Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – You are never too old to learn and grow – intellectually or emotionally

For many years there was an assumption that learning is what children do – libraries had plenty of material about child development and education, but relatively little on adult education. Then along came the ‘lifelong learning movement’ which argued that we need to stop associating learning with children and recognise that everyone has the potential to keep learning and to keep benefiting from that learning throughout our lives.

However, it is unfortunately the case that the ageist assumptions that are so ...

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How is caste discrimination different from racism?

An elderly woman reported receiving poor quality of care from a medical professional who, on learning of her caste, considered her to be unclean and refused to touch her. This is just one of the experiences of caste discrimination taking place today in the UK, which has been reported to us at Castewatch.

Caste is associated primarily with cultures of the Indian sub-continent. According to those who practise and promote it, Caste is determined by birth and cannot be changed. Each ...

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Workplace wellbeing needs holistic approach

Experts from the University of Warwick have contributed to new guidance on promoting positive mental health at work.

Erika Kispeter and Sally Wright from the University of Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) examined how Suffolk County Council has responded to the challenge of managing mental health at work. The case study is published … alongside new Acas guidance to mark World Mental Health Day.

The new Acas guidance aims to help employers promote positive mental health in their workplaces. Employers ...

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Three solutions to the challenges faced by ethnic minorities in the labour market

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Seven techniques for helping kids keep calm

Being able to recognise and cope with anxiety is a skill that ...

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Seek out awe and wonder

The demands of everyday living mean that we need to spend a fair amount of time doing fairly mundane things like earning a living and managing a household. These can be quite enjoyable, of course, and offer us some degree of fulfilment, but we have to be wary of the danger of allowing all the mundane stuff to squeeze out opportunities for those things that go beyond the day-to-day basics.

The literature relating to spirituality (whether religious spirituality or not) uses ...

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Poverty, evictions and forced moves

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Only 24% of ‘working carers’ receive full support from their employer

Eldercare – a provider of elderly care support … releases new research revealing the mental, physical and professional strain that juggling a job with caring for an elderly relative is having on the UK’s workforce. The ‘Invisible Carers’ research of over 2,000 working carers shows that less than a quarter (24%) of those caring for an elderly relative outside of work receive ongoing support from their employer – with a majority finding that support is only given during an emergency ...

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Building a workforce for the future

Centre for Mental Health was commissioned by the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network to explore what the mental health workforce of the future should look like. We wanted to look beyond the current strategy to identify what kind of workforce will be needed in the next decade or so and what challenges that presents now in ensuring we have the right people in place when we need them.

It takes time, sometimes many years, to recruit, train and develop health and ...

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Work and the loneliness epedemic

On August 24, 1992, in the early hours of the morning, my family and I stepped out of our temporary shelter to find our city — and our lives — forever changed. We had spent the past several hours huddled together as Hurricane Andrew battered our South Florida neighborhood with torrential rain and winds near 170 miles per hour. We saw pieces of homes strewn across the landscape, power lines flung about like pieces of string, and sea creatures stranded ...

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SWU Member benefits: Learn with Neil Thompson

The following message has recently been sent to all Social Worker’s Union (SWU) members:

A personal message from Neil Thompson

I am delighted to be working with SWU to offer membership of my online learning programme at half price. It’s not a course in the conventional sense. Rather, it’s an online learning community, a place where people support each other in their learning. It’s based on principles of self-directed learning (the most effective type of learning) where you decide – with guidance ...

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Feelings are real, but they don’t always reflect the reality

Many people adopt a very ‘rational’ approach to life and relegate feelings or anything to do with emotions to a secondary position, as if they are somehow less important. In reality, of course, feelings are generally much more powerful sources of motivation than reasoning or rationality, and emotions are so often a key factor in decision making, however hard people will work to make the basis of their decisions appear entirely objective and rational, uninfluenced by such subjective matters as ...

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How to spot a toxic workplace and what to do about it

Issues with the cultures of big companies, including Uber and Google, have recently been in the news, turning the spotlight onto the subject of toxic workplaces. But few are talking about the causes.

What are the indicators that a company’s culture or workplace could quickly turn toxic?

The roots of a company culture include rules, expectations, and policies. If these are subjective – left open to interpretation – the company invites differing opinions, which causes conflict, which results in toxicity. Subjective work processes and systems ...

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Bullying and harassment advice

Bullying and harassment means any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended. It is not necessarily always obvious or apparent to others, and may happen in the workplace without an employer’s awareness.

Bullying or harassment can be between two individuals or it may involve groups of people. It might be obvious or it might be insidious. It may be persistent or an isolated incident. It can also occur in written communications, by phone or through email, not ...

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Home sweet micro home: sleep-testing a pod for the homeless

The sort of adjectives estate agents use to describe the tiniest of homes – compact, snug, bijou – do not really cover it.

But young people who have endured homelessness are jostling to become the first occupant of a unique “micro home” inspired by the layouts of luxury yachts and airline first-class cabins.

The iKozie, which measures 17.25 square metres, was craned into place in Worcester after being built off-site and has been carefully fitted out and furnished. Ahead of the keys being handed ...

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Deaths in custody report ‘will not improve trust’

A forthcoming report of a government review into deaths in custody will do little to boost public confidence in the judicial system, according to human rights campaigners.

In 2015, then-home secretary Theresa May, now Prime Minister, commissioned an independent review into police deaths in custody which was to include an investigation into racial disproportionality. The report was due to be published over a year ago.

The delay in its publication led a coalition of race equality campaigners that included former Met chief ...

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SWU Member benefits: Learn with Neil Thompson

The following message has recently been sent to all Social Worker’s Union (SWU) members:

A personal message from Neil Thompson

I am delighted to be working with SWU to offer membership of my online learning programme at half price. It’s not a course in the conventional sense. Rather, it’s an online learning community, a place where people support each other in their learning. It’s based on principles of self-directed learning (the most effective type of learning) where you decide – with guidance ...

Continue Reading →

Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – The journey is more important than the arrival

It is, of course, a very common experience to have a great sense of excitement as you look forward to something, only to have a sense of anti-climax once what you have been anticipating actually comes to pass. This is one of the ways in which the idea that the journey is more important than the arrival has a degree of truth.

In a similar vein, Buddhist thought includes the idea that it is wise to disengage from worldly pursuits, as ...

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