I had a few days away in May visiting both Rome and Florence and, as you might expect, saw beautiful paintings and sculptures as well as historic buildings; and I was almost overawed at the creativity of human beings. I wondered how often we know of and appreciate the skills people have and whether in our organisations we encourage people to use all their talents. There is a tendency to base our expectations on the role that people occupy but we should be more prepared to find ways of releasing people from the confines of their role and enable them to use the whole range of their talent and help us get better results.
I was one of the judges for the Pat on the Back award scheme for which there were entries from across a wide range of organisations – both voluntary and statutory. The submissions revealed the additional effort made by many people in the Borough to make sure their work adds value to the community. The winners will be given their prize at a celebration event at the College in early June and I am sure that this will be a well-deserved recognition of some of the unsung heroes at work in our town.
The scheme is sponsored by the Public Service Board. In early May I went to a meeting of the board at which we had a report from our CVS about some of the innovative and creative work they have embarked on; some of the schemes are closely associated with health but all the projects will help enhance wellbeing.
I went to visit the Maundy Relief Charity which operates from premises in Accrington but there are people in Blackburn who approach the organisation for help. The charity grew from the efforts of one person – Dorothy McGregor , who was determined to help those in need in Hyndburn and beyond and whose vision inspired others to join her in her work.
The message is that there are people who are creative and inspirational whose efforts do not produce paintings or sculptures which endure but instead produce comfort in distress, a helping hand when stuck, a listening ear when needing to talk, sound advice when not knowing where to turn, motivation when tempted to give up, and to the recipients of such actions these intangible products can have a transforming impact on life every bit as powerful and valuable as magnificent works of art.
Chair, NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group