On the 15.12.23 the NCCDSW leadership conference was held online and I was privileged to collaborate with my colleagues in practice and academia.

A wide audience from Local Authorities, Health care and Education joined the speakers and panelists for discussions around leadership and change. Researchers presented their findings in the areas of resilience, appreciative inquiry and managerial challenges across industries. The 95 delegates were able to ask questions and raise topics with the researchers, practitioners and policy makers to discuss and explore the themes in depth. 

During the Panel Discussion we appreciated the different backgrounds and perspectives, and it is the richness of the panellists’ experiences that will help organisations to develop positive, kind and compassionate work environments. We discussed:

  • What it means to belong or fit into an organisation or profession. 
  • How can we be activists and catalysts for change as leaders in practice and education and take our staff ‘with us’ 
  • How we embrace the growing change towards ‘greener practice’ and our awareness of environmental impact of events that are beyond our control 
  • What gives us resilience and strength to keep going on our personal and professional journeys. 

I leave you until the new year with  great appreciation and the feedback from one of our delegates who shared about Ithiel’s and Julia’s contribution: ‘Your passion and authenticity was clearly visible; And the profundity of your words/delivery was impactful! It has been an honour to listen to you both speak. ‘

A Special Thanks again to our wonderful speakers.

  • Prof Mel Hughes, Director of NCCDSW and Professor of Education and Practice
  • Dr Colin MacPherson, retired Royal Air Force officer and researcher in organisational culture and talent management
  • Tilia Lenz, Senior Lecturer for Social Work and CPD Framework Lead for Social Sciences
  • Dr Lyle Skains, award-winning researcher and creative practitioner in Creative Digital Writing and Science Communication
  • Dr Rejoice Chipuriro, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Social Work and Social Sciences
  • Ithiel Korkor Zotorvie, Practice Educator for International Nurses at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Orlanda Harvey, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and researcher in image and performance enhancing substance use
  • Sarah Green, resource management and scheduling expert in HEIs
  • Dr Rachel Arnold, Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Midwifery and Women’s Health and former nurse/midwife in international crisis situations
  • Dr Matthew Simpson, Programme Lead for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Mental Health Practice and researcher in AMHP practice
  • Julia Armstrong, Lecturer in Social Work and researcher in green social work and anti-racism
  • Paul Walshe, Organisational Development practitioner and coach
  • Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, chair of several organisations in the public and charity sectors and author of the Croisdale-Appleby Report on social work education.
Meet the author(s)

Tilia Lenz

Senior Lecturer Social Work and CPD Framework Social Sciences. (She/her)
Tilia is a Senior Lecturer for Social Work and the CPD Framework lead for Social Sciences. She is a qualified Social Pedagogue and registered Social Worker and spent 15 years in front line Children’s Services as a practitioner and manager. She undertook her MA studies in Managing and Developing Services in Health and Social Care at BU with the focus on Organisational Cultures and Staff Performance. She is now undertaking research for her PhD on ‘Relationship Performance Management in Child Protection’. She has a particular interest in practitioner wellbeing and resilience.
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Professor Mel Hughes

Director of the National Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Social Work
Dr Mel Hughes is Associate Professor in Social Work at Bournemouth University (BU). Mel champions lived experience expertise through her roles as Academic Lead for the PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) partnership and Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices. Mel is committed to ensuring that those who are most affected by social, economic and health inequalities have a voice in shaping and informing research, education and practice.
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Dr Colin Macpherson

Panel members
Colin is a retired Royal Air Force officer with a diverse portfolio of command and leadership experience both as a practitioner and in organisational leadership strategy, policy and doctrine development. Colin has just completed a Doctorate in Business Administration (viva pending) from Edinburgh Napier University and has an MSc in Operations Management from UMIST. His primary research interest is in helping organisations understand how their organisational culture influences their talent management philosophies and shapes their training & education strategy.
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Dr Lyle Skains

