Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: A Thank You to Our Nurses!

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: A Thank You to Our Nurses!

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: A Thank You to Our Nurses!

As we commemorate International Nurses Day this year, we want to shine a spotlight on the incredible work of nurses in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). These nurses play a vital role in supporting the well-being and mental health of children and young people, often in challenging and complex circumstances.

In CAMHS, nurses are not only caregivers but also advocates, educators, and sources of comfort for both service users, their families and carers. They provide essential mental health care services, helping young people navigate through difficult emotions, cope with challenges, and develop resilience.

This year, we wanted to do something special to show our appreciation. We encouraged our CAMHS staff members to take a moment to say thank you to a CAMHS based nurse who has made a difference in their lives or the lives of others.

The response was overwhelming, with heartfelt messages pouring in from across the directorate. We hope these messages of gratitude not only warm the hearts of our nurses but also served as a reminder of the impact they have on the lives of patients, families, and colleagues alike. Happy International Nurses Day to all our incredible nurses. Here’s to celebrating you today and every day.

Read all the messages below: 

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Mike Brodie – Lambeth CAMHS

“I want to shout out Mike, our amazing Children’s Nurse who has a long history working in Lambeth CAMHS. Mike has worked within many teams in Lambeth CAMHS over the years and is currently the Clinical Service Lead for our Lighthouse (front door) team.

Mike is always on hand to offer time, guidance, help and support to our young people parents and carers as well as his colleagues. His hard work and dedication has assisted Lambeth with consistently reaching the contact within 28 days target. His is a compassionate and caring nurse. Lambeth CAMHS wouldn’t be the same without him. Thanks Mike Happy International Nurses Day!

Charlotte Chesson – Bethlem Adolescent Unit (BAU)

“I would like to nominate Charlotte Chesson because she is kind, caring, always so calm and chilled, very popular with the young people. Not long after I started my role I remember walking past a young person’s bedroom, Charlotte was in there with her stroking her hand whilst she was sleeping. It was evident how much Charlotte cared and that memory has stayed with me.”

– Ward Social Worker

“Charlotte defo needs celebrating!!! Charlotte is always bringing a calm and empathic approach to the ward, incredibly organised and great at delegating and ensuring the team gets things done, despite being busy is very present with the young people and it’s clear to see she has built good rapport with many of the young people.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Paul Hunt

“Very dedicated to his role across all his years at CAMHS. Always keeps his calm even in crisis situations with our young people.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Natalie Gagg – Bethlem Adolescent Unit (BAU)

“Natalie has the perfect balance of being firm but fair, very funny, certainly has a connection / very popular with the young people who she knows really well.  She’s very committed, always happy and upbeat and brings a positive vibe/her whole self when she is on shift on the ward.”

– Ward Social Worker

“Such a wonderful nurse! So caring, kind, hardworking and all knowing! Her ability to juggle everything that is going on and hold everyone in mind is amazing. Hearing her laugh brightens up my day.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

“I think Natalie has to be the most passionate Nurse on BAU. She has huge amounts of empathy towards the young people that they respond well to and has a strong work ethic that demands everyone to work at their best which is what you want and need in an inpatient environment. She is incredibly bubbly, and this rubs off on other people around her. We need more Natalies!”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Gillene Thomas

“Calm and controlled, champions our international nurses wherever possible and is supportive to colleagues.”

Amanda Broughton

You are a confident, experienced and a skilled leader who inspires our newer nurses everyday – thank you for your dry sense of humour too!”

Jide Akintomide

“Jide is Jide and I am thankful for his containment, support and trust throughout the years.

Nina Hammond – Snowsfields Adolescent Unit & Southwark CAMHS

“Skilled and knowledgeable beyond her years.  Will say ‘yes’ to anyone asking for some help and has an anecdote for every scenario.”

“Thank you Nina. Your commitment to our young people and staff is amazing. You bring your lovely personality and passion to everything you do, making a positive impact on those around you. Your dedication does not go unnoticed, and I am grateful for all that you do.”

Amy-Rose Olah

“She always makes space even though she is always very busy, juggling several issues. She is quick to think and gives thoughtful answers when there may be issues that come up. She is supportive of the young people and the therapies. She knows her ward so well. She is kind, gentle and firm at the same time which again I can see that these are qualities that young people respond so well too.”

