Dawn Berry; ‘the value of shared experiences’


A committed, visible and engaged leadership team is essential for ensuring that the highest quality of service is delivered at Eden Futures.

It is fundamental that our workforce has confidence in their leaders and trusts that the team will be treated fairly and with respect. The benefit of such trust is that employees are motivated into delivering the best possible outcomes for people.

I’m always eager to discuss our values with the team and see how we are demonstrating best practice. Getting out and about, meeting colleagues and being in services, is high on my agenda.

Recently, I visited our Supported Living Service in Newtown, Wales. The small team supports people with enduring Mental Health needs who have previously been in hospital.

I met some inspirational people and learnt a lot about the service during my visit. I had a very engaging conversation with a woman who had lived at the service for around five years. She told me how she’d previously lived in a valley on a farm growing up but had been displaced because of the valley being flooded as a reservoir, which now feeds into Merseyside.

Understanding people’s past experiences helps us to support people better in the present. I can only imagine how that displacement must have affected her. I’m really proud that the person centred support, our understanding of her mental health needs and our ability to acknowledge her history has helped shape her future.

I also caught up with Becky Williams, Team Manager at Newtown, who joined Eden Futures a few years ago after working in palliative care services.

She told me that she has really enjoyed working with the people in our supported living services who have mental health needs. We found some common ground about how we decided that working in health and social care was the right career path for both of us, and it was great to have had time to connect with a member of the team with whom I’ve not previously spoken with at length.

The visit was a reminder of the value of shared and varied experiences in the world of health and social care. It should never be underestimated when we want to find the best way in which to support people.