Sam speaks about the importance of a conversation.
The importance of having a conversation cannot be under-estimated. At Enrych one of our key aims is to increase our involvement in national conversations about how we can all do better for adults with disabilities. Whether it’s high level discussions or informal chats, it’s important that we all keep talking!
In the world of disability action, I have spoken to a number of organisations I have spoken to gain as much information as I can about how we can all work together to remove some of the barriers that can impact people who live with disability. This is the conversation I am passionate about as I have experienced first-hand the barriers that living with Dyspraxia and Autism can present. We’ve been talking here at Enrych about how we can do more to help overcome barriers and something I would love to help Enrych do is to influence the decision-makers on policy, infrastructure and commissioning; essentially make the world much easier to access place for everyone. To summarise in two words… systemic change!
So far, I have been active in sharing my thoughts via two different roundtable discussions with the Disability Policy Centre Think Tank (the first Think Tank of its kind) covering such topics as education, employment and public transport. In addition to this, I have approached the Government Cabinet Office for comment on the Disability Unit, which was set up by Chloe Smith MP, MP for Norwich North and Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work.
If you are like me, you may find conversing with people (perhaps in groups) more of a challenge. However talking to someone you haven’t talked to before can also be incredibly liberating. You can learn so much and often feel energised or inspired to action. It’s a confidence thing. Having been on holiday to a few different countries, I have found culture and approach to conversation can be very different to the UK, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can overcome the ideology that we shouldn’t talk to people we don’t know. As long as the environment is safe, we can all find opportunities to connect with rather than avoid each other.
There are multiple things to be gained from each conversation we have. Knowledge is deepened and innovation becomes greater due to the exchanging of ideas. Mental health overall can be improved as well. I have been no stranger in shouting the praises of our new initiative in the office at Enrych to share how we are feeling via green, orange and red faces which prompts a conversation. Whichever kind of face you feel your mood represents, we are all supportive of each other whether celebrating the successes categorised by a green face or perhaps feeling sad about a family instance- we are all prepared to discuss these things with each other. Recently, I emailed one of the office team who had a difficult day last week just to check in and issue my support and be there to listen. Small things can make such a huge difference and we can all do our bit to support good mental health and wellbeing.
Let’s all take the time to have a conversation with someone we may not normally have had. You never know what you might learn or how beneficial this might be for both of you. What I know for sure, is speaking to people I haven’t had the chance to connect with in the past, I have felt more energised, confident and inspired. I use that passion to then search for as many solutions as possible to continue to allow Enrych to do the work that we do. Conversations increase the credibility of things tenfold. I’m such a strong believer in that!