you secretly harbour? Every dream has some motivators and some thing slightly scary to be overcome. Renew You is a 1 day course for women to talk over in a safe environment the excitement of making dreams reality and working out how to manage the challenges. This Spring many Renew You trainers are offering workshops to mark International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday. Mine is on 16th March and also has the additional treat of a voucher with the Dorchester based House of Health and Beauty. Take a look, it’s a first step to getting the life you want.


@ 12:00 pm

Recently I’ve been reflecting on space. How do we conceptualise space? Boundaries around space and spaces have been gradually eroded; the office is shared and usually there will not be enough desks for every worker. This is a deliberate policy.The idea that we use space to symbolise our identity and make our desks our safe working base has been removed from many workplaces. Space in which professionals see people has become a premium; patients are left on trolleys in corridors in hospitals; offices no longer have interview or play spaces for children and their families. The idea of neutral space in which to perform professional tasks is being gradually lost. Schools struggle to find spaces to offer parents or professionals meetings or have smaller groups of children. Training spaces have gone and been replaced with multi-functional rooms in which children and families may have contact as well as professional meetings being held including supervision. All of these bookable functions mean that there is never quite enough space for the people requiring it and the different functions of the task are not so easily accommodated. A room suitable for families to have contact in is not performing the same function as a meeting room or a training room or even a safe space for supervision. It also means everything has to be planned and booked in advance. Yet we know that in health, education and social care there is a need to be prepared for and responsive to the unexpected. Not having space to deal with the sudden disruptions that arise is problematic and causes additional and unnecessary stress.

Physical space has a price tag attached. There is little public acknowledgement about the need for emotional space that also encompasses physical space sometimes. Robin Murray, a leading psychiatrist once passed a comment during exploration of his life scientific (Radio 4) that has stayed with me, that if the housing situation was better in cities there would be a much lower rate of schizophrenia. Our mental health is improved when we have sufficient physical and emotional space. At a time when empty houses in London are increasingly under scrutiny is it time to ask questions about space and how it is used? Who has access to space and what is a fair distribution of space; according to need rather than only according to income?

Two observations have struck me in the last week; firstly the bafflement of a manager of a home saying we only have 4 beds why do I keep being asked to fill them with 5 bodies. To her the beds are peopled, to the commissioners they are commodities. This is a central paradox is space personal or is it merely a commodity. Secondly observing that the car parks of public buildings are full before 8.30 so people can get a parking space and have first option on the limited number of desks. Latecomers to training days explain that having travelled miles to unfamiliar venues they then struggle to get parked. It has become impossible to cater for everyone. Survival of the fittest indeed. Another experience of a similar phenomenon is trying to get onto the M3 from the M25. One of the downsides of life as a trainer is frequent travel. Currently there are roadworks at the junction for the M3 from either side of the M25. On one occasion it took me 2 hours to negotiate the last mile to the turn off. Essentially this is a space issue; too many cars wanting to use the same space at the same time. Of course there are solutions such as queue jumping and not being saintly I am sure I’ll be tempted to do that. However as with all forms of queue jumping some will pay more of a cost than others. Who is getting queue jumped over in our rush to space? Certainly those with caring responsibilities are not in a position to get into the office before 7.30 to offset the anxiety of space – parking/desk.

Space and access to it has become a major stressor in the way we live today.The extent to which we have control over the space, we individually feel we need, to live and work in really affects our sense of emotional well-being.

Great news

January 12, 2015 @ 5:05 pm

I am delighted to announce that The House of Health and Beauty has joined with Pendrew Limited in the Renew Youathon taking place in March 2015. All participants on the Renew You women’s development course on 16th March at the George Albert Hotel will be offered a voucher from the House of Health and Beauty in Dorchester.

A day focusing on you and your goals for the year followed by the opportunity to explore the treatments on offer at the House of Health and Beauty. Who knows perhaps one of your goals might be to ensure you regularly book some “me” time to pamper yourself – what better combination could you have!

What are you waiting for – book your place here now

Gobbled up by the machine

@ 4:54 pm

Returning to work as well as the events in France this week have provided space for some thoughts to coalesce around some ideas which I will explore in the next few blog posts.

For me there is a mirroring of events on the global stage and issues arising for social care practitioners. Because of this mirroring, I suspect these issues reach beyond those working in social care and resonate for many of us as we think about the quality of our lives; our dreams and aspirations personally and for future generations.

This post explores the role of computers and modern technologies. To what extent are we gobbled up by machine or in charge and using machines to our advantage? There seem at times to be unstoppable demands and expectations by computers which require us collectively and individually to unplug ourselves from. Taking stock after your first complete week of the New Year who is in charge of the demands on your time – you or are you subject to the expectations of the machines? The computer we thought would ease our lives now rebukes many professionals with lists of unreasonable deadlines which cannot be adjusted to allow for any additional demands being made.

