The Social Care Curry Club is an opportunity for people (anyone) to come together and discuss social care over curry. A lack of hierarchy is at the heart of Social Care Curry. Anyone can attend; what you do is less important than who you are; we also ask you to leave organisational baggage at the door and not sell stuff. Food is both a common language and a great leveller.
Funnily enough chatting over food isn’t a new idea. The Lunar Men were a dinner club and informal society of industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Brum (more details here). No constitution, minutes, publications or membership survived. In short, the amount of structure was very limited. This was a place where people met over food and discussed ideas they were passionate about (as it happens some of those ideas involved electricity, meteorology and geology). A statue of Boulton (the original host), Watt and Murdoch can be found in Birmingham today opposite the fantastic new library.
Happily you don’t need to be a big wigged aristocrat to attend Social Care Curry (wiggy aristos also welcome). Many people who attend Social Care Curry remark on how intimidating and oddly exciting it is to walk into a room with total strangers and have no clue how the evening will go. So far so good!
Why do we need an opportunity to come together? No-one has ever experienced financial pressures like we are as a sector at present. It impacts on everyone, above all people who use care and support services and carers. The potential for anger, disenfranchisement and isolation are high and tragically for many a part of everyday life. Going for a curry won’t fix this but it does offer two things; connection and a sharing of ideas and experiences. The beauty of the format is it can mean totally different things to everyone who attends. Topics range from caring for people with Alzheimer’s to creative usage of technology in India. Talk or listen to whatever interests you.
Positive change starts with relationships and Social Care Curry offers many opportunities to connect. Equally the big wig wearing Lunar men had it right, formality and rules can kill creativity. The great works of literature were not written in a board room or the greatest songs of our time composed using a stopwatch. “Stop the clock, itzy rhymes with bitzy, what is the song about again? Yeah yeah bikinis, got it.”
Richard Humphries (Kings Fund Fellow and thrice Social Care Curry Club attendee) tweeted the following Charles Handy quote which draws the whole experience together perfectly:
“The hope lies in the unknown, in that second curve if we can find it. The world is up for reinvention in so many ways. Creativity is born in chaos. What we do, what we belong to, why we do it, when we do it and where we do it- these all may be different and they could be better. Change comes from small initiatives which, imitated, become the fashion. We cannot wait for great visions from people, for they are in short supply at the end of our history. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness.”
So, you are welcome to light a little fire with us at the next Social Care Curry on the 6th March.
Venues will be confirmed in the coming weeks and you can book your free ticket at our Eventbrite page (bookings ready late Jan/Feb). All you pay for is the cost of your food and drink.
Matt is an Assistant Director of Adult Social Care at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.