Raising the Bar II

14th January 2019  Add comments

This week’s blog is dedicated to event we held back in November, ‘Raising the Bar II’. This is a completely unique event, where families, carers, professionals and advocates are brought together with the same vision. Improving the quality of support and life of people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) through campaigning, sharing information and providing support.

The previous year (2017) ‘Raising the bar’ and the launch of The Core and Essential Service Standards for Supporting People with Profound and Multiple were created to set a precedent of how people with PMLD should be supported. Following their successes it was agreed to do ‘Raising the Bar II’ in a bigger venue with a larger variety of speakers.

The events were produced and organised by Michael Fullerton (CMG), Annie Fergusson (PMLD Link), Joanna Grace (The sensory projects) and Thomas Doukas (Choice Support).

People with PMLD are often overlooked and/or their needs are not understood, this is unacceptable. We are all the different, but equal. Everyone deserves to be heard, have the right to lead fulfilling lives and have access to high quality support consistently. The only difference is we need to work harder to learn the ability to listen and communicate. To understand the needs, likes, dislikes and wishes of people with PMLD.

The agenda was jam packed with keynote speakers including family members of people with PMLD, who have learnt through their loved ones. These speeches were by far the most heart-warming and the most powerful.

Keynote speakers included:

  • Rebecca Pender (Family Fund, Glasgow) talked about the Power of the Parent Voice and Changing the Narrative of Collaborative Care
  • Elly Chapple (CanDoELLA) about Flipping the narrative – a personal story of hope overcoming adversity in the face of great challenge and tragedy
  • Sandra Archibald (parent) about a Cooperative Working Model of Support
  • Flo Longhorn (Flo Publications) showed us that when you wish upon a star ~ you WILL raise the bar!

Parallel workshops were available to join throughout the day including:

  • Annie Fergusson (PMLD Link) & Sage Savage (Phoenix School) – The use of aromatherapy and massage for individuals with PMLD. A review of aromatherapy explored potential benefits; responding to health and wellbeing needs/priorities; creating meaningful opportunities for learning; promoting individuals with PMLD to have a voice and take the lead.
  • Julie Calveley (Intensive Interaction Institute)– Communication and Intensive Interaction: The use of video for training, observation, reflection and identifying outcomes and progress.
  • Scott Watkin & Stephen Kill (SeeAbility)– How can we prove that not all persons with severe or profound intellectual disabilities, should be considered visually impaired?
  • Erren Wheatland & Katie Reid (CMG) – Supporting the Complex Health Needs of people with PMLD in social care. Focusing on the LeDeR programme reporting that the mean life expectancy for someone with PMLD is just 41 years of age.
  • Joanna Grace (The Sensory Projects)– The Mental Health Needs of People with PMLD. Reviewing research findings into the mental health of people with PMLD.
  • Janet Gurney (Us in Bus) – “The Power of Being Heard: Everyday Intensive Interaction”. Looking at practical ways to use Intensive Interaction to ensure that being heard can be part of everyone’s experience – and the difference it can make.

Michael Fullerton, Clinical Director 

“Raising the Bar II was the sole national conference last year focused on the support of children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities. As the main organiser of the event I was delighted in both the range and quality of the speakers and workshops, as well as the enthusiasm of the delegates. There was double the number of delegates from the previous year, with around 200 people which included family carers, health/education and social care professionals.

The key theme was to follow up and impress the importance of the Core & Essential PMLD Service Standards, throughout the UK and Ireland and it was great to hear that despite the challenges and barriers, that there is excellent work going on in all our countries. The Conference has helped enormously to aid networking, particularly I hope for families, but also in ensuring we can all work closely together to enhance the quality of life of everyone with a profound and multiple learning disability.

We agreed at the end of Raising the Bar II that we would have a detailed review of the Core & Essential Service Standards during 2019 as well as holding another Conference later in the year. This conference date is now set and will be at the same venue (University of Birmingham) on the 25th October 2019. Tickets will be available shortly, so please save the date!”


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A Reflection of 2018

7th January 2019  Add comments

Happy New Year to you all. Every year seems to pass faster than the last, how is it 2019 already! In today’s blog I would like to reflect on some of the accomplishments and successes over the last year at CMG.

