Courine Stewart, conversations for change participant and advocate

Q. What is your current role and band in the NHS?

My current role is Workforce Development & OD Manager, currently 8b

Q. What organisation do you work for?

Croydon Health Services, NHS Trust since 2009

Q. Why did you apply for the NHS Tutu training development programmes?

As workforce lead I sit across all directorates and respond to organisational development activities.  The Tutu Programmes made me reflect on some of the work we were doing around conflict, respect at work activities and complaints.  I also felt it supported what we were doing as an organisation around the wellbeing of staff and patient complaints.  Actively involved in staff behaviours, patients complaints and how this impacts on staff attitudes and development I felt that the Ubuntu approach would complement some of the things we were focussing on.  I also felt it supported some of the things we were focussing on in our E&D committee and Race Subgroup.  I wanted to utilise the Ubuntu approaches in order to bring some of these characteristics and approaches to various areas of the community, and work as I am part of a mediation team, a coach and facilitator of various programmes.

Q. Which programmes did take part in?

I was fortunate to have undertaken the Facilitation Programme and was able to utilise the podcasts to design the programme I rolled out in Croydon to support those wishing to complement their conversation for change and gain accreditation for coaching. 

Q. What is the programme you have run in your community?

Introduction to Coaching – Ubuntu methodologies

Q. What have been the outcomes?

There were very enthusiastic community and professional participants in the group.  Some had heard of coaching and hadn’t understood what it really meant. I enabled them to understand the coaching the code of conduct, the boundaries to work within and techniques using questioning and models to structure their conversations.  This was all linked back to the Ubuntu methodologies which reiterated a person centred approach.  Some community groups have approached me for further sessions which I have referred back to the Foundation and some of the professionals attending the programme within the Trust have requested I bring the programme in-house for their teams.  Further outcomes have been realised where professionals who work with patients and staff have been able to activate the coaching techniques instantly and feel it is something they would like to explore further through the Tutu Foundation. Working within communities has been very rewarding for me as well as the participants. I can see how the input actually helps to begin communities to work together for the common good.

Q. What do you aim to do in future (for the Tutu Foundation?)

I am totally supportive of what the Tutu Foundation stands for and its powerful work in engaging young people, community groups and professionals.  I would like to facilitate some conversation for change, coaching programmes and mediate to support the reconciliation activities.  I would very much wish to be supportive and would like to see how this can be utilised across patient groups, staff wellbeing activities and direct facilitation while delivering conflict resolution and respect at work training. I have been really appreciative of the opportunity and excited to see and be involved with the staged roll out of these activities. This forward thinking and exciting initiative really makes a difference for patients, communities and staff.

Q. Why do you believe Ubuntu is a useful philosophy?

As mentioned earlier, it focusses on the individual and their needs ensuring that empathy through constructive and sensitive dialogue can promote a sharing, understanding and bringing together of differences.  This was very much vocalised in the coaching programme.  Putting yourself in the person’s shoes and aiding a solution approach that harnesses empowerment for the individual to move forward in confidence with peace. 

Finally we played the Ubuntu, conversations for change game. http://bit.ly/OmfxTu

The game was led by Southampton University medical student Rebecca Amissah.  Members of the audience enjoyed the opportunity to reflect and think about their personal contributions to making the communities they live in better places.

The workshop was very well received and evaluated by attendees. All in all the presentation at the conference was a success, with requests for many of the delegation to speak at conferences and seminars around the world.

The South Africa experience was an entirely positive one.

Special and grateful thanks to Alex Ankrah, CEO Tutu foundation UK, Karen Lynas, Deputy Director NHS Leadership Academy, Rachel Munton , Associate, Leadership for Equality for their support, commitment and help in enabling the visit to take place and their vision and insight into working in different ways to improve healthcare and community relations in the England as well as giving something back to Africa. Most of all thanks go to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his Daughter Mpho Tutu, without whom the world would definitely be a poorer place.