News: recent work

Film-making Residency in Forensic Mental Health

Andy Watson

Our team have just returned from a brilliant week working with staff and service users living and working in a medium secure hospital in Hertfordshire - www.cygnethealth.co.uk. We had been invited to work with the service users to facilitate an exploration of their experience of stigma with the ultimate aim of making a short film.

Feedback has been fantastic and we would like to thank the patients and the OT staff who worked alongside us during the week for their enthusiasm, ideas and commitment. Some staff comments include:

"Geese have given both staff and service users a brilliant week where we have all learnt so much."

"Service users identified that the experience has helped them grow as individuals and developed in confidence."

"The Geese team worked brilliantly with both staff and service users."

More information about our work in forensic mental health settings can be found here

Geese collaborate with Professor Harry Ferguson

Keshena Bowie

Knocking on the Door

The Home Visit and Social Work Practice

Bringing research, theory and practice to life with Geese and leading social work academic and author, Professor Harry Ferguson

We have teamed up with Professor Harry Ferguson to deliver this training event, which will merge a traditional key-note lecture with vivid theatre performances to create an informative, memorable and enjoyable opportunity for learning.

“Little attention is given to... the practice of home visiting and the emotions and challenges of accessing children it gives rise to. Although it is the methodology through which most child protection goes on, the home visit is virtually ignored…” This training will seek to redress that by placing the home visit at the centre of child protection practice. In more detail it will explore:

  • the lived experience of delivering practice in people’s most personal spaces 
  • negotiating the private areas of a family’s life – their home, bedroom, emotional world 
  • the use of movement and the importance of touch
  • working with carers / parents who are resistant, aggressive or deceitful
  • spaces for reflection and organisational support

The aim of the training will be to provide a stimulating and safe environment in which delegates will have the opportunity to reflect upon some of the key practice challenges involved in protecting children and will draw upon Harry Ferguson’s seminal text Child Protection Practice “A must read for students, social workers and other professions involved in the protection of children.”

Harry Ferguson is Professor of Social Work at the University of Nottingham. A qualified social worker, he has been conducting empirical studies into social work practice since the early 1990s. His research seeks to illuminate the world of practice, the complex relationships that exist between social workers and service users and the impact of interventions. He recently completed a major study of social work practice and child protection that involved observation of practitioners as they engaged in face to face work with children and parents, mainly on home visits, with the aim of increasing understandings of how best to protect and promote the well-being of children and help parents and other carers. Out of this he has developed publications and presentations on the lived experience of social work on home visits and complexities of how social workers sometimes do not engage effectively with children and parents and the skilled creative work that is involved when they (frequently) do.

Knocking on the Door can be adapted to a half or full day training and would include the following:

  • An interactive theatre performance by Geese
  • Keynote presentation from Harry Ferguson
  • Vignettes to accompany the keynote and illustrate the key learning points

To book or for further information, please contact us at info@geese.co.uk

Post-traumatic stress in the military

Keshena Bowie

Last year, we were commissioned by RAF St Mawgan to devise a performance exploring PTSD for returning service personnel.  The piece was very well received and we went on to reprise the performance at RAF Brize Norton as well as being invited back to St Mawgan to perform on Remembrance Day next week.  The RAF website contains a very lovely review about the piece, its impact and the importance of talking about PTSD, which you can read if you click here

Engagement and CRC’s

Andy Watson

We were commissioned recently to develop a performance for a local Community Rehabilitation Company which would enable their entire staff team to think about their roles, especially in light of the split in Probation services which has come about as a consequence of the recent Transforming Rehbilitation agenda. Our performances for staff are designed to create spaces in which people feel able to have meaningful conversations, creating a forum in which complex questions can be debated openly. This piece also asked challenging questions about the nature of building relationships with people when time is limited; the value of communication as opposed to completing paperwork; how probation can work with the whole person, not just the bit of the person that has committed an offence; and how probation staff can be a pivotal component in the desistance journey. In addition, our brief was to motivate and enthuse the staff team about the value of their work. This morning we received feedback from the delegates: 

It was a creative approach that really forced the audience to think about their responses and the fact that it was brilliantly rehearsed, that so much work had gone into producing it; slick

What stuck out for me was the in-depth understanding of our roles, from lots of perspectives.

Fantastic. The way they portray staff and offenders was just spot on. 

It was the most interesting part of the whole day. I was really impressed by their knowledge of our terminology and what the service is going through. It made it more believable. 

Interactice and fun!

Very thought provoking...

Without exception, everyone enjoyed the presentation and above all, found it a very useful learning opportunity.