During my hours, days, weeks, months networking, exhibiting and researching for Happy Days Dementia Workshop, I came across two ladies, Sharon Lee Cuthbert and Alison Clare who are passionate about enriched everyday care. In an easy-read booklet, putting person-centred care into practise is just one of the topics on which they share thoughts, ideas and tips. Sharon and Alison have compiled a marvellous compilation of colourful [and cost-effective] booklets packed with tips for carers. I have read and highly recommend the booklets which provide quick access reminders for carers across the service. Sharon and Clare have answered a few questions to explain more about their service and booklets …
Why did you set up Realife Learning?
As a trainer in health & social care, I have always had a problem finding resources to recommend to learners to follow up a workshop because most books are aimed at particular professional groups, such as nurses, or they are just too long and too expensive. Managers also tell me they have the same problem – they want clear and simple materials that they can afford (on a tight budget) to use to train their staff from induction onwards. They say they don’t have time to write this stuff themselves. So me and my colleague Alison, decided to set up a publishing company to produce what people want. It is called Realife Learning because the feedback I have always had about my courses is that I base them on the real, practical challenges that people face rather than what should happen in an ideal world!
What have you published so far and how can people use them?
We have focused on the three subjects that come up time and time again: how to do better care planning, how to put principles such as ‘person centred care’ into practice and how to communicate with people when they are angry or upset. Rather than do a comprehensive overview of each subject we decided that each booklet should identify three things that a worker can do to make a real difference in relation to each of these issues. People don’t want to be overloaded because they already have enough to do and think about. So we have tried to make what we write interesting and easy to read, with some activities to help the reader think about their real life experiences.
What feedback have you had so far?
Before we published we asked a lot of people what they thought of the booklets – care staff, managers and people who assess for qualifications. Everyone said that they liked the style and really appreciated the fact that we don’t talk down to people! Most of our readers have loads of experience so we think it is important to value what they already know. Some organisations have bought large numbers of booklets on a single topic because they want to improve practice across all their services. They have used them to design training courses and to give out as part of supervision or following appraisals. We also have individuals buying single copies because they are starting a new job or because they are studying for a qualification or because they have been given a goal in their personal development plan.
Where can we find out more?
We have a website where you can read our blog, see sample pages and buy copies at www.realifelearning.co.uk. Or you can email us if you want to purchase through an invoice system at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each booklet is £6.99 but there are discounts for bulk orders if you email us. And do follow us on twitter @realifelearning as we like to make contact with people and share ideas for improving practice.