Shaun Morton, FLNG Co-Production Worker, left our programme in April to move onto a new role. In this blog he shares his journey with us.
“This has been by far the best part of my job, getting to work with our inspirational experts.”
I joined FLNG back in September 2015 as a level 2 service navigator which was a post that was open to people with lived experience of complex needs. When I was successful in getting this job I had very little experience in the health and social care sector and complex needs. What I did have though was a lot of personal experience and transferable skills and passion to be in a good position to be able to navigate people with complex needs through the system.
The first six months was a lot of learning for myself, getting to know the services around the Newcastle and Gateshead area as my previous role had been in County Durham.
Supporting people to access services was so rewarding but it did come with challenges, some that tested your boundaries and you as a person and your beliefs.
Fulfilling Lives is a learning programme and part of our role was to navigate clients through services and identify barriers within these services around the four areas of substance misuse, mental health, criminal justice and homelessness.
Within the first nine months of my role I progressed and was offered the opportunity of a promotion to a level 1 navigator which I grabbed with both hands. I did that role for the next 15 months and I was based over at Advocacy Centre North in Newcastle, now known as Connected Voice.
When the structure of the programme changed and the front line staff became known as system change practitioners, I moved over to Changing Lives and then became seconded to Oasis Community Housing. I carried on doing this role for the next 18 months when I decided to apply for the co-production role.
Over the last twelve months I have had the pleasure to work alongside our Experts by Experience Network. This has been by far the best part of my job, getting to work with our inspirational experts.
Using their voice of lived experience to co-produce and help services develop across Newcastle and Gateshead has been fantastic, the work that they have carried out has even been recognised nationally. Everyone you should be proud of yourselves because I’m proud of you all.
As I prepare to move onto pastures new I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for helping me progress along my journey, from the experts to the staff who have worked with closely over the last 4 1/2 years.
I wish you all the very best in the future and please keep up the good work that you are doing. Each and every one of you are inspirational.
Over to the Experts by Experience Network
As a champion of co-production, it’s only right that the Experts By Experience Network share their thoughts as Shaun bids farewell to the group:
- “Don’t lose touch, you will be a huge miss for the network.”
- “You’re going to be a massive miss Shaun and your new team will be lucky to have such an outgoing easy man to get along with and one thing I know is that your commitment to others is amazing. Good luck in your new job and with the new chapter to your life.”
- “Thank you from us all at EBE. You will be a huge miss to us all but I know you will be just fab in your next venture. I took from you a lot of hope, I saw in you what life could hold for us with lived experience. You are very professional and good at what you do and I know from speaking to other experts just how valued you are to us all. All the best, not that you’ll need it and thank you for all your hard work. Go smash it.”
- “The first time I met Shaun the thing I noticed first was the big smile he had and straightaway I felt at ease in his company. He has such a big heart and it shows and also being slightly more mature he came across as very respectful and always included everyone in all that he does. He will be a huge asset to his new employer as he has a lot of knowledge to share and I think I speak for everyone at EBE you will be greatly missed.”
- “You have always managed to find time to check we are all ok. You have been an inspiration to many when people have thought there was no hope they simply look at you and see there is.”
- “You have the ability to make people see how they can change their lives and that’s what stood out in you for me. Once again good luck don’t forget us, still pop in to the ebe … we won’t let u forget us anyway…”