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Bernard Kershaw, County Emergency Planning Officer, Lancashire County Council – Resources Directorate - Emergency Planning Section

 

To whom it may concern

 

As Head of Emergency Planning for Lancashire County Council. I am pleased to have the opportunity to recommend the work of Marion Gibson in preparing people from different organisations for the difficult task of responding to emergencies and helping those affected.

 

It is a feature of emergency planning in the United Kingdom that responders come from different organisations and with varying levels of training and experience.  It is vitally important that people who are providing help and assistance have common methodology for their work.   The courses run by Marion have been invaluable in ensuring that responders can approach their work from the same conceptual framework thus ensuring that an enhanced service is provided to people affected by the emergency. Equally important is Marion’s enthusiasm and approach to her work and the participants on the courses.  A wealth of experience is brought to bear on the course ensuring that the practical reality of the challenges that have to be faced are not lost sight of; not least the need for responders to ensure that they care for themselves and each other.

 

To date Lancashire County Council have sponsored eight International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) courses which were delivered by Marion as an accredited Trainer for that Foundation, both for its own staff and other agencies that would work alongside the Council in responding to emergencies. The feedback and critique has been outstanding and a testimony to Marion’s expertise in this area of work and her commitment.  

 

Bernard Kershaw, County Emergency Planning Officer

 

Lancashire County Council – Resources Directorate - Emergency Planning Section

Red Rose Hub, Bluebell Way, Preston PR2 5PZ        

 

 
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Roddy McNidder, National Health Service Ayrshire and Arran

 

“NHS Ayrshire and Arran has been very fortunate to have worked with and been advised by Dr. Marion Gibson over the last seven years since our first steps in setting up our staff care service based on best practice and through accredited training which Dr Gibson provided.

 

Having attended a conference hosted by the Royal College of Physicians in Glasgow at which Dr Gibson was one of the speakers we have had an ongoing professional relationship with her which has encompassed initial training in Critical Incident Stress Management for a small group of staff leading to the development of a core CISM team within our organisation.  Dr Gibson has been involved in the development of our mental wellbeing for staff programme with regard to CISM and has acted as advisor and mentor for us as we have developed an integrated staff support service which provides staff with eight different options of care.

 

With Dr Gibson’s academic contacts we have had the opportunity for evaluation at post graduate level of our practice and also the opportunity to meet and hear many professionals involved in the field of trauma both within the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.”

 

Roddy McNidder - Critical Incident Stress Co-ordinator

 
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Terje Bjerkholt, Team Leader of the Crisis Preparedness Team - The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA)

 

December 2007

 

To whom it may concern:

 

As Team Leader of the Crisis Preparedness Team, which is part of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), we recruited Marion Gibson on to our team 7 years ago as an experienced Practitioner and Trainer in the provision of Psychological Support following traumatic incidents.

 

Our International team of four has undertaken  training to all denominations of Chaplains, Volunteer Workers, Port Authorities, Ship Owners, Local Politicians, and Representatives of the Maritime Trade Unions representing the maritime industries around the world who were gathered at major conferences held in the Philippines, South America, India, USA, Africa, Poland and Cyprus.

 

We met a wide variety of challenges of language, cultural sensitivity, local laws and the needs of those involved in Teams working in major Ports and isolated lone workers in minor ports. As a Team we have had to listen and then to adapt our training to meet challenges as murders on board, suicide incidents, ill treatment of seafarers, illegal immigrant ship, serious injuries to seafarers as a result of accidents on board and multiple deaths when ships are lost, piracy and ships involved in child abduction.

 

We have also had to learn to undertake teaching while working with local interpreters. 

 

Our training Course lasts for two days and includes such subjects as Strategic Planning for responding to a maritime disaster, Collaboration with other emergency Services, Care of the bereaved, the injured seafarers, their relatives and fellow crew members.

 

We are now involved in committing this training and work to an interactive DVD which will be distributed globally to all organisations within ICMA to assist enhance the skills of all staff and volunteers. Marion is heavily involved in this creative and innovative work.

Marion's particular contribution to the Teaching programme was 'Planning for People care in the aftermath of tragedy and Care for the Helpers'.

 

She has been fully involved in the planning of these courses and the delivery of the programme which has required a flexible and sensitive approach. In this task her experience and skill was invaluable. The other members of the team always noticed that throughout her time, in the various locations, she was involved in many informal confidential sessions with individuals who sought her advice and support for their individual traumas. She has listened to many hours of horrific recollections and seemed to be able to help the individuals in a unique way that was appropriate for their particular need.

 

She is a highly valued member of the team.

 

She is an example of how lessons learned in responding to the community challenges of civil disturbance in Northern Ireland can be used to assist others who face similar levels of trauma in very different circumstances.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Terje Bjerkholt

Team leader

Crisis Preparedness Committee

 

Ilebakken 8a

1678 Krakeroy

Norway

 

+4790129559

terje@bjerkholt.org

 
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