Commended: Campaign for Learning Networked for Learning

RMBI delivered a Learning at Work Week that involved all of its care homes and head office. The aim was to open up opportunities for employees, residents, relatives and the wider community. RMBI particularly wanted to enable and empower its Home Trainers to bring passion and fun to their training sessions, providing positive networking experiences and meaningful activities that everyone could learn from and enjoy.

The L&D team worked with the Home Trainers and the Activities Coordinators to devise and design activities with input from staff, residents and relatives. From the start and during the planning process, RMBI ensured that the activities reflected the values of RMBI and engaged and embraced different cultures, interests and communities of people, so that knowledge and experiences would be shared and people’s knowledge and understanding of each other would be enriched.

Home Trainers and staff in each home arranged the activities for the week. These included relaxing armchair yoga, singing to exercise tongues, and virtual reality adventures where residents could experience warm rain forests and scuba diving in an ocean. On several days, staff and residents learned about different countries traditions and food. Activities at RMBI’s head office supported staff wellbeing with mindfulness chocolate meditation and other workshops linked to Mental Health Awareness Week.

The L&D team working with the marketing department on promoting the week and decided on a novel way to engage people in the week. Each home was given a ‘Cyril the Dementia Squirrel’ with a notebook and an introduction card and asked to take ‘Cyril’ on an amazing journey where he would write a travel blog and take photos of the people he met during the week. Staff took the squirrel around the homes engaging with other staff, residents and relatives on a daily basis. This created a positive buzz and talking point, raised awareness of dementia training and linked different teams together as Cyril moved across the homes. Cyril even travelled to Holland to attend a conference with a supplier.

The L&D teams evaluated the week using reports from the Home Trainers, monitoring e-learning uptake and the travel blogs and photographs.

Cyril became an integral part of the staff teams giving colleagues a positive sense of community engagement. The week has helped to broaden people’s outlook and understanding of each other and promoted a positive learning culture. The week has raised the profile of learning and development and the role of the Home Trainer which will enable high compliancy, by supporting the organisation to provide person centred care to a high standard. By using a fun and engaging way to bring people together, RMBI created a platform and momentum to make learning through networking a norm. Cyril is still being used to support all types of learning.