– Ward Art Psychotherapist

David Condon – CAMHS Community Matron

“Kind, experienced, proactive, thoughtful and helpful – what more do you want from a senior nurse?”

Jacob Rolling

“Making his mark already in the team, passionate, creative and bakes!”

Latoya Morgan – Lewisham CAMHS

“Shout out also to Latoya for all that she does, under the radar a lot of the time, for NDT!”

Lee Wadsworth

Our in house Reducing Restrictive Practice expert, thank you for championing youth and parent involvement in this sensitive work.”

Holly Dawson

“I would like to give a shout-out to Holly Dawson from Symbol Team:

Holly’s dedication to supporting young people and their carers is evident every day as she consistently goes above and beyond to ensure their well-being. She concerns herself not only with the individuals directly under her care but also with other clients and, notably, our team. She consistently strives to improve teamwork and thinks of ways to support everyone surrounding her. 

Working alongside Holly is a pleasure, as her passion for her work and dedication characterise her. We are truly grateful for the impact she makes within the team. Thank you, Holly, for your invaluable contributions.”

Femi Lawal

“Thank you for being so diligent in your care for young people and an example to all.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Janet Millanaise-Taylor

“Janet has such a lovely calming way about her, I think that she demonstrates compassionate care in both her interactions with the young people and also how she speaks about them in handover to MDT.”

– Ward Occupational Therapy Apprentice

Joely Horner

“Flourished in her new role as RMN and always advocates for the young people. Her baked cookies are also 10/10!.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Olivia Akenzua

“I wanted to nominate Olivia, she is so quick off the mark with every aspect of her work. Very organised and so brilliant with each of the young people. She knows everything about all of them and her hard work is clear.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Kerry Gribble – Croydon CAMHS

“A big shout out to Kerry , who is so passionate about being physical health lead in Croydon CAMHS and always has a smile on her face – we appreciate you Kerry!!”

Letisha Spencer

“Letisha is new, but she has hit the ground running, feels like she has been part of the team for ages. She is warm and uses her sense of humour to connect with the young people. She has taken initiative and empowered the young people to take some responsibility whilst they are on the ward in the form of corridor reps. Generally she works very hard and deserves a shout out”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Georgia Reed

“Amazing nurse who cares about staff as well as young people. Very good at boundary setting. Lights up the room with her fun presence!”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Nicola Jenkin – Lewisham CAMHS

“She works tirelessly, she is extremely knowledgeable and willing to spend time discussing issues and sharing that knowledge. Nicola really embodies ‘grace under fire’ as she remains consistent, warm and cheerful in spite of any pressure.”

“Nicola deserves all this love and appreciation!

“Nicola is an extremely hard working and empathetic colleague and a professional for the service users. She is professional, supportive and friendly, a great colleague to have!”

“Nicola goes above and beyond for patients, families and her colleagues. She is always available for advice and support and I am proud to be able to nominate such a wonderful role model.”

“Nicola, who works tirelessly to help yp and families and a great colleague to work with!” 🙂

“She regularly goes above and beyond for her families.  She is selflessly committed to their welfare. Added to this she a thoughtful and supportive colleague who generously shares her thinking and knowledge.”

“I have worked with Nicola since she started within CAMHS, and she has always had a welcoming approach.  Nicola is also there when you want help and make sure her team members are okay.  Nicola works extremely hard.”

“Nicola has been amazing in her role as a nurse for Lewisham CAMHS, we could not function without her!”

“I would also like to express my gratitude to Nicola. She has been really welcoming and wonderful to work with. She takes time out of her very busy schedule to make sure other members of the team are doing okay. She’s extremely hard working  and kind. In my very limited time here it’s been a very pleasant experience to interact and work with her.”

Nicola’s long service and dedication to Lewisham CAMHS, not only in a therapeutic capacity but with her specialist prescribing skills and even a period leading our safeguarding make her a worthy candidate for a shout out.  Along with our other wonderful nurses we really appreciate her!” 💐

“Nicola has been tirelessly supporting families with ADHD in Lewisham for years. Nicola is patient, kind and resilient when being asked to do more than she can. She is compassionate and works very hard to make sure no one is forgotten. She tries hard to be flexible to accommodate people who need prioritising due to risk. Thank you Nicola!!”

