An interview with Angela Prentner-Smith
Dyspraxia is a condition that affects around 10% of the British population, yet it’s still generally misunderstood. To mark Dyspraxia Week, we asked our founder and MD Angela Prentner-Smith a few questions about Dyspraxia, her diagnosis, and how it affects her life and work.
When did you first notice you had Dyspraxic traits?
As a child, I was labelled as clumsy. I was the kid that cried in gym class because I found it so hard. My nan used to say I was covered in bruises. Dyspraxia affects your gross motor skills, and your fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are things like running or playing ball. Fine motor skills are things like handwriting. So along with my general clumsiness, I also found handwriting incredibly difficult. Although I could read before I started school, my handwriting was about two years behind everybody else's. My handwriting is still not good. However, during my school years, nothing was picked up. I don’t think Dyspraxia was even a consideration when I was at school. Even now, how many parents would recognise Dyspraxia in their children? Raising awareness about the condition is a priority.
In our fast-paced lives, it's easy to get caught up in our own responsibilities and overlook the immense value of giving back to our communities. However, for two remarkable individuals in our organisation, volunteering has become a life-changing experience. Meet Piotr Zieliński, our Chief Technical Officer, and Leanne, our Communications and Communities Manager. They embody the true spirit of selflessness and dedication, and their volunteer work during National Volunteer Week serves as an inspiration for us all.
Piotr's Impactful Contributions:
While Leanne's journey demonstrates the transformative power of volunteering on a personal level, Piotr Zieliński, our Chief Technical Officer, showcases the impact one individual can have on charitable organisations through their expertise and dedication.
Piotr goes beyond his professional responsibilities, actively engaging with charitable organisations to support their digital transformation efforts. One such organisation is Wellspring Scotland, where he plays a vital role in enhancing mental health initiatives through digital means. Piotr's commitment and technical skills have contributed significantly to advancing the organisation's mission and making a lasting impact on mental health support.
Moreover, Piotr serves as a digital trustee and treasurer for Learning Link Scotland, where his expertise in budgeting and digital transformation has proven invaluable. His innovative approaches to procurement ensure the efficient allocation of resources, allowing the organisation to provide laptops to those in need while minimising costs.
By: Morgane Tanguy, UX Designer at This is Milk
Once a year, BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) organises the ‘Digital Day’. A day where professionals working in digital and technology go back to school, to spend a day with pupils in a school they’ve been matched with.
This year, one of my colleagues and I went to a school. It was the first time I was going back to school, since I left.
We started the day by talking about the digital industry, presented how to respond to a brief and put the pupils in the shoes of people working in a creative agency. The problem they had to solve was the following: “How can digital play a part in improving these experiences, tools, and services to educate customers on sustainability, and make fashion kinder to our planet for you, and for future generations?” for the company Primark.
By: Joe Triccas, Product Manager, Neve
For a long time, I have been left in awe at the great work mental health charities like Samaritans do to help people in difficult times.
Whilst it's not a long-term solution, having someone who doesn't know you to just talk at helps lighten the load and clear your head.
I'm not sure I'd ever be able to work on the phones myself (too many years of customer service roles early in my working life), so the least I could do is help raise funds for Samaritans!
By: Kerry Freeman, Psychological Safety Index Practitioner
Company culture can sometimes be really hard to see when you’re in it. We make 100’s of small modifications to our behaviour to ensure we fit in and get on inside our organisations - that’s just human behaviour. And rather than suffer with cognitive dissonance – that weird feeling you get when you take an action which isn’t in line with your thoughts – we tend to justify or rationalise those modifications, sometimes without even noticing, to continue to fit in.
But there are key moments where your culture will come into sharp relief.
Imagine you’re in a meeting. An idea for a product or service has just been pitched by your manager. Immediately you know 2 things – it’s going to have negative impact on your most vulnerable customers, and your team is going to hate doing it.
By: Al Morris, Head of Client Services at This is Milk
This article was originally published in 2018, and updated in 2022.
See for yourself how much has changed in only four short years.
Pick any 10 people and ask them how much they think our lives will change in the next 10 years.
If you do this, you will no doubt hear a tonne of ideas, concepts, visions & evolution's that could radically change how we perceive the world. To see proof of this, you only need to look back at the last ten years and see how radically our day to day world has changed.
Things like AirBNB, Uber, Spotify, Google Chrome, Oculus, Kickstarter, Netflix and Android have become so integral in our day to day lives that it's hard to remember how things operated before. It's a sign of fantastic design and an overwhelming desire for change.
There has never been a period in time, when so much, so quickly has had such an enormous change in human behavior. So what is next, and if all this change seems too much, what's staying the same?
By Tremis Skeete
Lynn Pilkington is a self-described ‘accidental COVID entrepreneur’, looking at different ways of working and how to bring the most out of people using accessible working environments. This focus has been on fast-forward since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously training to be a therapist, Lynn is acutely aware of how everyone’s brain works differently. She has been passionate about developing workplace inclusion and diversity for years. But the onset of the pandemic has brought many of the issues she’s been working on into sharp focus. Learning remotely and digitally showed her exactly how inadequate some of the processes and models are in today’s world, where sending a link simply isn’t enough.
Taking inspiration from her background in community engagement, digital learning, accessibility, and equality & diversity, along with her own wavy and winding career and learning journey, she is now focused on creating productive ways to bring out the best in people in a new world of work. “The pandemic has offered an opportunity to approach work differently - to ‘Build Back Better’ with new methods, rather than sticking to the way things have been done in the past,” Lynn says.
Welcome to our Pride Month special of Three at Three. In this episode, our Engagement and Inclusion expert Lynn Pilkington interviews Mental Health First Aid Trainer and consultant, Davey Shields.
Davey is an independent Mental Health First Aid Trainer and consultant. He is also the founder of the charity MenTalkHealth which was set up to tell stories around mental health to encourage men and others to talk more.
In our Three@Three web series this week, Al and Steve are joined by Kerry Freeman, the owner of Free Human. Kerry is an expert in FS culture change. Today we are discussing the 3 factors for success in delivering a change road-map.
Al kicks off by asking, what does a healthy culture look like. Kerry suggests that it's important to recognise that there is no one 'cookie-cutter' answer to the question of what makes a great culture. However, Kerry's favourite definition comes from Carolyn Taylor's 'Walking the Talk'.
In this weeks Three@Three discussion, Al and Steve are joined by Jo McCallum, Chief Experience Officer at iDisrupt Digital. With a career in FMCG, drinks and the software industry, Jo has years of experience in leading culture change as part of digital transformation programmes.
We asked Jo three questions on the subject of Cultural Change.