We’re always looking for innovative ways of working to improve the services we offer to customers, and to support our people to do the best work of their lives.

Earlier this year we were really pleased to welcome Claire, a clinical psychology student from The University of Sheffield, to work with the team at Cuthbert Bank – our temporary accommodation for families experiencing homelessness.

Throughout Claire’s six-month placement she provided the Cuthbert Bank team with regular group sessions where everyone focused on reflective practices, and received support to talk about the emotional impact of their work. This partnership was a really exciting collaboration, not least because it was the first time that the university had worked with a non-NHS based organisation. We are really proud to have been involved in this process and to have contributed towards the important evidence and research around the need for clinical psychologists to be based in non-NHS settings.

Most importantly, our team at Cuthbert Bank had an enormously positive experience and gained so much from their time with Claire, resulting in a positive impact on the people receiving their support. Some of the feedback from the team taking part in the sessions focused on better wellbeing, a greater sense of confidence in supporting customers, and an improved team spirit:

“We talk to each other much more now and we think things through out loud in the office so much more. The sessions have made us more confident in our decision making, they’ve made us think differently, and it’s given us a time each week to all come together where we focus completely on us. We’ve never had anyone with Claire’s expertise before and I can really see how it has helped with the team’s wellbeing too. We all love what we do, but it can be challenging at times. With the tools that we’ve gained through Claire’s time and knowledge we’ve been able to support our customers in different ways.”

Cuthbert Bank Team

After the success of this partnership we will be looking for further ways to incorporate this kind of work into our organisation, and we’d been keen to hear from other organisations who are looking to do the same.