7 September 2018
On Wednesday 29 August Get Yourself Active held its first workshop for social workers in Essex on how to include physical activity for disabled people in social work. Social workers from across Essex attended a session in Ely House in Basildon. Also attending were Cecelia Kumar from Sport England and Leo Capella Communications Officer for Get Yourself Active.
Training sessions are being rolled out in key Get Yourself areas including Nottingham so that social workers can learn how to include physical activity into their work with disabled people. Basildon was a chance for me to get an insight into what happens in one of our workshops and share it with all of you.
Anna Pettican, trainer from our partner in Essex, Sport For Confidence described the workshop as “two hours to think about physical activity” and so it proved. Social workers talked about their own experiences of getting and keeping active which was important as it showed people their clients they had knowledge of the challenges .
We provided information such as through a nicely shaped pie or rather doughnut chart on how getting physically active can reduce the risk of cancers like colon cancer and heart disease. Or on explaining about Disability Rights UKs’ work. While I can’t and won’t go into what was said it was nice to see a receptive audience and learn about techniques such as the three conversations approach which is a new model for social workers to assess peoples needs and plan care. We also handed out our social work guidelines, which completed their journey from a packed box waiting to be distributed to being read and becoming part of someone’s toolkit.
A general and important point that came through the workshop is that it isn’t just intense physical activity through sport that can help it can be something as simple as doing chores or going out. And it’s not just the individual that’s involved in getting and keeping themselves physically active it’s the whole family among others that can be involved.
Then the session moved on to everyone talking about social work in Essex where I managed to pick up a few leads, including information about some interesting inclusive cycling in Southend. Above all though as with the other parts of the workshop it was nice to see everyone sharing their experiences and providing advice to each other.
And one more thing our beloved penguin mascot for Get Yourself Active got a chance to spread his small wings too. Although he observed proceedings he could not fill in our interesting Social Work guidelines baseline survey for social workers which was completed by all of them at the end of the workshop. Hopefully they will opt to stay in touch for the next phase of our work.