Since the Spring of 2019, following a commitment by the CEOs of the four VISPA members, a number of Collaboration Workshops have been held around the country involving staff and management from each organisation.
142 staff members have attended so far, with most people really enjoying the day and the opportunity to learn more about their colleagues in other organisations, what VISPA is about and plans for the future.
Whilst the core elements of each workshop has been continued, each one has also been slightly different as feedback and suggestions have been taken on board, and changes made to make the day more interesting, understandable and memorable.
The workshops kick off with presentations by staff members on the VISPA Training & Standards Workgroup about their own organisations, and then an opportunity for attendees to talk amongst themselves, get to know each other, and the roles and areas they work in. For those who are relatively new to their organisation, there are some learning inputs around the Eye and Eye Diseases, as well as a group discussion and interaction on Our Approach to Work particularly around person-centred service provision that puts the service user/patient at the heart of what they want and need.
Attendees also get an opportunity to get on their feet and be involved in exercises and training around Orientation and Mobility involving the use of Guide Dogs (kindly provided by Irish Guide Dogs), and Sight-loss Guiding.
Central to the day is getting people to be more aware of and think about opportunities where VISPA can encourage greater collaboration, cooperation and communication in delivering more and better services. As one attendee put it, learning how we can work better, together.