CMG along with Change launched the Staying Safe Online Booklet for people with learning disabilities and have developed with people we support and Choice Support two further easy read publications. These are due to be launched at the national LDE Conference on 23rd January 2019. These are focused on Transgender Support, and Pornography.

The Clinical Team facilitated their first Relationship and Sexuality group workshops for people supported by CMG and are now planning a Podcast on the same topic.

The Service User Parliament (self-advocacy group) decided to change their name and focus and are now Campaign 4 Change. They have started a #mindyourlanguage campaign to ensure that when staff in health and social care speak to or about people with learning disabilities it is always in a respectful manner. They gave a powerful presentation at our annual People’s Conference.

Through the collaboration of CMG and 5 other care providers, saw the development and launch of the Quality Experience Tool and Surrey PBS Coaching Programme at the House of Commons.

At CMG healthy lifestyles and promoting well-being throughout the company are very important to us. We started a Health and Well-Being steering group, to further develop this ethos at CMG. On the back of this Andy Bradley (Compassionate Mental Health) ran 2 sessions on ‘Nourish Yourself’ for our support/lead support workers and a ‘Health & Well-Being’ Newsletter was created (for a copy please email lilli.murdoch@cmg.co.uk) including advice from members of staff on how they have improved/maintained their lives through exercise, healthy eating and life style choices.

Throughout the year we’ve held various events for the people we support to encourage and increase participation, healthy lifestyles and physical activity. We held:

Ageing Well, focused on excellent support for people as they age. I even gave a session on Thai Chi!

Supportive Therapies, a day for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, a day focused on ensuring creative sensory and therapeutic support.

Athletics Championship, people entered and participated in many different sports including track, field, Zorb football and inclusive cycling. Winners were awarded medals by Paralympic Champion Georgie Hermitage.

Let’s Get Physical, at Tooting & Mitcham FC which included a 5 a side football tournament, circuits and interactive health & well-being stalls.

Raising the Bar II, CMG organised alongside other national stakeholders as the only national PMLD Conference to ensure the PMLD Service Standards are embedded throughout the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.

Other events that were held across the year include Driving up Quality, The People’s Awards, The People’s Conference, Family Conference, Manager’s Conference, Black History event and The Staff Awards. To find out more about these events and/or to see pictures please head over to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CareManagementGroup/ or alternatively look through previous blogs.

CMG’s learning and development team are always finding new ways to support staff to develop, reach their potential and provide training to ensure the people we support receive the best possible care. Last year saw the launch of the ‘Outstanding leaders programme’ where 15 home manager’s looked at best practice, leadership style and how to create outstanding services. Other novelties include the new face of the learning management system, Regional Director Programme focused on team building and problem solving and the diversity and inclusion committee.

In March we were proud to announce that CMG won a 2018 Skills for Care accolade award. Nominated in the ‘Best employer support for registered managers’ category. The award recognises organisations, employers or individuals who can demonstrate their commitment to providing excellent support to their managers.

At CMG we believe in developing are staff and offering everyone an opportunity to move forward and grow. Take a look below for some of our staff promotions in 2018.

70 Support workers were promoted to Lead support worker

15 Lead support workers/Practice leads were promoted to Deputy Manager

2 Support workers were promoted to Deputy Manager

6 Deputy Managers were promoted to Home Manager

2 Home Managers were promoted to Regional Director

As the world of Social media is ever growing and changing, as well as Facebook and Twitter we now have an Instagram page and are doing regular Podcasts. Podcast topics have included financial abuse, staying safe online, hate crime and the latest one ‘Christmas’. If you haven’t already check them out on SoundCloud by following this link: https://soundcloud.com/user-319962822.

In 2018 CMG open 9 new services and in February acquired ‘Homes Caring for Autism’ based in Somerset and Wiltshire, now known as CMG SW. It included 10 specialist services which support some of the most challenging people with autism in the country. In November Penny Meadow day centre in Marks Tey, Essex was acquired and CSAC LT, 5 residential properties for people with complex needs in Clacton.

As a company we now have 11 CQC ‘Outstanding’ rated services (CMG 4, Alderwood 8). Hersham Gardens which is a relatively new service gained their ‘Outstanding’ rating at the end of last year. This is an amazing achievement, and a testament to the hard work and dedication of Dan Ismail and his team.

I would to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year, and I would like to give a special thank you to all the staff that work at CMG for their continued commitment and hard work.

annual conference. Lilliputs, Hornchurch.

