Lesley’s ‘Streets Ahead’ when it comes to healthcare

Lesley Anderson

Borders College lecturer Lesley Anderson was delighted to have recently taken part in a live Facebook conference, aimed at providing support and advice to people with disabilities and mental health problems throughout the Scottish Borders.

Lesley was invited to speak at the Streets Ahead live conference and delivered a presentation based around the importance of reaching out and being able to help those in need, particularly during the lockdown period.

Initially talking about her time as a trainee mental health nurse, she went on to speak about the College and how they contribute greatly to the Health & Social Care sector through excellent tuition and the state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Borders College Technology Enhanced Care Hub (BTECH).

A great believer in providing help, support and accommodation to those most in need, Lesley also spoke about how we should all embrace the digital revolution – using the BTECH facility as a great example of future learning and how this can impact on people’s lives for the better.

Lesley also delivered some words of advice to the viewers, saying:

“We try and encourage people to be empowered in their own health and wellbeing and taking an active role in their lives can make all the difference.”

She went on to talk about the students, adding:

"We are looking for students who can be flexible, agile and resilient that will embrace technology, creating a confident healthcare workforce who can help individuals maintain their independence and their sense of achievement, allowing them to lead ‘a great life’"

– a theme Lesley used throughout.

Lesley finished off by saying what Borders College can offer to enable ‘a great life’ to those with disabilities, adding:

“We can train the workforce of the future, upskill and support the current workforce, support family and friends and empower individuals, all key to providing the best health and social care for those who need it.”

Introduced by Streets Ahead Chair Robert Johnson and presented by Chief Executive Officer Sandy Devers, the conference also involved key messages from people with lived experience, as well as the Scottish Government, SCLD and Glasgow Disability Alliance, with Annette Pyle, Senior Policy Manager from Scottish Government and Charlie McMillan from SCLD joining for a Q&A session. Questions and messages of support were also given through the live Facebook feed.

Streets Ahead began life when people with learning disabilities were being discharged from long term care. A group of families got together to help people live independent lives in the community.

For many years they have been supporting people with learning disabilities. More recently, their support has extended to working with people with mental health problems and dementia.

Their personal outcome journey is to aspire to be champions of helping people get to where they want to be in life. This means committing to a person-centred approach, recognising what’s important to people.

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