3 minutes with Hayley Clarke

Whether she’s climbing mountains, helping girls play sport, representing students or meeting decision-makers, Hayley Clarke wants to make a positive difference.


Meet Ms Motivator 

What makes someone a good influencer?

I certainly think that being able to influence is a skill that you can develop and improve upon. I have always enjoyed problem-solving situations and gaining an understanding of both sides of an argument, which I feel helps. 
Trying to make a positive change and being part of the process is something I am passionate about. But along the way I have learned a lot from many great mentors and colleagues and I have tried to learn more and more and put this into practice. 

Give three tips on influencing

A top three is tough! Can I have four? First, you need to develop effective communication strategies. Second, you need to understand who you are trying to influence. Third, you need to be knowledgeable about the topic under discussion but also able to see the bigger picture. Finally, I would say don’t be put off by someone’s job title, status or banding. Everyone – at whatever stage of their career – has something to offer. Different voices and opinions need to be heard. 

Have you held any influencing events with the CSP – or are any planned?

Yes! I am very excited as I have recently been appointed as vice chair of the CSP’s South Central network. We are currently making plans to hold what we hope will be an exciting influencing event on 28 September. The title is Physiotherapy: This is what WE can do for YOU. We want members to invite along contacts whom they would like to influence and hope to start conversations with key local decision-makers. Last year, I proposed a CSP motion at the TUC Disabled Workers conference in London. With Cliff Towson, I represented the CSP disabled members network. My motion called for better support for workers with dyslexia. More than five others unions spoke in support and it was passed unanimously (see here). 
I am a past chair of the CSP students network, which gave me lots of opportunities to network and influence. I am also a member of the CSP education awards panel, which determines annual funding for a range of education and research activities (courses, presentations, study visits). In my spare time, I am head coach with the Hayling Island netball team in Hampshire.

Are too many physiotherapy staff reluctant to ‘blow their own trumpets’?

Yes! There are so many examples of physiotherapists – whether they are students, graduates or support workers, clinical or non-clinical, working in  the NHS or in private practice (the list could go on!) – who are doing amazing work but not getting the message out there. This does need to change – not only should good work be celebrated but it is also an important opportunity for others to learn from excellent practice. Every CSP member has a role to play in telling others about the amazing work of physiotherapists and promoting it widely.

You are answering these questions on holiday – do you ever switch off?

I love what I do and being involved with different projects.  But it’s so important to switch off and I certainly try to make sure there is always some down time. I love playing and coaching sports, and compete in obstacle course races. At the moment, I am training to climb Mount Elbrus in southern Russia, the highest summit in Europe and Russia, later this year, which is certainly a different kind of challenge. And, by the way, I would recommend Morocco, where I am now, as a holiday destination: the weather is amazing. 

What motivates you?

I feel like what motivates you changes to some extent, depending on your age and the circumstances, for example. But I have always been motivated by wanting to make positive changes. 
Change isn’t always easy and I think we are seeing that in the profession and at the CSP at the minute with topics such as the governance review.  It all comes down to wanting to make things better for others and I’m sure many physiotherapists can relate to that. fl
  • Hayley Clarke is vice chair of the CSP’s South Central network and a former student representative on CSP Council.
Hayley Clarke, vice chair of the CSP’s South Central network and a former student representative on CSP Council

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