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Celebration & Recognition at the Staff Awards

22nd November 2018 1 Comments

We wrapped up this year’s events with the annual staff awards and what a night it was! This night has become a firm favourite in the CMG events calendar and it always feels me with pride to hear about the staff’s wonderful achievements. They are at the forefront of CMG and work tirelessly every day to improve the lives of others, keep a high quality of care and efficiently run the services. This night is for our staff, to celebrate, give recognition and to honour their accomplishments.

Each year the judging to choose the winners for the staff awards gets harder and harder. This is a true testament to the amount of great staff we have. The judging panel is made up of staff and people we support and this year it took 3 hours to pick the finalists.

When I first arrived at the venue there was a bit of confusion and much to Lilli’s (Event & Marketing Manager) horror one of the boxes of awards had disappeared! Luckily, it was found just in time.

A three course sit down and meal and drinks, were followed on by the awards presentation and a disco. Jamie Cotton from the Green, got everyone dancing with his party tunes.

Here are examples of some of the fantastic nominations:

 Lead support worker 1st place

 “Since a new manager was appointed Lily has continued to shine, she has continued to act as a mentor to new staff and remains a dependable and reliable senior member of the team. Lily continues to be an integral part of what makes Lewes Road and the people we support thrive and the service would not be the same without her.”

 Manager of the year 1st place

 “Victoria will do everything she can to make sure that the residents have a healthy and best life possible she gives 110% of her time to every one of them; she will go above and beyond with all the residents.”

 Regional Director of the year

“I admire John’s support and natural caring attitude towards the staff and most importantly the people we support. John is respectful, transparent and works with honesty and integrity. He is kind and caring and has a strong character which we all respect.”

Team of the year

“It takes a special person to work with vulnerable and special people. The staff at the Paddocks work together to bring the best out of everyone. The team are my son’s family, and to see his face light up when they come and pick him up from being at home for a week says a lot about these wonderful staff.”

 “The team support the tenants with such devotion and enthusiasm. One lady moved to Bales court straight from hospital where she was bedbound and unable to walk. Within weeks of being at Bales Court the staff supported her to stand and walk with advice from the GP and Physio.”

I would like to congratulate all of our finalists, and also thank all of the other amazing staff we have at CMG. Your hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed.

To keep up to date with our latest events and photos head over to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CareManagementGroup/

Staff awards 2018











Outstanding Hersham Gardens

19th November 2018  Add comments

In this week’s blog I am proud to announce that Hersham gardens have achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating in their recent CQC rating. This is an amazing achievement, and a testament to the hard work and dedication of Dan Ismail and his team. Congratulations!

Dan has only been within CMG for the last 2.5 years. When Dan applied to be a support worker he had no prior experience within care and had no real intention of being in the care sector, it was temporary fix to his situation at the time.

However, it didn’t take long for Dan to fall in love with people he was supporting and the staff. He moved quickly from support worker to lead support worker and then to service manager. It seems that Dan has found his vocation.

Dan’s management style filters down through the staff to the tenants, make everyone a leader and empower people. The team out Hersham Gardens, have the tenants at the centre of everything they do. The strong bonds the tenants have with all of the staff can be clearly seen. I love seeing all the photos that cover the walls with everything the tenants and staff have been up to. This service has such a wonderful homely feel to it.

One tenant was supported to take part in CMG’s Dragon’s Den pitching for her cake business, she was successful and was granted funding to help grow her business. Another tenant has a voluntary job at the local day centre helping out on reception and in the kitchen at lunch times.

This service really has it all, the tenants even have a hot tub! Recently, during the Halloween period a few of the tenants were anxious about the scary decorations so the staff with the help of the tenants created non-spooky decorations. My favourite was the unicorn pumpkin!

Dan and the staff at Hersham Gardens have created an easy-read audit form so the tenants can carry out their own audits and monthly checks to make sure their home is exactly the way it should be.

Daniel Ashley Ismail, Registered Manager at Hersham Gardens, said:

“It is the team’s hard work and dedication that has made this excellent achievement possible and ensures that the individuals we support continue to live fulfilling and enriched lives, every day.”

Comments from Hersham Gardens CQC report:

“There was a vibrant, creative and inclusive atmosphere at the service. People took the lead on decisions about all aspects of their care and activities. There was a strong focus on achieving goals and positive outcomes for people. Staff had enabled people to learn important skills, enter employment and start businesses. The home was a warm and happy environment in which people and staff worked together to better each other. Training, domestic chores and auditing was completed jointly between people, staff and management.”

