Last week the Elizabeth Casson Trust launched new strategic and operational intentions underpinned by a description of our value base. These set our direction for the next five years. You can read them here. They represent the outputs of six-months work supported by two excellent consultancies (Article Consulting and Fiona McNeil Consultancy) who were generous in sharing their knowledge and insights but who also did not step back from challenging our thinking. I’ve always appreciated the positive impact of inviting people from outside organisations to join discussion as more often than not they throw a light on new ways of looking at existing issues. This is really important for the Trust as we strive to be as open, transparent and as diverse as possible. Setting our intentions in our value base has been particularly helpful as we step forward into a programme of growth and development. Our trustees are all committed to this work without exception and helped craft the final version of our intentions so that it is truly representative of where we see ourselves over the next five years. They also know that there is still much work to do if we are to fulfil the commitments as set out, from diversifying our board structure to ensuring our processes are as transparent as possible, as well as stepping into new projects like the Elizabeth Casson Trust Mentoring programme with the pilot launched earlier this year.
So what do these new intentions offer the Occupational Therapy community? I hope access to resources and support that will allow you to explore new opportunities to develop professionally, to innovate in designing and improving services and to add to the profession’s evidence base.Just as Elizabeth Casson intended when she established the Trust with its guiding aim of ‘furthering Occupational Therapy’.
Grasping opportunities is always a challenge not least that many of us, including me, experience moments of ‘imposter syndrome’. However, we believe that Occupational Therapy can and does make a significant difference to people’s lives and so, through our funding and development opportunities, we want to support you to have the confidence to grasp those new opportunities waiting for you. Our resources are open to all Occupational Therapists be they newly qualified, approaching the end of their career or retired and everyone in between.
You might want to take a small step in your own professional development or a series of larger steps to enhance your research career or develop the service that you work in. Whichever it is, we have something for you. We will be making sure our application process reflects the new strategic intentions and are very happy to discuss any application or proposal you may be considering, if that helps you. We are also commissioning a range of projects that will support you. To date this includes the mentoring programme that is in its pilot stage and a series of master classes with occupational therapists sharing their skills and knowledge on a variety of subjects. These are available here with more being added over the next months.
I encourage you to take a look at what we offer, which is aimed at supporting your development and building your professional confidence. I also challenge you at this time of great change across the health and social care sectors to think about your professional development and progression. Never has there been so much potential for Occupational Therapists to really raise their profile and make a lot of noise about what we can contribute, something that is vital during and after the COVID pandemic and across all sectors. We want to hear from you about your needs and what will make difference to you so get in touch by email, any of our social media outlets, or join us at RCOT conference this year. Pam Anderson, our Executive Officer and I will be presenting a session about the Trust work but are also using it as an opportunity for a conversation with you about your needs and aspirations. Come and join us and share your thinking, as this will help the Trust incorporate the Occupational Therapy community’s needs into our future planning.
Periodically I’ll add to this blog, introduce you to our trustees, and set out new initiatives. You can get monthly updates on our work by subscribing to our email newsletter here. Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you, supporting new initiatives and projects that will further our profession just as Elizabeth Casson with her pioneering spirit intended when she established the Trust.