“I have a term to sum up Nicola…An absolute STAR!!! She’s very diligent, dedicated and goes above and beyond for not only our service users, but her colleagues.

 She’ll happily help anyone navigate this service. A real representative of our Trust Values…Kindness, Respect & Together

 Nicola, we salute you beyond Nurses Day, thank you!” 😊

Isabella Awilo

“Always tries to find the time to have 1:1 engagement with the young people even on a busy shift.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Fran Lada

“A big shoutout to Fran, for all the amazing work, dedication, and thoughtful care she provides to the Hope Project, and the children and families she supports. We really appreciate it, thanks Fran!”

– Clinical Psychologist Southwark CAMHS

Ziza Godji

“Her experience and expertise always makes the staff and ward feel safe and managed well.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Catherine Olaseinde

“Her calming presence makes staff and young people warm to her on shift.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Charlotte Bates

“She is so knowledgeable about every aspect of running the ward and all the young person. She is caring and fair with her decision making and doesn’t get angry when I ask her lots of annoying questions! You can really see the hard work she puts into ever shift and how this really helps the team. Her psychology knowledge can also really add to MDT discussions and help her when implementing the DBT approach we have adopted on the ward.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Bethlem Adolescent Unit (BAU) Nurses

“Can I give a shout out to all the nurses at BAU, for always staying calm and always carrying on. I’m forever amazed by how they continue to find creative ways to support young people, even when there are stressful things happening on the ward.”

– Ward Family Therapist

Victor Coker

“Goes the extra mile for staff wellbeing i.e. birthday cakes!”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Patricia Onyike

“Rain or shine she always greets the young people, families and staff with a smile.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Mary Lansana

“Despite being a new addition to the team (PICU ward), her senior presence ensures the shift runs as smooth as possible. She is a role model for all!”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

“Mary was the first person who welcome me to SAU, 20 years ago on my first day on the ward. She has the gift in making you feel heard, listened to and make your work feel valued even when she is juggling a busy ward.

She is gentle, consistent in her approach, calm for the young people but able to put firm containing boundaries. She always has a smile even at her most stress personally or professionally. She has been a great source of warmth and support to all of us at SAU and particularly the young people and their families too. I certainly miss her loads. She makes you feel you belong!”

– Ward Art Psychotherapist

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 Blog

Children’s Mental Health Week, ran from 5 February – 11 February. The theme  this year was My Voice Matters. The theme was about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

This week we celebrated Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week. Place2Be wants all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe – “My Voice Matters”.

We used the opportunity to showcase how we as a Partnership encourage young people to use their voices across our services. If you missed any of our content, we’ve summarised it all below.

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Monday 5 February

Our wonderful service user Catherine brillantly expressed their vision for Children’s Mental Health Week through art!

Meet Oak, our amazing service user. Oak explains the importance and benefits of using your voice. Express yourself, be heard – whether through sign language or art.  ‘My Voice Matters’ is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

Tuesday 6 February

Breaking the silence with a goal in mind! ⚽

This #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek Anton Ferdinand tackles the stigma around #mentalhealth with the same passion he brought to the pitch. Now, his new dream team includes his little ones, teaching them that their voices can shine as brightly as the stadium lights. ✨

Remember, it’s okay to talk about how you feel—every voice counts in this game!

Wednesday 7 February

Raised in Peckham, Anton Ferdinand is no stranger to the unique challenges faced by young people in London. Discover how our transformative Partnership and the innovative Pears Maudsley Centre have inspired him.

We were pleased to be featured by NHS Providers in their latest insightful blog. The latest blog feature shines a light on how collaborative design and service user-led innovation can lead to transformational changes in healthcare.

Our dedication to pioneering young people’s mental health services has received recognition, and it’s all thanks to the core of our mission: the young individuals, families, and carers who have been integral to the co-creation of the Pears Maudsley Centre. Our commitment to listening to and incorporating their perspectives is not just something we talk about; it has been at the very core of our design process.

Read more

Thursday 7 February

On Thursday, our amazing Inpatient CAMHS Team held a successful ‘CAMHS Fete’ held for our young service users at our Bethlem Royal Hospital.