“Another person had lacked confidence accessing the community and interacting with others. The registered manager told us how this person had been taken out regularly to increase their confidence. The person had recently approached a local shop of their own volition to ask them for support with a charity event idea they wanted to implement. This showed a dramatic improvement in this person’s confidence and ability to interact with the local community. The shop were able to support with people from the service setting up a ‘Sausage Sizzle’ barbecue fundraiser which was used to raise money for a local day centre.”

Congratulations to Dan and the whole tam at Hersham gardens, we look forward to following you on your new journey with ‘Fiveways’.


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50 Years of Dedication and Care

26th October 2018  Add comments

This week’s blog is dedicated to another one of our extraordinary staff, learning disability nurse and home manager, Ismael Poo. Ismael has worked within the care sector for the last 50 years, which is a fantastic achievement!

In his early 20’s Ismael knew he wanted to work in care, however at this time there was no training in his home country, Mauritius. So he started his search elsewhere in England. He found a hospital that was offering training to become a learning disability nurse. He knew this was his opportunity to make a difference. He was placed at a large hospital in Caterham, Surrey. Were he worked and trained up to be a learning disability nurse.

Ismael started at CMG as a service manager around 18 years ago, he was there at the beginning of the service Green Lane which is a nursing residential service. This is one of the only services at CMG that allocates student nurses amongst the team.

Congratulations Ismael, for your amazing journey and career in the care sector. We are lucky to have you!

This is what Ismael had to say:

“From when I started working in this sector, the people have always been my first priority. I started this career because I wanted to make people’s lives better. Listen to them, support them to make their own decisions and encourage personal development.

The system has changed so much from when I first started. Previously, people were in hospitals without the freedom of choice and independence. I know one lady who used to be on the ward next to me, she is now living at a CMG service and has a lot more control and choice over her life. It is amazing to see her thriving in a home setting.

At Green Lane we have student nurses as part of the team, their presence motivates the staff to learn more and it is good for the residents to get familiar with new people.

When the people I care for are living happy, fulfilling and meaningful lives and when the staff are doing well and loving their work I feel truly appreciated.

It is true what people say ‘CMG value their staff’. CMG are forward thinking and give their staff opportunities to progress further in their careers and offer training to gain new skills. I believe some people take for granted what the care sector has to offer, not only does it give you a career with progression it is a job where you can actually make a difference to people’s lives. What could be better than that? This is why I do the job I do and I’m proud of it”


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The Celebration of Culture and Diversity

25th October 2018  Add comments

This week’s blog is all about the celebration of culture and diversity. At CMG there are many people we support and staff from different ethnic backgrounds. We believe it is important to recognise and celebrate everyone’s culture and beliefs. We’ve held our annual ‘Black History’ event for the last 8 years and coincide it each year with ‘Black History’ month.

Every year seems to become more elaborate than the last. The moment you walk in your senses explode with the amazing smells of food, the sounds of music, the vibrant colours of everyone’s clothes and the handmade decorations. This year was no different, and definitely we’ll need a bigger venue next time.

The day started with a Capoeira performance and workshop, this is a Brazilian/Afro martial arts dance. People we support had the opportunity to practice and learn the moves. It is known that this type of dance/martial arts is a good way to improve balance, coordination and confidence.

One of the biggest hits, is always the amazing spread of food. Lovemore’s staff team and Sophie from Birdhurst Rise spent days cooking and preparing food to provide a huge feast for everyone. This year included flavours from Jamaica, India, Africa and Brazil. This was complimented with Katie Reid’s imaginative smoothies. I wasn’t quite sure about the pumpkin pie smoothie using chopped cauliflower, but somehow it worked!

After everyone was fed, there was a musical performance from a reggae band followed by African drumming. The African drumming was fantastic, the performers were very engaging with the crowd, there was a lot of singing and dancing. This led onto an interactive drumming and rhythms workshop.

I was really proud to watch one of the guys we support at Mill Road, Balraj Gittla performing for everyone. This is by far no mean feat considering the huge audience, but that didn’t seem to faze him. He is incredibly talented, and he has a cracking voice. Congratulations Balraj!

