This weekend sees the 50th anniversary of TV’s “Doctor Who”, an event that has not gone entirely unnoticed by the BBC.
There is a truism which states that your favourite Time Lord is the one you grew up with. Mine was Jon Pertwee, if you must know, but I’m sure there are those of you to whom Tom Baker, Patrick Troughton or even – and I sincerely doubt this – Sylvester McCoy mean more.
In recent years, some of the Whovian forums have questioned if The Doctor has autism or Asperger Syndrome – an idea flatly denied by recent incarnate Matt Smith – but interestingly one of the show’s writers Paul Cornell posted a link from his Twitter feed to a blog post dealing with the connection between the series and those with Asperger’s:
Anyway, you can make your own mind up when “The Day of the Doctor” airs this Saturday at 7.50pm on BBC1.
And now to business.
If this stream of consciousness represented a TV series, today’s entry would be the flashback episode. Not in a “let’s cobble together some old clips and pass it off as entertainment” type way, you understand, but rather as a gently reflective glance over our shoulders at the past few weeks and an opportunity to apprise you of some of the updates across Imagine’s services.
We return firstly to Mathew who, you may recall, is Imagine’s man in Cumbria which – to draw a “Thunderbirds” analogy – is the equivalent of being John Tracy in the Thunderbird 5 space station.
When we last met Mat, he was involved in a project at the University of Cumbria to find a social work placement student. Mat has since been on the requisite training course and the university has identified a list of potential candidates. In the meantime, Imagine’s Workforce Development Manager Adrian Weights has delivered a training course on campus with service user John, who talked about Peer Support. The session, says Adrian “went down really well”, and there are new potentials in the offing.
Some weeks ago, in deepest Croydon, we met Dudley who looks after the teams there and in Sutton. Dudley has now been appointed Deputy Manager of the organisation’s London Services. “These last few weeks been a very busy time,” says Dudley, who will continue to manage the Croydon and Sutton offices in addition to his new role, “and I’m looking forward to promoting and developing our services even further.”
Early November saw us in Wigan, birthplace of musicians Richard Ashcroft and Georgie Fame, comedy actors Ted Ray and Roy Kinnear, not forgetting Imagine’s very own Head of Women’s Services, Lyndsey Lloyd.
We were in town for the launch of Imagine’s Wigan Services that incorporate Peer Support, Vocational, Befriending, Social Inclusion and Independent Living support services. A few weeks on, we caught up with one of the team’s Peer Support workers, Iris.
“Things are great and busy,” she says. “I’m working with groups making jewellery and painting glass, and I have one client who is interested in setting up a board games group. Every week,in Leigh library, we have an artist who teaches us how to paint. I really enjoy it even though I am rubbish, but the clients love it!”
Wigan Services manager Maggie and her team have featured in the Wigan Evening News, which will also be following up a story on one of the service users.
Next week sees Imagine out and about in the centre of Liverpool. On Tuesday (26th November), there’s a Social Care Recruitment Fayre at the Liner Hotel, behind Lime Street station, between 10am-3pm. You can come along and find out more about the organisation and meet some of the team.
Then, for two days beginning on Thursday 28thNovember, the Peer Support group’s pop-up shop opens in Williamson Square, a few minutes’ walk from Lime Street. As well as promoting Imagine out in the community, the shop will be raising money for the Rosie Childs Centre via the sale of handmade Christmas decorations and a selection of new and pre-loved toys, books and CDs. Part of the city’s first Urban Winter Village, Imagine’s pop-up shop will be open on both days from 10am.
For more information on the Urban Winter Village: http://culture.org.uk/tuwv2013/
And finally, an apology. A few days ago, in a desperate bid to court controversy, we stated – wholly inaccurately – that Imagine’s Housing Manager Mike was from Wigan. We now accept that this is entirely untrue and have since amended the error, vowing solemnly never to make the same mistake again. We would like to apologise to Mike and wish his beloved Manchester United all the very best for the rest of the season.