There’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes at UP. One project that I have been creating is a 6 week UP programme to be delivered to NHS patients. The beauty of the programme is that whilst the content is based upon the latest thinking in pain and associated scientific fields, the actual practices and tools are really simple.
The aim of the UP Workshop is to help people to understand (their) pain and to lead fulfilling lives. This is achieved by following certain principles during day to day living, towards a picture of success.
Currently we are towards the end of the design phase. This involves deciding upon the content and how it will be layered week by week. Whilst the aim is to deliver knowledge, skills and know-how, we will also be measuring the effects together with a cost analysis. Such data will be important for scaling the Workshops to address the huge problem of chronic pain that exists in society (€441bn per year, SIP).
Yesterday I spent the day at the Walthamstow Garden Party wearing my UP hat. It was a great opportunity to reach out into society and have meaningful conversations with people about their pain and suffering. I think it is fair to say that the misunderstanding of what pain really is remains a hugely impacting problem. This misunderstanding is a barrier to individual’s realising their potential. This is the focus point for UP.
Talking to many people over the day, the conversation with the founder of an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of young people stuck in my mind. Engaging with a local community project, Leaders Community, I felt that this is exactly where UP needs to deliver work that inspires and empowers people. Where could be more potent than in their very own environment?
The Health Zone where we were based had a range of excellent projects on show. This included Bart’s Sexual Health Team, Positive East (free HIV tests), and Waltham Forest CCG (project on how teens and young adults want to be engaged by healthcare). We were very pleased to meet the Mayor, Cllr Yemi Osho, and Council Leader Clare Coghill at the tent.
The Party was full of enterprise. From food stalls, to crafts, to dance, to poetry and music, the beautiful park was brimming with the joyous atmosphere of bringing people together. The day was truly inspiring. Seeing businesses flourishing and being supported by each other, the environment and the people they serve was tremendous. UP felt very much at home within this spirit of cohesion, when society is working at its very best. Pain is a social problem and a public health issue. It will be society’s cohesion and togetherness that will see the vital change we need to ease the current unnecessary levels of suffering.
Onwards ~ UP in the community
Where better to engage people than in their own community. The Understand Pain and Pain Coach Workshops for people suffering chronic pain can be delivered right there, where they are most needed. UP aims to partner with primary care trusts, CCGs, GP practices and others to deliver workshops to both clinicians and people (patients — I prefer ‘people’). Conversations yesterday can lead to actions to results, those being people leading meaningful lives, contributing to society as they can. Now I am working on converting the talk to purposeful action.