I went along to the local practitioners’ meeting last
week. These meetings are a chance to learn about what is happening
in our local authority and to establish contacts with other
professionals. The meetings are arranged by Connexions and focus on
different areas affecting practitioners’ work.
This particular meeting focused on housing and benefits and
there were representatives from the local housing department there.
Overall, the meeting left me feeling positive; it is always good to
meet practitioners who work in other areas face to face. And having
the chance to find out more from the housing officers has given me
a foundation to begin some positive partnership working.
However, I have to admit, the meeting was also a good
opportunity to sample the free traditional Connexions lunch and to
track down those people I had been playing “telephone-tag”
As I left the meeting I turned on my mobile phone. In three
hours I had missed nine calls and had six new messages. I went to
my car, took out my faithful notepad and began to listen.
My car has become my second office. I spend hours travelling
around the area and can sometimes go for days without seeing
another Connexions worker. It can get lonely but the support from
my team and my drive to help the young people keep me motivated. I
enjoy it because no day is the same. I plan my own diary most of
the time, which involves constantly having to prioritise the needs
of my clients. Most weeks my diary is booked out with one-to-ones,
group sessions, team and partnership meetings and training
programmes. But somehow, no matter how organised I may be, one
little phone call can completely alter my workload.
In this case, I had two desperate messages from the hospital.
One of my clients (who I will call Lisa) had collapsed. When she
arrived at hospital she had given my number to the hospital social
worker. I called him promising to meet the two of them that
evening. I quickly drove off to carry on with the day planned,
finishing my last appointment at 5pm. I finished the day’s
paperwork in my car, collected Lisa’s case notes and made for