Issue 2: Editor’s notes by Stuart Sorensen
When I first had the idea for Care To Share Magazine I genuinely didn’t know whether or not it would be a success. I hoped it would, of course but there was always the chance that nobody else would see the point. There was the possibility that Care To Share wouldn’t even make it to a single issue, let alone two or more.
But I really needn’t have worried. Far from boring everyone to sleep with my ‘promotional witterings’ about the new magazine it seems that Care To Share has been something of an alarm call instead. Or at least (if I can continue with the ‘clock’ analogy) a reminder that it might be time to speak up about the real situation in social care. To speak the truth despite the lurid headlines and the media hype.
In the end issue 1 went out with 12 articles, all donated free of charge and the new blog received over 1000 clicks on the first day alone. It seems that people like the idea of Care To Share Magazine. That’s what you’ve been telling me in Emails, texts, blog comments and tweets anyway. The idea of a community based magazine, designed for social media and specifically intended to allow anyone to have a voice seems to have struck a chord or two out there in the real world of care providers and care recipients.
Hopefully issue 2 will be just as popular as its predecessor – if not more so. As the magazine continues to grow and develop I’m sure that its popularity will develop too. And let’s face it – we’ve made a pretty good start already. But there’s much more to come.
In issue 2 you’ll find articles on homelessness, begging and diabetes. There’s a thought-provoking and, I suspect, understated piece by Tina James on the work of a Lincolnshire foodbank. This month’s featured article by Gill Phillips is on the use of blogging to refine care processes in dementia. I decided to put Gill’s article as a feature because I think it’s important that the #DementiaChallengers initiative is supported by people who use, who provide and who have relatives who need support from services – exactly the sort of people that Care To Share Magazine is aimed at. So this month’s issue draws attention to Gill’s article as a way of emphasizing the excellent work not just of Dementia Challengers but of the ‘Whose Shoes?’ And ‘In My Shoes’ concepts as well.
Please take some time to follow up on Gill’s work around Dementia. You won’t regret it.
The next three articles on austerity and the community seem to go together. As the impact of austerity bites ever deeper it seems timely that articles on giving and begging, food crisis and, perhaps more controversially, a scheme linking benefits to work should go together. I’m especially interested in knowing how the Care To Share community might react to Sofia Spiga’s piece on Generative welfare, not least because it seems to blend existing UK community initiatives like skills exchanges with more formal benefits (not unlike the UK’s hated ‘Workfare’ programme). I’ll be very keen to see how a primarily UK audience might react to this Italian model of welfare provision. Of course comments from overseas are welcome too. The world is bigger than just the UK after all.
It’s particularly significant that these three articles appear in the December issue with Christmas fast approaching. My thanks to all three of the Care To Share authors who have contributed here.
I even thought I might sneak one of my own articles into this month’s issue. I’ll be commenting in the ‘Miscellaneous’ section on self-harm and the unfair and superficial myths surrounding those whose coping strategies may not be the most easily understood. There’s a particularly moving article from Ian small, a ‘veteran of issue 1’ about the value of Memory Cafes. Carl Spaul (another Care To Share ‘vet’) writes about integrated care while Andrew Crooks reports on service user engagement in Sheffield. There’s a lot to get through in this month’s issue. Enjoy.
And don’t forget to drop me a line at info@TheCareGuy.com to submit your own articles to the magazine. After all – issue 3 isn’t going to write itself.
Stuart Sorensen (Editor)