Dan Dunman and Sharon Wheal spent the day painting country flags onto people’s faces. The face painting was so popular, Dan was painting faces well after the event had finished. One of our guys from Dyke road had to leave before he could get his face painted so the following day Dan went to his service to paint his face! That’s dedication for you!

The day was wrapped up with a fashion show and catwalk, the people we support got to show off their amazing colourful outfits and do their best strut down the catwalk.

The Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Mrs Shweta Kapadia came to enjoy the festivities. She gave a very moving speech about how everyone should know their roots and to never lose touch with their culture. She thanked CMG for holding such a day, and told us she felt honoured to have been invited there and to meet so many wonderful people.

Thank you to everyone who made this day a success!

Lilli Murdoch, Marketing & Events Manager

“Wow what an event! Thank you to everyone who helped prepare for this event and for all the support on the day. It was by far one of the more complicated events to plan. The greatest pleasure for me is to see everyone happy, enjoying themselves and engaging with the activities.”

Head over to our Facebook page to see more photos from the day: https://www.facebook.com/CareManagementGroup/

CMG’s Black History Event. ©Anna Lukala






CMG’s Black History Event. ©Anna Lukala






CMG’s Black History Event. ©Anna Lukala
CMG’s Black History Event. ©Anna Lukala


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Georgina Symonds ‘Support Worker of the Year’ Winner

5th October 2018  Add comments

This week I would like to congratulate one of our exceptional support workers in Wales, Georgie Symonds. Not only was Georgie nominated and short listed for the support worker of the year award at the Learning Disability awards she won it!

This is Georgie’s story.

In 2014 Georgie went to Africa as a volunteer, she built houses for children and for people who were homeless. This is when she became inspired and realised she wanted to do more, to make a difference to people’s lives.

When Georgie saw the advert for support staff required at The Cedars, PMLD residential service back in January 2016 she knew this was her chance to make a difference. She was a bit apprehensive at the start, as she’d no prior experience in the care sector.

Since joining the team at The Cedars she has come along in leaps and bounds. The quality of the care she offers to the ladies she supports is impeccable. Alongside caring she is always looking for ways to better herself and always grabs whatever opportunity that comes her way. She has already completed the PMLD course and is currently doing the postural management course.

Her manager has said what amazing support she has been to the service and the staff over the last year, as the service had faced some challenges. Georgie has stepped up on many occasions to help the new manager. Completing support plans, risk assessments and H & S monitoring systems. She has taken on the role of temporary practice lead and has started attending management courses to deepen her knowledge further.

Recently, one young lady became terminally ill and slipped into a coma for her last few weeks. Georgie visited her every day, she spoke to her, painted her nails and played her favourite music. Georgie didn’t want her to be alone. After the lady passed away Georgie with the help of another support worker organised a memorial day for her family and had a rainbow made for the garden. The feedback received from the family was very heart warming.

This was why she was nominated by her manager for the Learning Disability awards, it was felt she needed recognition for all her hard work and determination. She’s been doing a fantastic job and really deserved the award. We are all very proud of her here at CMG, and hope she continues to blossom. Congratulations Georgie!

I will leave you all with a quote from her.

 Georgie Symmons, Support Worker at The Cedars

 “Every day is a good day at my job, I love to see the ladies I support happy and smiling’

“When I found out I had been shortlisted, I was so shocked and hadn’t even realised I’d been nominated. The awards night was really fun, I’d never been to anything like that before and still can’t believe I won”


LD & A awards

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New Transgender Easy Read Booklet

27th September 2018  Add comments

This week’s blog is about our new easy read booklet that is focused on transgender support.

 The topic of transgender identity is often seen as taboo. In this day and age this shouldn’t be the case, imagine this coupled with a learning disability. The general response is silence. The assumption is that many people with a learning disability don’t have the intellectual capacity to make complex decisions for themselves, including around gender identity.

This is untrue, like many people without learning disabilities who experience gender dysmorphia it can be frightening to speak out about these feelings. As often the right support and information isn’t available and people are prone to prejudice, intimidation and harassment. In turn, this can leave people feeling isolated, depressed and lonely without the confidence to express their true thoughts and feelings about their gender identity.

At CMG we aim to support people to break barriers and give people the opportunity to express how they are feeling in a safe place. In turn, supporting people to have fully inclusive and empowered lives.

