My reflections on the Super Melting Pot event

Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

Some of you may remember I wrote a blog last month anticipating my visit to the Super Melting Pot event held in London and facilitated by Kaleidoscope Health and Care.

This is what I wrote on the last session of the day:

  • Mixing with new people and in new spaces
  • Being open to new perspectives and really listening to people and being heard yourself
  • New connections with like-minded people
  • Reignites energy and passion
  • How to make sense of my learning?
  • What to do with the learning?

Now a month on, as I reflect on the event and the sessions I attended, the ones that had the biggest impact on me were:

  • A visit to the House of St Barnabas to hear about their history from the 1700s to the present day. I was so interested in how, as an organisation, they have created a private members club that is used to fund their charitable objectives of developing life skills for people from a homeless background trying to enter into employment to better their future. This has only been achieved through creating and maintain good relationships between the members, the contractors who run the club and the team that manage the House of St Barnabas. What also struck me was that everyone involved had invested in a long-term outcome for all, not just a ‘quick fix’
  • A session led by the Nuffied Trust who posed the question to us ‘How can the NHS be the best employer in 30 years?’ We formed a small group to discuss this question and after 30 minutes our conclusions were:
  • Work on building relationships and create a sense of family and connections at work
  • Everybody matters – whatever their role and their experience

Throughout the two-day event I met a huge and diverse range of people who work in the NHS, private, charitable and independent organisations. But they were all united by their passion to make a difference in the health and care sector. My key learning from this event has been that there is great value in investing time to enter into new spaces to make new connections through dialogue to enable change. But above all, to do this, you have to be courageous enough to challenge the culture of the ‘way we do things round here’ and be open to new perspectives and challenges from the people you meet.

So now I have made sense of my learning for myself, what to do with this learning? Well first of all I am going to join new collaborations on an ongoing basis. I’m going to look at how we at FoNS can continue to create events for people to connect through our alumni and how we can collaborate with other partners in the charitable sector to provide safe spaces for these ongoing conversations.

As Margaret Mead famously said:

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.’

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