Green OT featured at Plymouth University Sustainability Conference
It was a treat to be journeying back from Plymouth, through the stunning hills and countryside. The land was lush - emblazed by the late afternoon sun. It was a perfect evening for a walk ‘in the fields’ as my four year old son would say. The train route features so diverse a landscape; it was quite uplifting passing the seafront nr St David’s, and later the two white chalk horses carved in the hills.
I spent two days last week at Plymouth University, Centre for Sustainability, at the ‘All Our Futures’ Conference. Focused on ‘Designing Sustainable Futures’, the conference hosted workshops by educators, business bods and health professionals – including me! It was a very positive experience for me, presenting about OT and Sustainable Practice, and meeting others with similar values. Sarah Johnson, OT Professor at the University, had asked me to contribute and it was great to meet her and her colleague Barbara Marshall, also an OT lecturer at the Uni.
Within seconds of meeting Sarah and Barbara, their warmth and obvious interest in the ‘Green OT’ project put me at ease and dispelled any anxiety I had. It was so inspiring to meet these senior OTs with the same vision for the profession that I have and as I imagine lots of other OTs do too. We had much to talk about and many ideas, including how to introduce the issues to OT students, and the other ways we can work together. It was truly a ‘peak’ experience.
My presentation gave the audience an introduction to existing government and NHS initiatives around carbon emissions and I offered my ideas about how OTs can get involved in these directives. I used an activity to generate focused on the links between OT and sustainable development, the benefits of sustainable practice to clients and OTs and the NHS; what practical changes we can make in our work setting and our interventions and how we can address the necessary culture shift within the NHS and transform healthcare service. I also talked about the emerging ‘green OT’ network.
Other workshops in the Health and Wellbeing stream of the conference were the ‘Challenge to Change: designing a sustainable workforce for the NHS in the South West,’ (OT led); ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace’, acknowledging the impacts of overwhelming demands of work roles, and energising outdoor ‘Breakfast Tai Chi’ sessions each morning also OT led. Hopefully a picture to be uploaded soon.
On the 7th October I’ll be at the book launch event for ‘The Health Practitioner’s Guide to Climate Change’, which I’m looking forward to reading. The book is written by an authoritative group of authors from key organisations in the field of health and climate change. I’m hoping to get some good networking done, and perhaps see some other OTs there! If you want more information or are interested in going along, contact Jenny Griffiths GriffHobbs AT aol.com.
Also...have you signed up to the 10/10 campaign? Greener Healthcare has a new mailing list which all 10:10 health people can sign up to for networking. It would be great if you could get your OT departments or organisations to sign up! See http://www.greenerhealthcare.org/1010 and http://1010uk.org
Onwards and upwards!