An interesting idea is that there is a behavioural shift occurring about how our use of technology is increasing expectations that everything is available NOW, not just in the public sector but permeating everywhere. This means that those providing services are expected to be accountable at all times. Why didn’t you answer the phone, respond to my text/email/tweet? How quickly is a response permissible and when does not responding change into transmitting a message of forgetting or ignoring the sender. How much can individuals negotiate these expectations and manage them in such a way as to be reasonable?

The resulting question therefore is how do you protect your self from unreasonable demands. Who defines what is reasonable, you, your manager or external agencies? How do you manage your staff realistically about what is achievable, what aspirational (after all we need to have a level to be challenged) and when do you tell your manager that their expectation of what you and your staff can achieve is not in fact the case.

Making new habits

January 7, 2015 @ 7:42 am

Apparently it takes 28 days to change a habit. Sounds manageable doesn’t it? What resolutions did you make last week? How are you getting on with them? Changing a habit requires an idea of what you want to achieve and things that motivate you in getting there; especially at the point when you want to revert to a familiar and comfortable way of being.

Which habits would you really like to change and what support do you need in order to succeed?

I’ve noticed on twitter the 100 days challenge:most memorably decided she was going to do a hundred gigs in as many days. Well it works because once you have done something for a hundred days you have established a new habit. It works because at the point you thought about giving up you had a finite amount of time left for your challenge.

My challenge for 2015 is to write something every day for 100 days. Perfectly reasonably my daughter said “for your blog?” No not necessarily, ” a diary then?”, again, no, not necessarily. My challenge to myself is to write. If you become a regular reader of this blog you may see some of the results, however my ambition is not to write a 100 blog posts or 100 diary entries, it is to master the challenge of writing everyday. Writing when I do not want to or have nothing to say. My ambition is to enhance my writing abilities and hone them from regular practise.

What is your 100 day challenge?

Renew You 2015

January 5, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

I love the New Year. It’s time to take stock, review my goals and decide in which direction to head. I love the spring time when the promise of new life emerges increasing expectations. I love the autumn and the dedication of another academic year when achievements can begin and learning challenges embraced. You’ve probably got the message by now; I like to reflect on my dreams and aspirations. However they need to lead to actions and a sense of progress, otherwise it’s a demoralising prospect. For me the secret is small, manageable steps, which is why having 3 periods during the year to review suits me. There also has to be realism; what is achievable and within my control and what could I achieve with support from others, how likely is it I will get that support? For others they identify a life plan or a 5 year one. We all need to decide a method uniquely suited to each of us.

Whichever is your preference Renew You courses are designed to offer women a safe, women-only space to reflect on their life plan and how they want to use the next year in working towards it, in whatever size steps suits them. In 2015 I am joining with other Renew You trainers to celebrate the period in March, which includes International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday, offering as many women worldwide as we can reach, the opportunity for a Renew You workshop; a day to re-energise ourself. If you live in Dorset please contact me to book your place. If you are looking elsewhere a list of other venues is available here

What are you waiting for?

Welcome to Pendrew blog

@ 4:45 pm

The Pendrew blog is a way of communicating my thoughts and sharing them with those interested. You’ll see from the other web pages that I am a trainer interested in many aspects of personal and professional development.

Although my background is in social work and training in social and health care, there are parallels with the business world in providing attentive and responsive customer care. Resourcing yourself is an important part of providing compassionate care whether professionally or in personal roles of caring for or parenting others.The blog is a method of sharing my thoughts and ideas around these themes; recognising the importance of valuing yourself can get lost in a busy working life. Training is one way of taking time to reflect on your priorities in your life and whether you are doing the job you wish to, as well as you can.You’ll find details of my public courses on the Renew You page of the website and my contact details are available should you wish to commission bespoke training with me.

Recent Work

My new book Using Supervision in Schools is published. I am very pleased that this collaborative effort with Jo Rowe and colleagues in education settings is now in print and available. Training in supervision is also available through In-Trac Training and Consultancy . Please read on to find out more.

Read more

Delighted that this article, co-authored with a fellow In-Trac Associate, Bridget Rothwell, has just been published. We are keen as trainers to keep a dialogue going between practitioners and academics about how supervision continues to be useful in practice and what supports the conditions to be an effective supervisor. I continue to offer supervision training through In-Trac to supervisors working in children’s services, early years and school settings.

Pendrew Limited
61 Bridge Street, Kington, HR5 3DJ . Telephone 07956 650 149
Click here to email me

Copyright © 2024 Pendrew Limited
Pendrew Limited is a registered company number 6059609
Registered office: Kennedy Legg, 10 Prince of Wales Road, Dorchester, DT1 1PW