22 Aug

Wardipedia – Generosity


As Action for Happiness put it:

Or Dr Seuss (our second favourite doctor)

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”


Working on a mental health ward requires extraordinary personal and professional generosity, starting with the generosity of imagination which enables staff to see past very difficult (often threatening) patient behaviour to understand what might be provoking this. Staff are incredible in their ability, day in, day out, to put their personal needs to one side and respond to (indeed successfully anticipate) what a patient is going through. Patients themselves can be remarkably generous in the midst of extreme trauma and manage to be attentive and supportive to other patients, and sometimes to staff.

The Ideas here look at the giving of time, self and gifts, including the best presy of the lot: appreciation. They extend to the altruism and empathy that over-rides personal views about how people lead their lives, and include the value to patients of being able to exercise their ability to help others and to be supported by peers.


The 11 Generosity ideas:

34. Appreciative culture. Well done and thank you!

Thank you for visiting Star Wards!

35. Bring yourself to work day.  Me, myself and I

Making the most of staff’s recreational, artistic, linguistic and personal lovelinesses.

36. Role flexibility. Shared interests

More fulfilling work, better use of staff expertise and Trust spending, very patient-friendly. What’s not to like?

37. Arriving and leaving. All my bags are packed

These transitions are so worth the thought, creativity, time and kindness invested in them.

38. Birthdays. Make a wish!

For you’ll be jolly good fellows, if you celebrate patients’ birthdays. For you’ll be jolly good….

39. Café. Tea and empathy

Pop-up cafes are fun, weekly cafes are welcome and fab full-on cafes can provide employment for service users.

40. Senior managers. From board to ward.

Back to the floor, regularly and validatingly.

41. Shopping. Buy in.

The Internet helps, but nothing can replace humans and a hospital shop.

42. Charities. Good feel causes

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Maya Angelou.

43. Going green. Thinking out of the refuse box


44. Gay patients. Somewhere over the rainbow.

20% of lesbian and bisexual women have deliberately harmed themselves compared to 0.4 % of the general population.



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You might be wondering – what difference does Star Wards actually make to mental health wards? It’s a question we continuously ask ourselves, to make sure that we are having a positive impact. Well, we have over 800 wards signed up to receive our resources and, in the past, we have had Star Wards independently evaluated. A micro-summary of what our users have said is that wards who tried Star Wards ideas had:

This is not about us, it is about people like you. These improvements are down to your hard work. And you can check our newsletters for wards doing amazing things right now. So we are told we do help you make a difference – and we want to get better and be here to help you in the future. So, join up, join in and let us know your wonderful ideas – and if you can donate to us or fundraise for us, we would be delighted to hear from you. Thank you for all you do.