Michael Fullerton has been at the forefront of this publication and has worked in collaboration with people supported by CMG, CHANGE and Choice Support to make it possible. Here is what he has to say.

Michael Fullerton, Clinical Director

“We support a small number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism who identify as transgender, or who may be questioning/confused about their gender preferences. Indeed some people may be internally questioning their gender identity and have not communicated that to others. Or they don’t know how to and/or are fearful of ‘coming out’.

We felt it important to ensure CMG’s support teams were equipped with information, knowledge and a positive attitude to ensure everyone’s gender preferences are fully understood, supported and respected. With this in mind, we met with the Clare Project in Brighton to gain a better understanding of the everyday practical issues and difficulties faced by trans men and women. Following this we decided to ask people we support (who are trans men or women, or non binary) if they would assist in developing an easy read booklet focused on transgender support. This booklet could then be used by people we support, individually or in groups, as well as a guide for support staff to assist with discussions they may have with the people they support.

In order to facilitate the process of collating and designing the booklet, we worked in collaboration with Shaun Webster and Jez Coram from CHANGE (www.changepeople.org ). CHANGE held Focus Groups with people supported by CMG and Choice Support, as well as managers of services. The resulting booklet will be available shortly, and be freely available on CMG’s website.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Shaun and Jez from CHANGE and Thomas Doukas from Choice Support for their commitment to this publication”

I will now leave you all with a quote from Stevie Barnett who has recently identified as a trans woman.

Stevie Barnett, C4C (Campaign 4 Change) Member

“I knew from a young age I was in the wrong body, but I was too scared to talk to anyone about how I was feeling. I thought people might laugh at me and be horrible. I started to make the transition a few years ago, and wish I’d done it sooner. If you are feeling confused, talk to someone don’t be scared. I think this new booklet will be good to help people get more support and information. I’m looking forward to reading it”

To find out more about CMG and to see some of our photos and videos follow us on Instagram @Online_CMG or check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CareManagementGroup/

CMG Award Ceremony, Imber Court, East Molesey.
CMG Award Ceremony, Imber Court, East Molesey.
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Manager’s Conference with Damian Hughes, Liquid Thinker

22nd September 2018  Add comments

Each year we hold a conference for the Manager’s from our services. As you can imagine due to the nature of their work, getting them all in the same room at the same time can be challenging. This is why our annual conference is such an essential and useful tool. It gives us the opportunity to brief all the manager’s, exchange information, brainstorm, review and initiate polices and very importantly build morale. This year’s conference had a rather different spin to it compared to previous years. This was a direct action from the feedback we received from the managers the year before. They felt they needed more time to network and connect with other managers.

Winner (Manager of the Year) at last year’s staff awards, Kennedy Phale opened the day and introductions. He spoke about what is important to him in terms of his service and staff and about the day to day challenges that he can be faced with and ways in which to tackle them.

He was followed on by our first keynote speaker, Founder of Liquid Thinker, change management consultant and author of seven best-sellers, Professor Damian Hughes. He uses his experience and background with sport along with change psychology to find the best ways to create a winning mindset.

He spoke about the 5 STEPS to creating a winning mindset:

  • Simplicity – Emphasise the need for leaders to be ever-mindful about communicating one simple message at a time.
  • Tripwires – Generate interest and curiosity, let people discover for themselves. Open the door for people but let them think and discover for themselves. It’s much more satisfying to find the solution to a problem yourself than have someone else solve it for you.
  • Emotions – The way to make people care about something, is to make them feel.
  • Practical – Make our ideas clear.
  • Stories – Tell stories to get people to act on ideas.

I would recommend to everyone to go and experience one of his talks. I think I’m not alone when I say that his words were thought provoking and inspirational, and believe that each and every one of the mangers that were present in that room have taken something away from it. I certainly did.

One of my highlights from the speech was when Regional Director, John Nicholson was asked to be a volunteer. Damien Hughes managed to embarrass him in front of the whole room, he did however earn £10 for his efforts.

After lunch, saw the new addition of the networking/team building activities. People were split in to four groups of 30. It was a race against time and the other teams to get a sequence of pictures from in the right order. This was one of my favourite parts of the day, especially because my team won! The aim of the activity was for people to network and to work as a team to solve a problem.