The event was held to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week and had an amazing turn out. Thank you to all the young people, staff (humans and dogs alike), and various therapy animals who attended – even during the rain. Our young people were encouraged to creatively express the theme of the week #MyVoiceMatters. T-shirts, meaningful messages and artwork on megaphones designed by current inpatients were displayed proudly for all to see.

Meet is Kay*. She took part in the DISCOVER programme, our award-winning schools-based workshop programme supporting 16-18 year olds to manage stress and worry.

This week, she’s used her voice to support others deal with the aftereffects of grief.  Listen to her full story and find out more about the DISCOVER Programme

*Kay is a pseudonym used to protect her anonymity. In the video, her words are spoken by an actor.

In his third video of the week, Anton Ferdinand opens up about his mental health journey through grief after the passing of his mum . His powerful story of seeking support teaches empathy and strength.

Friday 8 February

“Speaking out doesn’t make you weak”

In his final video for the week, Anton Ferdinand reminds us to use our voices and ask for help when we need support with our mental health. 

Saturday 8 February

Art in healthcare spaces goes beyond decoration. It has the power to create a sense of calm and promote wellbeing for all who walk through the Pears Maudsley Centre doors when they open. Participation and engagement from those with lived experience is vital to ensuring our service users benefit from therapeutic artwork.

Discover how Naz helped shape our arts strategy.

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My Voice Matters: The Young People’s Art Group

My Voice Matters: The Young People’s Art Group

My Voice Matters: The Young People’s Art Group

The role of art has become part of wider discussions in relation to the design of healthcare environments as it can create an increased sense of calm, ambience, and impact positively on staff and service users’ wellbeing. Participation and engagement from those with lived experience is vital to ensuring our service users benefit from therapeutic artwork.

Taken from Marcus Coates’ workshop

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A new arts programme was developed with the Bethlem Gallery and includes site-specific artwork which will be displayed across the building. The Young People’s Art Group, a group of young people with lived experience of mental health conditions, was formed for this project and took a leading role in appointing the artists for each commission for the centre and providing feedback directly to the artist at each stage of their artwork.

The commissioned artists, Bethany Williams, Marcus Coates, Sahra Hersi, Sarah Carpenter and Carlos Cortes have also held workshops with several young people using our services and are currently preparing their final artwork to be installed at the Centre.

One of the young people to take part in The Young People’s Art Group was Naz. Most recently Naz edited text for pears Maudsley artwork interpretation to make text more accessible for young people. Speaking on her numerous involvements in the project, she explained:

“”I felt as if I’ve been encouraged to share my voice and had my opinions heard and given value during the participation work, I’ve taken part in. Participation work has been an important part of my recovery since I was 16 years old as it’s helped me set goals and achieve them and keep my mind occupied with something productive and purposeful. It has led me to many new and exciting opportunities and pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Taken from Sahra Hersi’s workshop

“The most recent participation project I’ve taken part in is the Young People’s Art Group for Pears Maudsley. Exploring wellbeing and art is something that really interests me as I’d love to be an art therapist and art has always been something that has brought me a lot of comfort and helped me express myself during difficult times. I felt as if my voice mattered when I helped choose the artists who created the display cabinets for the Pears Maudsley Centre and when I was invited to speak at a roundtable discussion at the Science Gallery on behalf of the Young People’s Art Group.”

“In the past, I’ve also done participation work with other charities and organisations including one that helped me learn debating skills. It was a really enjoyable experience that still means a lot to me as debate training helped me feel more confident and learn to advocate for myself and express my needs and have open discussions about mental health. I feel debate training has opened a lot of doors for me and has been a stepping stone in the journey of participation work I’m involved in now, collaborating with Pears Maudsley and even continuing my participation work in a professional setting.

Taken from Bethany Williams’ workshop

My Voice Matters: The DISCOVER Programme

My Voice Matters: The DISCOVER Programme

My Voice Matters: Kay’s Story

It’s Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme of this year is My Voice Matters. The theme is all about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

This is Kay*. She took part in the DISCOVER programme, which is an award-winning schools-based workshop programme supporting 16-18 year olds to manage stress and worry. The DISCOVER team is based at South London and Maudsley. This week, she’s using her voice to support others.

