Page 15 - TalkingCare_Issue3_WebVersion_OACP Winter 2017
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Talking Care: Inspiration for All! Event (Incorporating the NEW Oxfordshire Care Awards 2016)
    On a chilly November morning last year, Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers (OACP) threw open the doors of the Kassam Stadium Conference and Events Centre to warmly welcome some 150 participants, members of the public and exhibitors to Talking Care: Inspiration for All!, OACP’s second conference, focusing on ‘workforce capability,’ and recruitment and retention’ of social care staff in Oxfordshire.
Welcoming everyone, Eddy McDowall, CEO, OACP commented: “We are aware that many of you are taking time out from critical operational delivery; thank you for being here. Today, you will meet other people who work in social care in various aspects and also potential job seekers. We hope that you will make the most of the networking opportunities to share challenges and achievements in your area and leave with additional knowledge, and hopefully a larger workforce! Our social care workforce is our most precious asset; made up of increasingly rare individuals, as recruitment challenges get harder in the face of rising wages in competing sectors and tighter public sector budgets. We need to make the most of what we have”.
The day was a buzz of activity. A mix of workshops and presentations had everything from getting people into the workplace, building relationships in care teams, the importance of leadership and management, to understanding how to attract potential candidates from the local community. Refreshment breaks were a key part of the day for networking, and sharing thoughts. The coming together of people in one place to exchange poignant information from their workplace was a catalyst for learning from one another to benefit ‘care’.
“Events like these are so useful. They give you a good opportunity to network with colleagues who are facing similar challenges, you learn so much,” said one participant. Speakers passionately presented their knowledge and evidence; inspirational individuals such as national dementia advocate, Beth Britton, Chris Shaw, Founder of Simply ABCD and Vic Rayner
Executive Director at National Care Forum, gave passionate personal, regional and national perspectives.
Rachel Lawrence, Commercial Manager, Market Development spoke on behalf of OACP’s strategic partner, Oxfordshire County Council. In the ‘The State of the Social Care Workforce’, Rachel presented described workforce issues such as increasing competition for workers from other sectors. Skills, knowledge and training will be key to meeting service user needs and unlocking new business opportunities in the future.
in their hands, through their daily endeavours and professional working practice whether as a care assistant, support worker, team leader, manager or business owner.
2). Think Care Job/Careers Fair ­ A specific event aimed at attracting people to work in Social Care. Organised by OACP in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, Oxford to promote ‘live’ vacancies and showcase Adult Social Care as a fulfilling, rewarding and challenging career pathway. Some 30 companies and organisations exhibited on the day with over twenty job seekers attending. We are aiming for this initiative to become a recognised Job/Careers Fair going forward and that it will persuade the public to ‘think differently’ about social care as a long­term career.
In late afternoon, other care
workers with service users
began arriving, with
audience tension building
and the main agenda
drawing to a close, a nervous
excitement and murmuring
began to build in the room. The
much­awaited Oxfordshire Care Awards 2016 were up next! Kate Terroni, the new Director for Adult Social Care Services, Oxfordshire County Council arrived to present the Awards to waiting recipients.
The Oxfordshire Care Awards 2016 are a ‘celebration of local adult social care’ and nominations across the six categories were as diverse as they were deserving, with a high standard set in each category.
      Eddy McDowall, CEO, Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers said: “It’s important that social care has the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work it does day in and day out. In addition, this all­round event gave people working in the care sector the opportunity
and breathing space to come together, it truly was inspirational. There are amazing people and organisations working in Adult Social Care in Oxfordshire!”.
 Skills for Care’s Rachel Reid presented Sector Led Improvement with Positive Workplace Cultures setting the scene for much discussion. Other speakers making an impact included, Neil Eastwood, Founder, Sticky People, Sue Ascott, Director of Learning and Development at Aged Care Channel, Liz Pride, Training Manager OACP, and Clive Oliver Peninsula Business Services Ltd.
Two new OACP initiatives were launched at the event:
1). The Oxfordshire Care Awards ­ The inaugural Oxfordshire Care Awards recognised inspirational individuals – ‘champions’, who consistently support and care for the ‘real lives’
  Editor’s Note:
We provide insight into each Award recipient's story to learn more about their pathway to working in care.
Please turn over the page to read their fascinating journeys and heart­warming stories >
“Get into care with OACP”

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