The second speaker of the day was Polly Falconer, mental health lead. She started her session with a bit of karaoke, which certainly woke everyone up! She told a moving story of the struggles she has faced and how she overcame them. She defined stress and talked about the differences between stress and pressure and how to cope under these circumstances.

The day was wrapped up with reflections on what everyone had learnt from the day and how the managers could take this information back to their staff teams and put it into practice. Our managers are critical to the success of their teams and are the people that drive CMG. We must strive to create a winning environment where talent is natured and developed. Where we communicate a shared vision, and tackle challenges and pressures together.

I hope everyone enjoyed the conference as much as I did. Please see below for moments that were captured during the day.







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8 years of the Notorious Athletics Championships

4th September 2018 1 Comments

Last week saw the 8th year of our notorious Athletics Championships.  I know I say this a lot but we really do have some amazing events throughout the CMG calendar, but I must say the Athletics Championship is by far my favourite. It is a day where everyone comes together to enjoy, support and celebrate the success of people we support. There is always a strong sense of team spirit and togetherness and of course a healthy portion of competiveness. I’m always proud to see so many of our staff rallying together to make it the success it is. Not only does it promote health and wellbeing, it builds rapport within teams and gives the people we support a great feeling of achievement self-worth.

The day included a range of track, field, throwing and team ball games. As well as the egg and spoon race and sack race. A specialist bike company was hired that provides bikes to support a range of different needs. The bikes include hand bicycles, wheelchair bicycles, tandems and recumbent cycles. I loved seeing everyone whizzing on these which such glee on their faces.

At the CMG we put strong emphasis on inclusion. We want each and every person that we support to have an opportunity to participate in the day. Katie and Erren always create an amazing sensory wheelchair obstacle course. This event focuses on the sensory side of engagement. Through touch, sounds and sight. We also hold a wheelchair basketball match, and a wheelchair race which both get very competitive.

Much to our Marketing and Events Manager’s (Lilli) delight, the Zorb Football which she insisted on hiring this year went down a treat, albeit quite a few aching bodies afterwards. Somehow she even managed to coax the senior management team into a competition against the PBS team. I feel like there should have been some kind of briefing beforehand as not until half through the match and one goal down, I realised I was aiming for the wrong goal and playing against my own team. Of course not due to my lack of football knowledge.

We had the pleasure of welcoming the Mayor of Sutton councillor Steven Cook and his wife Pauline Cook to the event. They arrived in time to watch the warm which included lunges and jumping jacks strangely enough they didn’t take part. They spent a few hours watching the various races and meeting some of the people we support. One person was so taken with the Mayors medals, he asked if he could have them. The Mayor asked our health and safety officer (Faye Doncaster) who was running the Zorb football what it was. She promptly replied, ‘positive risk taking’ just as someone went flying out of the arena.

The traditional Tug of War this year was again no mean feat. At the end of a tense and gruelling battle, England finally won. Wales are determined to retake the perennial trophy next year.

I would like to say a big thankyou to Michael (Clinical Director) and Lilli (Events & Marketing Manager) for all of their efforts in organising this day. We are now looking forward to our ‘Let’s Get Physical’ event that will be held at the Tooting & Mitcham sports club on 19th September. This event is to all, please send an email to lilli.murdoch@cmg.co.uk if you want to find out more.

I will leave you with a quote from the talented Para Olympian and 2 time gold winner (Rio Olympics) Georgie Hermitage MBE, who was invited to present the winners on the day with their medals. It was fantastic to have her, she gave great deal of encouragement and support to the people doing the events. Georgie was very impressed with everyone that took part, especially with one person we support. She recorded his running times and believes he could qualify as a Para Olympian, watch this space!

 “A disability doesn’t define you, you can achieve anything you want with the right support, drive and passion. Never give up!”

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CMG Atlethics day. David Weir Leisure Centre, Middleton Rd, Carshalton SM5 1SL
CMG Atlethics day. David Weir Leisure Centre, Middleton Rd, Carshalton SM5 1SL
CMG Atlethics day. David Weir Leisure Centre, Middleton Rd, Carshalton SM5 1SL
CMG Atlethics day. David Weir Leisure Centre, Middleton Rd, Carshalton SM5 1SL
CMG Atlethics day. David Weir Leisure Centre, Middleton Rd, Carshalton SM5 1SL
CMG Atlethics day. David Weir Leisure Centre, Middleton Rd, Carshalton SM5 1SL

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