Kay acknowledges that she used to be reluctant to open up, instead preferring to deal with things on her own. When her mum sadly passed away, she found it even more difficult to talk to people about her loss, and kept her feelings to herself. She thought that withholding her voice would mean protecting herself, and others too, from her pain. However, this left her feeling low, isolated and unable to focus on other things.

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I’ve always liked to be independent…I don’t like asking people for help.

Kay signed up to the DISCOVER programme after an assembly at her school advertising the workshop and how it could be helpful. It was in a 1:1 meeting with a member of the DISCOVER team that she first decided to ask for help. Although her family, friends and teachers were aware of her bereavement, they were not fully aware of how it had impacted her. In addition, she was feeling a lot of pressure to succeed at school, and was staying up late working, not getting enough sleep, and not taking any breaks to recharge.

You’re not alone. Genuinely, you’re not alone.

Everyone who comes to a DISCOVER workshop set themselves a goal to work on for the following three months, and are supported by a DISCOVER clinician to achieve their goals. Kay chose to ‘stop overthinking and think positively’ by practicing mindfulness regularly and making more time for herself and her hobbies. The programme helped her to feel listened to and she learnt to use her voice to open up more to others. This helped her value other people’s support, and their perspectives on her problems and to be kinder to herself.

With the right support and help, you can get through it.

As part of their commitment to person-centred care, DISCOVER continuously evaluate their work with young people. We use student feedback forms, online surveys and representative advisory groups to ensure that DISCOVER stays relevant, accessible and impactful for young people. In a project that we ran recently, to seek young peoples’ feedback on existing DISCOVER sessions, a clear message arose: enhance the student voice. ‘They felt that while DISCOVER’s tips for stress and anxiety management were useful and clear, they were more motivated to try them out if relatable peers could vouch for them and show how these ideas could be applied to the real lives of young people. 

DISCOVER subsequently set out to develop new videos that portray a diverse range of experiences, using the exact words of young people. Kay was a willing advocate for this project and volunteered her voice once more, in the hope that it would inspire others experiencing any kind of loss to reach out for support. Her voice represents that of thousands of others voices who take part in the DISCOVER programme each year, and who have shaped the service into what it is today.

 *Kay is a pseudonym used to protect her anonymity. In the video, her words are spoken by an actor.

Change the Story: Nina’s Story

Change the Story: Nina’s Story

Change the Story: Nina’s Chapter

Our CAMHS inpatient ward – The Maudsley Adolescent Unit (MAU) is an open unit offering mental health care for young people with serious mental illness such as psychosis or problems relating to their mood and require hospital admission. We have developed a national and international reputation for innovation and pioneered the introduction of a comprehensive, all-hours emergency admission service.

Within this unit, individuals such Nina, are the driving force behind our efforts to support and nurture the mental health of the next generation. Their commitment forms the very core of our Partnership. In this spotlight, Nina tells her story on how her team went above and beyond to support a young person to attend college from an inpatient CAMHS ward.

Nina

Nina

Ward Manager, CAMHS PICU

Young people admitted to inpatient CAMHS wards usually attend the on-site hospital school. The school is independent of the hospital and is run by Southwark council and staffed by an incredible group of teachers and support staff. They work with young people at various ability levels and support young people who are just starting secondary education, right up to young people who sit GCSE and A-Level exams whilst in hospital. However, fantastic as the school is, sometimes they aren’t able to provide the exact course a young person wants to do. Previously in these instances we may have encouraged a young person to look at alternative courses; ones which the hospital school could support them with. Or suggest doing different courses for a year and applying to the one they really wanted next year. However, over the summer we spoke with one particular young person on the ward and realised that this approach didn’t really work for them and wouldn’t be supporting them to achieve what they could.

This young person had been an inpatient with us for a number of months. Due to this she sat her GCSE exams at the hospital school at the Maudsley. During this period, she was also able to meet with a careers advisor at school to begin thinking about what she wanted to do post-16, as well as more long term. As a nursing and education team, we also began thinking about how we could support her with achieving her goals. She told us that her ultimate goal was to train as a nurse and work in healthcare; so, we started looking at what she would need to do to start on that path. After lots of conversations she decided that a college course in health and social care would be the best next step.

During evenings and weekends (when not revising for her GCSEs!) she began looking up different colleges and the courses they offered. Staff on the ward gave her advice on her applications and her parents were able to take her to some open days to meet with college staff. After a lot of work she found a college in South London that felt like the best fit for her and applied. Then following her fantastic GCSE results she officially enrolled in August!

