I was lucky enough to have my first placement of my MSc Occupational Therapy course at bOunceT. What struck me most was the person-centred nature of their practice; this is a company that really values and listens to the perspectives of parents and carers.
I also appreciated how much effort went in to creating enjoyable and engaging play experiences for the service users. Recognizing that sometimes enabling people to have enjoyable experiences is enough, and not putting too much pressure on people to participate or perform occupations if this is not feasible for them, is a value shared with core occupational therapy theory. I also began to understand that Occupational Therapists can be ‘activity based’ in their practice, not only ‘occupation based’ e.g. doing handwriting tasks to get better at handwriting. However, I have been learning about the need to keep my practice as ‘occupation focused’ as possible!
Seeing such clear links between theory and practice made me keen to be part of a service that truly keeps occupational therapy (and occupational science) at its core – whilst providing such inclusive (and fun!) opportunities for purposeful play.
So, just over 1 year later, and 6 months away from qualifying as an occupational therapist, I was still thinking about my placement with bOunceT. I wanted to experience more that this company had to offer! I spoke to Callum about joining as a Play Assistant at the weekends…I was glad he said yes! However, the weekend I was due to start, lockdown began due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
In no time, the bOunceT team had rallied to respond to the needs of their service users in this uncertain time; fortunately for me they needed an extra pair of hands to help! I spent that summer coordinating bookings, talking to families online and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning the therapy room to keep it open for families to access safely.
Throughout this time, it became clear that having some accessible play ideas would be useful for families to make the most out of their family led sessions in the therapy room and may also be helpful to enable meaningful play at home. The bOunceT team were keen to explore this idea and that’s how the Play Resource Officer (PRO) role came to be! The ‘output’ of this innovative and diverse (but core OT work) now can be seen here – Meaningful Moments!
Over the last year and a half since working part-time and full-time, bOunceT has changed and developed so much! An example below is a snap shot of how our services are now structured. I am grateful to have been able to contribute to this service development, whilst being able to develop the organisations first-ever products: of course it is our Meaningful Moments!
To find out more about my role(s), diverse experience, and reflections as an Occupational Therapist doing ‘core OT’ work in the 3rd sector – listen to my episode on bOunceT’s podcast, Meaningful Conversation!