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One Water Briefing - Workplace Staff Event - 30th March 2009

Chris Kane Chris Kane | 10:17 UK time, Friday, 3 April 2009

On Monday afternoon this week we held the first ever pan BBC Workplace briefing event.  To mark the occasion we held this session in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London.

The focal point for this groundbreaking session was a briefing on my trip to Lesotho in February.  Having committed to feeding back on this very unusual journey I was determined to do something different. 

Thankfully, lady luck was on my side, and I was delighted that the two key people behind One Water and PlayPumps agreed to join me to share our story.

In securing the Radio Theatre and the services of Mark Diamond and his highly professional Radio Resources team, complemented by Anthony Styles and his Audience Services team, we pushed ahead with an initial 280+ representatives of the 2000 strong Workplace team.

Having completed the integration of English Region Facilities Management last year, I was very keen to ensure a good representation across the entire Workplace operation.  On the day I was delighted to see lots of familiar faces and to meet other colleagues for the first time.  It's great to see people from Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester joining the London based teams as one BBC.

In discussions following the event I was struck by the comments of colleagues based outside of London and this is a topic I will return to in a later blogpost.

The agenda was split into two parts with the initial session focusing on One Water and the Lesotho trip.  The rest of the agenda covered a review of the year gone by, the current state of Public Service Broadcasting and our own plans for the future.  I will return to the latter next week; the remainder of this blogpost recounts the One Water story.

I was so pleased that Trevor Field, co founder of PlayPumps, and Duncan Goose, CEO of the One Water Foundation came along to help me present the story. Trevor is based in South Africa so it was extremely fortunate that his holiday to the UK coincided with our event.

Leading up to the event, I was somewhat apprehensive as we had never mounted an event of this scale and size before.  It was made all the more fraught given that my bit was in fact a 6 minute video based on an ad-lib piece to camera from a school in Lesotho!  I was fine going through the motions during the interview and school visit but as we progressed through the editing process my nervousness grew.  How would it look to others? Did I cover all the key points? However, thanks to the talents of Toby Richards (our extraordinary cameraman) the end product was fantastic. We hope to be able to stream this film here shortly - do check back soon.

To give you some further insight into the One Water product have a look at their video clip here.

For me the entire experience of travelling to Lesotho together with learning more about PlayPumps and One Water was truly life changing.  This is another topic which merits a separate post shortly.

What does this all mean, I ask myself? When you return from a trip of this nature you want to do more.  However I also mulled over questions such as: 'Should we focus on Lesotho or Africa? What about other parts of the world?  Should we think about deserving causes closer to home?'

There was no doubt in my mind that the answer to the last is a resounding yes.  But we have to start somewhere so I came up with the concept of a three tier framework for worthy causes.  At the global level I intend to build on the One Water/PlayPumps relationship.  Moving closer to home I want to strengthen the links with Children in Need.  Then at a local level we can focus on supporting neighbourhood or community causes.

To ensure we can progress these initiatives, I need some helpers from across BBC Workplace so, if you're interested in lending a hand, or you have any suggestions, please let me know.

There's so much more I want to share on this that I could stay writing for hours!  But let's call a halt for this moment and stay tuned for the next episode.




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