Thoughts on the Social World

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108  Mental Health First Aid.  Paula Power

108 Mental Health First Aid. Paula Power

This programme highlights a much needed service in mental health awareness raising. It’s like a training programme for ‘social lifeguards’—training people to identify, support and refer on,  if needed , those struggling with all types of mental health related issues. Paula’s own life experience contributed hugely to her awareness of the value of wellbeing and mental health in overcoming challenges. In the current climate , this is probably one of the most valuable services around as people are suffering such a range of traumas and anxieties due to the impact of Covid19,

Paula is the business owner of My White Dog and facilitator for the 1 and 2-day adult and Youth courses. She is a MHFA Instructor, NLP Practitioner, Mountain Leader, with Business Studies, Positive Psychology and qualifications in Further Education and Social Science at the Open University.  She started out in a corporate environment, but always enjoyed adventure and outdoor space, climbing, mountaineering and sailing. When she realised the positive impact of her own wellbeing in this space, She went onto develop skills in education and mountaineering and led groups in the outdoors including expeditions to Africa and Asia. A rewarding role watching students age 13-18 develop latent and new skills when stretched, build resilience, team and leadership skills.  She went onto explore other personal challenges when selected to take part in the first all women expedition to the geographic North Pole in 1997. 20 women relaying in teams of 4 across the arctic over 3 months and went onto become Guinness book record holders.  She works in partnership with Wiltshire MIND and collaborate with various therapists and charity organisations and am an instructor member of Mental Health First Aid England to raise mental health awareness, reduce stigma and provide the tools to improve wellbeing in work, schools and communities.

Courses are currently delivered on-line so there is no limitation to location. She provides an engaged and safe learning space for all who are open to change. Feel free to get in touch

Thanks as always to for technical support.

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107 Social Work Today— a new platform.

107 Social Work Today— a new platform.

Social Work Today    A new platform

My guest today is Kellie Doubtfire , someone I’ve known and worked with over many years. She has, with COMPASS, produced and developed some of the most useful and memorable events in the social work sector, mixing huge attendance with great content.

Social Work Today,, is a new platform, designed to give social work professionals an online community with access to essential social work information, news, online events, CPD and jobs.  Social Work Today comes with a strong pedigree. For over 25 years, Kellie, SWT’s Publisher, along with the COMPASS events and publications team, has worked closely with health, social work and care professionals offering much-respected consultancy, engagement, marketing, training and career development projects within the sector. It also will provide a daily newsletter, keeping you up to date, well informed and aware of upcoming events.

Kellie’s career in social work, social care and healthcare began over 25 years ago, on finishing her degree at Lancaster University, she her first post was in Education & Welfare for the LUSU. She went on to lead the commercial relaunch of the weekly Nursing Standard magazine in 1996 and to develop and launch the first Nursing Standard Jobs Fair for the Royal College of Nursing. She balanced the commercial development of the RCN’s five monthly titles, including Elderly Care and Mental Health Practice. Alongside this, for 12 years Kellie was also the publishing consultant on BASW’s Professional Social Work magazine as well as other BASW publishing and membership projects.

Kellie’s understanding of the sector, combined with project management and marketing skills, came to the fore as Publishing and Events Director for COMPASS, inspiring the development of the annual COMPASS, the complete guide to social work and social care, launched in 1999; and the development of the successful COMPASS Jobs Fairs programme with regular events in London, Birmingham and Manchester (The Social Work Show). In 2015, Kellie was closely involved in producing the International Federation of Social Workers European Conference. The Edinburgh event was the biggest gathering of social workers in Europe, with delegates from over 40 countries. Kellie’s resulting close relationships and consultations with key people in the social work sector – from service users to those who work in Adult and Children’s services, charitable organisations, service providers to sector academics – have given her the insight and confidence to develop Social Work Today with the COMPASS team in 2020.

Kellie brings a personal touch to her work with her years of experience juggling a full-time career whilst caring for her parents.


My thanks, as always, to for technical support on this podcast.



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106 Grantown Remakery. A classic small charity.

106 Grantown Remakery. A classic small charity.


I talk to George Livingstone who acts as the development manager for this important charity. It’s one of dozens around the UK that are striving to help balance inequality and create opportunity for those disadvantaged through no fault of their own.Also learning to survive during the pandemic.

So often we overlook the value and importance of small community charities, all making a difference and improving people’s quality of life in so many different ways.

Grantown Remakery  provides Employment Skills Development, volunteering opportunities and support for Young People who may be having difficulty in Transition from School to Further Education and Employment, Adults with a Disability or with Mental Ill-Health, supporting all in their journey to recovery and towards fulfilment of their personal goals.
It aims to provide an alternative to landfill disposal by repairing, upgrading, recycling and reselling of goods through a Community based system.
They have developed strong business relationships with both Partners and the Local Community to identify the best service for individuals in need of support and skills development within strong environmental awareness and action.

It is a community social work scheme whose value to the area is significant.

Contact them on Facebook or at their website or email

Thanks to for technical help with this podcast.

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