There are two main focuses of my work which overlap and interact with each other. I play a leading role in developing and delivering learning programmes within Thistle, as well as facilitating training for other organisations across Scotland. I am also a coach for a number of self-organised teams who work in individualised supported living services alongside a range of adults to enable them to live lives to the full. In addition to these I also facilitate Big Plans with young people with disabilities and autism and their families. What I love about all my work is the challenge of applying the values of personcentredness consistently in everything we do at Thistle, whilst working with a diverse workforce to encourage individual growth and development.
I learned about Person Centred Planning over twenty years ago, and have developed a passion for this approach, witnessing first-hand the difference it can make to peoples’ lives. In the Big Plan which I developed with my friend Heather Simmons, the young people we work with demonstrate repeatedly that; everyone has hopes, dreams and passions and at the heart of all of these is the question, ‘What is my purpose?’ This work persistently evidences the centrality of meaning and purpose to individual wellbeing and indeed humanity itself.
For our leadership team, the importance of purpose in our work, and the extent to which this resonates with everyone in the organisation, becomes critical. Thistle has taken the first baby steps towards developing a self-organised model of working and again I’ve been privileged as a Coach, to be deeply engaged in this work. We believe self-organisation will be crucial in enabling staff to flourish, align their purpose with ours, and in turn shape that purpose moving forward. This journey to understand what Frederic Laloux calls ‘evolutionary purpose’ presents another wonderful opportunity for us to transform theory into practice, in the sincere hope of building an organisation which truly walks the person-centred walk.