Nov 2007 - Home Managers Away Days 2007

On a sunny Monday morning in November three groups of Oxfordshire Managers set off on the journey to Centre Parcs Elveden Forest in Suffolk armed with their instructions for the journey and presentation challenge.   The journey was to be the subject of the presentation each group would be presenting the following day to Nigel Reed and the county team.   Three very cute teddy bears were taken to the groups before their departure along with information packs for the Away Days; the reason for the teddy bears was they were an essential part of the challenge tasks for the journey, namely 1) take three photos of your team teddy bear a) beside water b) a high as you can get it and c) sitting on the knee of a complete stranger, 2) find out one fact for each member of your team that you did not know before the journey and 3) collect an item found on the journey beginning with the letters O.S.J.C.T. (5 items).  




"Sinbad" "Jayne" and "Savman" at county office before setting off on their journey...








The guidelines for the 20min presentation were that every team member should speak covering what happened on your journey.   Managers got together in their groups in advance of the journey and had time after arriving at Centre Parcs to complete their PowerPoint presentations on laptops adding in the photos taken on the way.   Once Managers were happy with their presentations there was chance to wind down in the County Director ’s villa with a Scottish themed evening meal of scotch broth and haggis wrapped in chicken, accompanied by a whisky or two and a comical Nessie story in which there were grammatical errors to find.


The Tuesday was the start of the official programme and first on the agenda were the presentations.   All three groups presented extremely well with funny tales of their journeys and interesting information on the places visited on the way (or in the imagination as one group showed quite ingeniously!).   All three teddy bears had an exciting time too judging by the photographs!   At the end of the three presentations Nigel Reed and the county team deciding on the winning presentation who received a few gifts but all the teams had done exceptionally well with all the planning, preparations and delivery of each presentation.












The rest of the day continued on the theme of ‘presentation’ with Dawn Matthews-Smith giving a presentation on networking and then after lunch Barbara Doyle, Training Manager, delivering a session on report writing followed by Nigel Reed reminding us of the role of the humble comma.   Dawn finished the day by reviewing the general resident quality survey outcomes and where enhancements could be made, followed by Rick Solomon, Catering Advisor, who talked about catering and laundry improvements.


The evening took on a different dimension for the Christmas Dinner – the theme was Arabian Nights and everyone dressed up to look the part.   The group photo unfortunately does not do justice to some of the individual outfits, many hand-made, hired or bought, but everyone was dressed to theme.   After the delicious meal, there were a few pre-prepared games and quizzes with prizes and much merriment and Christmas spirit.











The programme for Wednesday started with Nigel Reed giving a presentation to the Managers on the Trust strategy followed by Dawn Matthews-Smith presenting the Oxfordshire strategy and objectives.   After the morning break which included some delightful Danish pastries, there was free time for the Managers to work on their business plans and budgets.


The final event of the programme before Managers departed was a game of Adventure Golf which highlighted those keen golfers and those with just pure luck!   Luckily the weather was dry for the duration and even the sun shined on that happy afternoon.   The Managers headed back on their straight forward return journeys to Oxfordshire once the results had been counted and the overall winner announced.


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