Lyle (she/her) is an award-winning researcher and creative practitioner in Creative Digital Writing and Science Communication. She conducts practice-based research into writing, reading/playing, publishing digital and transmedia narratives, and how these can be used for health and science communication.
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Dr Rejoice Chipuriro

Post-Doctoral researcher
Rejoice is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Social Work and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University. Her research interests include participatory research with marginalised communities and community led organisations. Rejoice’s PhD articulated the lived experiences of elderly women farmers in resettled communities within Southern Africa, bringing to the fore these seldom heard voices. She previously managed projects under the human rights portfolio and international development cooperation for the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
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Ithiel Korkor Zotorvie

Ithiel is a Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) currently a Practice Educator for International Nurses at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. She qualified with a Diploma in Mental Health Nursing from Ankaful Nurses’ Training College in Ghana in 2007. Ithiel also has a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in Health Sciences (Psychiatry option) from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana and an MSc in Global Mental Health from the University of Glasgow.
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Dr Orlanda Harvey

Senior lecturer in Social Work
Orlanda is a senior lecturer in the Social Work Team, specialising in Developing Professional Relationships and Leadership. She completed her doctoral research in 2020 exploring men's recreational use of Androgenic Anabolic Steroid Use. Her research interests include: Image and Performance Enhancing Substance Use, Domestic Violence and Abuse, leadership, and reflective practice.
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Sarah Green

Sarah has a background working in resource management and scheduling in HEIs for over 15 years, working in both Faculty and Professional Services. Prior experience in customer service and start-up companies gave Sarah a wider appreciation of the challenges often faced outside the educational sector. Gaining an MBA in 2001 allowed her to develop her professional skills, which have been deployed successfully implementing a number of organisational and process changes and adapting to the continually changing HEI environment.
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Dr Rachel Arnold

Rachel Arnold is a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Midwifery and Women’s Health (BU). She is a former nurse/midwife with over 30 years experience working in UK health services, and in international crisis situations including South Sudan, Rwanda and Afghanistan. Her PhD explored barriers and facilitators to quality care for women in an Afghan maternity hospital - particularly from the perspectives of the midwives, doctors, care assistants. Rachel’s particular interest is health care providers – and the complex institutional, cultural, personal and interpersonal factors that affect their wellbeing and ability to provide high quality care. Her recent research explored staff wellbeing in an NHS maternity service using Appreciative Inquiry.
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Private: Dr Matthew Simpson

Senior Lecturer
Matthew is the Programme Lead for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Mental Health Practice, a programme to prepare suitably qualified and experienced practitioners to undertake the role of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) under the Mental Health Act 1983. He is an active researcher in the field of AMHP practice. His PhD concerned AMHP decision-making at the point of referral for a Mental Health Act assessment, and this research was conducted collaboratively under the strengths-based methodology of Appreciative Inquiry. This research culminated in changes to one AMHP service to enhance best practice, attracting interest from a range of other Local Authorities.
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Julia Armstrong

Lecturer | Social Worker
I qualified as a social worker in 2011 having graduated from Bournemouth University and went onto work in adult statutory services until 2022. During this time I spent 10 years working in drug and alcohol services and then the latter years as a Best Interests Assessor for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Team. I now work as an Independent Social Worker under the name Your Nature. This includes independent DoLS assessments, independent Practice Educator roles and working part time at Bournemouth University as a lecturer in social work.
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Paul Walshe

Panel members
Paul is a curious and psychologically minded Organisational Development practitioner and coach committed to understanding human behaviour in the workplace and creating conditions for people and organisations to achieve their best performance. He has strong consultancy skills with extensive experience of building relationships at all levels and developing talent. Paul is an accomplished facilitator highly skilled in designing and evaluating leadership development programmes and educating senior leaders in effective performance management practices.
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Professor David Croisdale-Appleby

Panel members
David has extensive involvement in health and social care policy and holds a number of ministerial appointments in government departments. David has chaired many organisations in the public and charity sectors, including NHS trusts, the Science Council and the sector skills council Skills for Care and the National Skills Academy.
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