After months of planning, preparation and true collaboration with SHEP (The Social & Health Education Project) and Dr Nicola O’ Sullivan, our national seminar for frontline practitioners on 25th May was a resounding success.
54 frontline practitioners, including doctors, social workers, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, early years professionals, social care and family support workers, gathered on-line to pause and reflect on the impact their work is having on them.
‘Reconnecting with the heart of frontline practice 2021’ explored the roles of humility, vulnerability and compassion in frontline practice.
The feedback from attendees has been heartening and encouraging, with 100% saying that having a space to think about their work is important to them.
This year’s guest speakers, Dr Tim Dartington, Dr Aisling McMahon and Dr Kate Lucre, were inspiring, each stimulating thoughtful commentary during the large group discussions.
We were delighted to hear all three mention the importance of supportive relationships in practice and how being present and attuned for others and self is sustaining and nourishing.
Attendees warmly welcomed how the day was structured, and particularly how the small, facilitated break-out rooms had created opportunities to nurture relationships and share thoughts. Despite the lack of physical presence, all agreed that this virtual event had given them a safe space to think and feel.
We look forward to next year’s national seminar on Tuesday 24th May 2022, with every hope that we might all reconnect in person. Please save the date!
But for now, the next event by the Heart of Practice alliance will be on 5th October when Dr Colm O’ Connor will explore the role of imagination and compassion in frontline work during a two-hour on-line presentation.
Dr Maeve Hurley, CEO of Ag Eisteacht, said: “We feel that it is essential to create regular ‘touch points’ so that practitioners can take time out to think about how they are feeling so that they can feel sustained and supported in their work.
“Our hope is that this seminar and our other series of initiatives will help to raise awareness of this important issue and stimulate a national conversation about what more we can do in Ireland to provide emotional and psychological support to our frontline practitioners.”
To book a place on the Dr Colm O’ Connor event on 5th October 2021 please contact [email protected]