Our new My Life, My Decision Project Co-ordinator is now in post in Trafford. Here, Esther Nimmo (Training Lead for the North) meets Mina and finds out about her new role …

IMG_0206Hello Mina, and welcome to your new role as Project Co-ordinator for the My Life My Decision Project based at Trafford Age UK. You’ve been in post now for three weeks, can you tell us what you’ve been doing so far?

It’s been a case of hit the ground running since the day I started. I’ve spent time getting to know the team at Age Uk Trafford and the services it provides to people age 50+ with in its area. I’ve got some good colleagues with a lot of priceless years of experience.

I’ve started to make initial contact with stakeholders within the housing sector and have a few awareness raising sessions now booked in.

Currently I’m still trying to digest all the information from our recent residential training days! Thank you to all the dedicated CiD staff and project co-ordinators and leads for their hard work and sharing their experience.

I’m glad you found the residential so useful, Mina.  Shared learning is a key aspect of the on-going development of the My Life My Decision project, so all seven national projects meet together every 6 months.   So tell me, what was it particularly that attracted you to the post of Project Co-ordinator for MLMD?

From personal experience I appreciate the value of an individual putting down in writing what type of care they would want if they were ever unable to make their wishes known themselves. I understand how uncomfortable and frightening it is to begin thinking of facing a situation where you have lost capacity. However, when decisions have been made and your wishes recorded in writing, the reassurance of knowing people understand what you want, I feel outweighs those initial anxieties.   I wanted to be part of a project that supported people in making an informed decision on an important topic.

When I first met you at the volunteer training, you told us a little about your work in Birmingham. I’d love to hear more about what you were doing and why you wanted to come back ‘up north’!?

My time in Birmingham was borne out of a desire to experience life in a different city. What initially was meant to be a 3 year adventure turned into 7!  My time there gave me an insight it to the various social issues facing a very diverse community and how local services were trying to meet the needs. I also ate some amazing food from many different cultures and made some good friends.

Why did I come back up North? In a nutshell I was home sick!

Well we are very glad you did come back and are excited that you’ve joined our team.  As you know, the purpose of My Life My Decision is to raise awareness of people’s right to plan ahead in a legally binding way for a time in the future when they may not have the capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment.   As well as providing one to one support to people who want to complete an Advance Decision or Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.   It’s early days of course, but what do you see as the main challenges as you begin to promote the service?

I think supporting people in overcoming that fear and opening the discussion with regards to thinking about advance care planning.  Also trying to keep the explanation of the project as clear succinct and user friendly as possible.

Dare I mention engaging stakeholders!! The residential gave some good suggestions on how to tackle this issue.

Not easy challenges. MLMD depends on a team of volunteers who are able to support older people (50+) to talk through their issues surrounding planning ahead and to complete the forms. What skills and attributes would you like to see your team of volunteers have?

Being good listeners, friendly and knowing how to advocate with out leading.

Thank you so much for talking to me Mina, before we end the interview, tell me what are the highlights for you so far?

Meeting the other co-ordinators from around the country at the residential.  Its special knowing all 7 of us our working towards the same goal and are we are there to support each other.

We wish you all the very best in Trafford and I’ll see you very soon.

 

Esther and Mina will be working together to run the Volunteer Training Session in Trafford on Thursday 26th March.