The power of stories in our Covid-19 world

Featured article - 05 April 2020
By Ryan Wise, Practice Development Manager, SCIE

Ryan Wise

At a recent workshop for the Social Care Innovation Network project the focus of the conversation turned to the power of stories. This was in the context of thinking about how organisations can develop a strategic asset-based vision and implement this locally. We spoke about how stories can help influence, inform and persuade others to consider a different perspective. This might be sharing a story with a personal account with a commissioner or local councillor about the positive impact of a local citizen led project which provides a space for people to learn and play music.

Or it might be an individual with lived experience of services sharing with a management team how a kind, compassionate relationship with a support worker brought them back from one of their lowest points and helped them turn their life around. The fact is stories connect us all to our emotions, values and what is to be human.

Stories help us remember what really drives us and makes us who we are. They can in social care contexts help us to realise we have become stuck in scripted responses when working with citizens as they connect us to our intrinsic beliefs and motivations. Whenever I tend to ask a social worker about the best training or talk they have been too professionally, nine times out ten they will share an occasion where they had the privilege of hearing a young person, adult with experience of statutory services or parent share their own story. When I ask why, they share with me it reminded them and connected with them to why they do the job they do.

The system sometimes can desensitize us all, we become robotic in what we do and forget about the importance of interactions and connections. I have been reflecting on stories in our current COVID-19 world, we hear about the brave, inspiring efforts of communities coming together to thousands stepping onto their doorsteps to celebrate our health and care workers. Stories like this are providing us all with hope, with that warm feeling inside and highlighting the brilliant and best qualities of humans. So how about we continue in this vein, let us continue to share stories of kindness, of excellent practice, of social workers and care workers being creative, inspirational and fantastic.

SCIE would be delighted to hear from you and the stories you would like to share. We can collate and share them across the sector. Contact media@scie.org.uk

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