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A Social Enterprise providing community based support for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism in the South West


You First Support ServicesYou First is excited to announce that we have teamed up with Mindfulness UK, commissioning them to deliver an 8-week course on Mindfulness and Compassion to all supervisory staff.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.
(Jon-Kabat Zinn 1996)

Or put another way:

"The art of living is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive". (Alan Watts)

Academics have tended to create the components of mindfulness as:

1. Observing – attending to or noticing internal or external stimuli such as sensations, emotions, cognitions, sights, sounds, smells
2. Describing – noting or labelling what you observe
3. Acting with awareness – as opposed to behaviour that is automatically absent-mindedly carried out
4. Non-judgment of experience – reframing and evaluating sensations, emotions, and cognitions
5. Non-reactivity to experience

Together with supervisory staff 3 Support Workers are attending, following an Expression of Interest process, and this forms part of You Firsts commitment to involving Support staff at all levels in the future direction of the organisation.

Why roll this training out?

As human beings we all experience stress, it is part of life and cannot be avoided. Our stress reactions can be positive as they keep us out of danger, but it's very easy to get stuck in such reactions. If we get stuck in our "chimp" or "prehistoric" reactive brain then we will not be productive, will not achieve and we will not feel whole, complete or satisfied. We will not feel connected with the world or the people in it and we will react at every little thing that comes our way - not helpful to ourselves or others. 

Mindfulness provides several techniques that support us to operate from our "evolved brain". Those things that can trigger us into reacting will always be there but through practising Mindfulness we can become aware of our triggers, note them and choose whether to engage. We can break free through non-reactive awareness. 

Mindfulness does this by enabling us to connect with our body - that aspect of us that is always in the here and now - and thus experience the moment, the precious moment, this moment, and then the next and so on. 

James Joyce famously wrote: "Mr Duffy lived a short distance from his body" and this is true for all of us. We live lost in thought, thoughts of the past, fantasies of the future, imagined fears. Mindfulness powerfully connects us with the here and now thus supporting us to become better humans and therefore better at whatever we turn our hand.

The weekly office meeting will commence with a short 5-minute Mindfulness practice and the Locality Meetings will also start this way. The Senior Management Team are committed to seeing Mindfulness rolled out across the organisation as this will anchor us to the here and now, ensure that we are fully present when we support or attend meetings and that when engaging we do so by being fully present and not from impressions of the past or fantasies of the future. 

This is all part of You First's commitment to becoming a Mindful Employer in the real sense of the word.

To find out more about You First, call 0300 111 9999 or email Nathalie John by clicking here.


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