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Review of the NCF Rising Star Programme 2018

29 May 2019

The National Care Forum (NCF) Rising Stars Programme has had a successful second year. Launched in 2017, the programme addresses the need to invest in and develop the skills of the next generation of leaders in social care, with registered managers from the NCF membership selected to take part each year.

NCF Executive Director, Vic Rayner said of the programme, ‘The NCF Rising Stars Programme is something the NCF is very proud of…we worked with our member organisations and asked them to put forward managers who they identified as really committed to change, committed to doing things in different ways and who would really benefit from being part of a wider partnership network.’

Building on the founding year, the 2018 programme provided new activities and events for the NCF Rising Stars to engage with, as well as a year of mentoring from a senior member of another NCF member organisation.

The programme starts each year at the NCF Annual Conference, where the selected registered managers meet each other and their mentors. They are introduced to the programme and have the opportunity to hear from people working both with and in social care. Last year, this included Carterwood’s Tom Hartley, who welcomed the NCF Rising Stars to the programme and explained why Carterwood supports the new cohort to attend the conference for free.

Enhancing skills
Amongst established events with our partners this year, such as a workshop on diet and nutrition with apetito and a technology and data day with Person Centred Software, was a media training session with Altura Learning. This impressed on the NCF Rising Stars the importance of presenting oneself positively across different forms of media, teaching them tools for how to achieve this, as well as practical skills such as learning to read from an autocue. Caroline Coogan, NCF Rising Star from New Outlook Housing Association reflected on this, saying, ‘the skills that I have learnt will be used daily, especially the techniques to answer difficult questions and being aware of facial expressions.’

One key outcome of the programme is for the NCF Rising Stars to have an understanding of their own individual journeys, from the beginning of their careers to where they are now and where they want to be in the future. Care Management Matters interviews each NCF Rising Star and gives them the opportunity to reflect and review. Sam Stuart, Registered Manager at WCS Care summed up the experience, saying, ‘I found this to be the most beneficial in a lot of different ways. It made me evaluate my journey within care so far, and also what I want in the future, it made me see how far I have come and how far I have to go and all of the amazing opportunities I’ve experienced within my journey. It has also allowed me to realise that I have helped other people including staff, family members and residents in the 15 years I have been in care.’

Engaging in opportunities
A highlight of the 2018 NCF Rising Stars programme was the invitation to the House of Lords to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the report, A Positive Choice by the Wagner Committee, with the opportunity to meet with people who have had significant influence on the sector, including Gillian Wagner DBE, Baron Norman Fowler, Lord Warner, and Andrea Sutcliffe CBE.

New to the NCF Rising Stars Programme for 2018 was a focus on staffing and teams. Skills for Care’s 2018 State of the Adult Social Care and Workforce in England report highlighted the challenges the sector is facing and found that the rate of staff turnover was more than 30% in the previous 12 months. We were therefore delighted when Founder of Sticky People and Care Friends, Neil Eastwood came on board to host an interactive masterclass on recruitment and retention.

Neil shared his lessons in best practice, key skills and resources in attracting, sourcing and keeping quality staff. This masterclass with Neil marked the end of the 2018 programme but the peer support will continue and we will watch and support the NCF Rising Stars’ career development with interest.

NCF Rising Stars 2019
We were overwhelmed with the response to the call for nominations for the 2019 NCF Rising Stars Programme and we are delighted to announce the successful candidates for NCF Rising Stars 2019:

  • Pam Casey, Abbeyfield Society.
  • Charlotte Sehmi, Optalis Ltd.
  • Rebecca Ogujor, Salvation Army.
  • Philip Smith, Pilgrims Friends.
  • Adam Roberts, Norsecare.
  • Jo Burnell, Guild Care.
  • Triinu Org, Friends of the Elderly.
  • Sam Pycroft, St Monica Trust.
  • Kelly Hartley, The Fremantle Trust.
  • Nicolas Kee Mew, Avante Care and Support.
  • Faye Upton, Amica Care.
They will join the NCF team and their mentors at the NCF Annual Conference on 5th June at the Tower Hotel in London.

This is my seventh year working in the social care sector and leadership has never been so important. I am convinced that by working together with partners and members, we will drive forward the next generation of leaders in the adult social care sector.

Helen Glasspool is Events and Partnership Officer at National Care Forum. 
Email: helen.glasspool@nationalcareforum.org.uk Twitter: @NCFCareForum
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