Inside – the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes

I spend the  day at The  Riverside Rooms in my office at the  Southbank centre and meet Fiona Lambert the artist in residence liason,  back after her pregnancy.   Love it here. All’s well.  All swell.    

At 2 pm  I  skip across the river from Waterloo Bridge where I work and to Tower Bridge and  Royal Mint Court to deliver a forty five minute talk.  It’s part of a series of intense conferences around the country  by  a company called  C4EO: Centre for Excellence and Outcomes  in young people and childrens services..    

This is the first of  two London events and there is a marked difference in the mood. Social service practise in London is different to anywhere in Britain.  It’s more pressured: by sheer weight of numbers to say the least.  In the middle of the talk   I found my emotions caught me and my voice wobbled – this happens occasionally.  Emotion is a language our services could well learn to incorporate within their own practice. Professionalism and emotion  do not have to be  opposites in Childrens services.

 But I am against using it as a tool in the building of  talks and readings.  However  when it arises it is relevant.  When I was a literature development worker  in a cooperative about twenty years ago   I heard a colleague say to another about some matter or other  “you’re being over sensitive”.   I spoke to her afterwards “a person can’t be  OVER sensitive as senses are all we have to experience the world”. I’d rather explore why de-sensitivity happens on occassions .

Still the quiver gave depth to the occasion that no one was expecting least of all myself,   though it may have passed unnoticed. The talk ends to applause  and I know I have worked hard.     As I walk back across the bridge alongside the river I think how much I enjoy  articulating  experiences and sharing insights from the stage and reading poems.  But I enjoy it because I am capable of doing it. I have the ability and the skills.     But i am as articulate on one day as I am inarticulate the next.     I must look after myself. Inside us all  is the centre for excellence and outcomes.

4 thoughts on “Inside – the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes

  1. What a beautiful ending, Lemn! – ' Inside us all is the centre of excellence and outcomes' Very warm and positive. Love it, its just made my evening! Thanks. Posh.

  2. Hi Lemn – I was at the C4EO conference and wanted to just say how moving your discussion was – it made me think of a lot of young people I work with and that persistence, consistance and not giving up on young people will make a difference for them in the long run! (Even if it doesn't seem like it at the time). It was so refreshing to walk away from the conference with a reminder how important passion in this work is and left me feeling motivated, and a little emotional thinking about what yourself and other young people go through when they enter the care system. I have watched your documentary Internal Flight, which was quite a journey – thanks for sharing.

  3. Lemn I was at your talk at the C4EO seminar in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago.I was profoundly moved, especially when you spoke about the need to look at outcomes at 25,30,35,40,45,and beyond and also about your wish for someone to really care, persist and come after you when you were running away as a teenager .I am a trainer and and have talked about this at every course I have run since and will continue to do so.One woman came up to me after a course recently and talked about her own experiences in care and asked for more info about you. She also wrote poetry so I hope she finds some connection with your work. My plan now is to buy a book of your poems!

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