Despite all the incredible work she had done towards getting her college place, the young person wasn’t able to be discharged before it started; and so, we began thinking about how best to support her to attend. Everyone was agreed that we wanted her to start college and that doing a course she was passionate about was so important. We were also conscious of not making too many big changes at the same time, so we all agreed that starting to attend college from the ward first made the most sense. We were really keen (as was she!) to make this as ‘normal’ as possible whilst ensuring she had all the support she needed.

We suggested doing some practice journeys between the ward and her college before her first day. Ray, an activity support worker on the ward, met with her to look up the route on public transport and plan the journey. The two of them the caught the bus there together to get familiar with the journey and where to go once she was at the college campus. Since then, she’s been attending all of her classes at college, and has begun making her own way there and back each day.

It was a tricky journey to get there at times, and the easiest solution all those months ago would have been to say the young person needed to be discharged before going to college full time. However, we all knew this wasn’t the best solution for her at the time; and we wanted to make sure we were thinking of what was important to her and doing whatever we could to support her in safely achieving those goals.

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Change the Story: Lauren’s Chapter

Change the Story: Lauren’s Chapter

Change the Story: Lauren’s Chapter

In the tapestry of any organisation, there are threads woven with extraordinary dedication and tireless effort. These threads belong to individuals who go above and beyond, turning ordinary tasks into extraordinary achievements. Their commitment, often behind-the-scenes, is the bedrock upon which success is built.

In this spotlight, we shine a well-deserved light on those who exemplify the spirit of hard work and dedication. These individuals are the driving force, the unsung heroes, and the heartbeat of our organisation and our shared vision to transform mental health for young people.

Their stories inspire us all to reach for greater heights, reminding us that with perseverance and determination, remarkable accomplishments are within our grasp.

Lauren

Lauren

Nurse, CAMHS PICU

Within inpatients CAMHS services we do out upmost to support the human rights and well-being of our service users while also maintaining safety. This can take many forms from supporting someone to bake a cake to gradually building up periods of leave back to their family home.

 One of our service users was struggling to find meaningful goals to work towards to help motivate them to remain safe while on the ward. As they had been in hospital for a considerable period there was a feeling that they felt hopeless in the idea that any meaningful progression could be made.

Across the ward multidisciplinary team (community teams’ input, family and social care), we wanted to do something to uplift their mood and positivity. A goal was set for the service user to be supported to attend their first ever concert. Due to the young person’s love and passion for music this felt like a meaningful activity for them as well as being something that was age appropriate and a ‘normal’ yet exciting milestone of adolescence. I’m sure most people can still remember their first gig, concert or festival as a teenager.

Within the team a week-by-week plan roughly spanning eight weeks was put in place to attempt to support the young person to achieve their overall goal. This was then reviewed each week and decided if the young person as ready to progress onto the next stage and if not, what things could be put in place to support each stage to be completed to help facilitate the overall aim. As the young person progressed further through the stages other challenges did arise such as who was going to take them? How would we transport them? and logistics around what time would they take their prescribed medication etc. This took a lot of coordination within the team and with the family, but each hurdle was overcome, and the day of the concert arrived.

This was a particularly unique experience as although within other services day trips are slightly more commonplace within a PICU setting they are often far from the norm. However, it was felt that for this young person this would be an important step in helping reintegrate them back into the community and so the team all worked together to ensure it took place. Being part of the team that accompanied them to this concert was a special experience as the young person could not quite believe they had managed to keep themselves safe enough for the trip to take place as well as having all the same excitement any person would have of seeing one of their favourite artists perform.

A new outfit from Primark, make-up applied, and McDonald’s consumed en-route made it feel all the more like an adolescent night out. Seeing anyone enjoy a new experience for the first time is exciting but when you have been part of the challenging journey with a young person of them keeping themselves safe enough to achieve their goals, it is a special experience.

Although one also full of anxiety as you imagine all the possible dangers and things that can go wrong. (We had tried to mitigate and plan for some of these by making sure the young person was aware we could leave if it all felt overwhelming) That aside when it all goes to plan to take a positive risk and seeing the joy it can bring to an individual is without a doubt the best part of the job.  

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