HISC Turns Ten
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
A huge milestone for an organisation with such humble beginnings. We talk to founder, Caroline Jurdon to find out how it all started and what's happened along the way.
Taking my first steps as a newly qualified homeopath reminded me of when I passed my driving test and my first journey without L plates. Could I do this? Was I good enough to go solo?
I was fortunate to get a job in a clinic, working alongside other more experienced practitioners who provided invaluable advice and support in those early days. So when I found myself supervising a very skilled, but nervous, new homeopath 15 years later, I knew it was time to repay the debt.
This was 2009, when homeopathic practice was facing a new set of challenges compared to the 90s when I had started out. My supervisee was struggling to get out there and see clients, so I suggested she worked as a volunteer within a mainstream setting to help build her confidence and experience.
Our first project was in partnership with a NHS mental health day-centre, where service-users could access a range of holistic and complementary services. Our 3-hour, weekly homeopathy clinic proved to be an extraordinary success and it wasn’t long before we needed another homeopath on board to keep up with demand.
I was interested in monitoring our results by using a system called ‘MYMOP’ (Measure Your Medical Outcome Profile). This approach collects user feedback and encourages clients to engage with and measure the success of their own treatment. Many projects and practitioners don’t monitor their practice and, as a result don’t know how many people they have worked with, or how successful they have been. Using the MYMOP model meant that we could be more professional, more sustainable and - if successful - more fund-able.
The results spoke for themselves and in 2010, we secured local funding to be able to continue and expand our offer. By 2011, we wanted to professionalise even further, by paying ourselves a wage and by creating a more secure and formalised structure. We were building a homeopathic social enterprise and HISC was born!
Back then, our activities were firmly Brighton-based. But we had a vision for a broader reach to the whole of the Sussex Community (hence the ‘Sussex’ in our name). Today HISC has four projects working with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, and mental health. It is still based primarily in Brighton and Hove, although since 2017, the group has been working in partnership with ‘Safe in Sussex’ which supports people affected by domestic abuse in West Sussex through refuges and outreach programmes.
Where we go next is yet to be seen.
Wish HISC a happy birthday and help us keep going for another ten years. Donate here