Living Well Programme Tutor

feb

In my role as an Living Well Programme (LWP) Tutor, I deliver self-management courses to patients who are living with long-term health conditions. We empower patients to take more control of their own health by giving them skills and techniques to help them to better manage and to live well.  When I attended the LWP myself, I have to be honest, it was just a necessary step I had to take so I could train to become a tutor, because I already knew how to ‘self-manage’ my long-term condition… didn’t I? It turns out that actually there was a lot more I could be doing to minimise the impact my MS was having on my life!

The two most unique aspects of the LWP are that all of the tutors have long term health conditions themselves, meaning that we can completely understand and empathise with all participants; secondly, having attended the course ourselves means we see the course dynamic and content from the participants point of view. The main message from the LWP course is that regardless of what long term health condition you have, we all face the same challenges, many of which can be overcome via self-management strategies.

The EPP course is presented by two volunteer tutors. We do not ‘preach’ to the participants, we give them useful information on a variety of topics and share our own personal self-management practises.  Each of the 6 sessions has carefully timed components which ensure all content is covered and every participant gets the opportunity to share their own experiences. 

3 years on from training as an LWP Tutor, I continue to volunteer because it enables me to give something back to a service that has positively impacted on my own life. I also find there are always strategies to learn from others and it continually reminds me of the principles of the program. I would recommend the LWP to anyone because having a long-term condition is an organic process – priorities continually change and meeting other people dealing with long term conditions always opens up new perspectives.

Karen Aylmore, LWP Manager, SCFT said “We’re so grateful to all of our fantastic volunteers.  They do an amazing job and Cat is really helping us to build capacity in her locality enabling us to offer more courses and help more patients.