A giant game of snakes and ladders

I’ve been at MacIntyre for over a year now, and it’s safe to say that I love my job. I have met so many amazing people since I started working here and have had a lot of great experiences already.

My role is about telling the stories of MacIntyre. One of the best parts of my job is being able to travel around to different parts of the organisation (I’ve certainly become much more familiar with motorways since I started here!) and take a peek into the lives of both staff and some of the people we support. Not only do I visit various services, but I’ve also been lucky enough to join some of the fantastic groups that we have at MacIntyre.

So far I’ve visited most of the geographical areas we cover. I wish I could write about everyone I’ve met so far and every Great Interaction that I’ve witnessed… but I think that would be slightly too long!

By far the most unusual day I’ve had so far in this role was with the Inspired 4 Training (I4T) group – for all good reasons of course. But when I set off onto the motorway that morning, thinking about what the day might hold, I never thought I’d end up playing a game of giant snakes and ladders.

The game is one of the training tools the group use to demonstrate what Great Interactions look like. It’s a brilliant concept – each time someone lands on a square with an interaction on it, they have to explain if it’s a Great Interaction or a bad interaction, and why they think so. If it’s a Great Interaction, the person can go up the ladder, but if it’s a bad interaction the person has to go all the way to the bottom of the snake.

As well as being amazed at how creative the game was at instilling the message of Great Interactions in a fun and interactive way, I was also amazed at how well the group worked as a team to help each other out. Some of the group members were worried about ‘falling off’ the squares so were cautious about moving from one to the next; but both Alison and Carole (leading the group) made sure everyone was comfortable by helping them count the right number of steps to take, showing them how to role the dice, explaining clearly why each interaction was either Great or not, and encouraging each person to finish the board.

Once I’d finished the game (in third place, I might add) and stood back to take some photos of the group, I realised that I was undoubtedly witnessing heaps of Great Interactions in practice. It was wonderful to be a part of the group for the day and see all of the hard work that they do – thank you for having me and I look forward to coming back soon!

Rhea Cairns
Communications Officer


  • Emma Killick says:

    Thanks Rhea – aren’t the I4T Group brilliant company – I’ve played that Snakes and Ladders game (not saying where I finished but 3rd place is a Bronze medal don’t forget). I was so busy having fun that I didn’t realise how much I was learning while we were playing – which is the point.

  • Sarah Ormston says:

    Hi Rhea

    I really enjoyed reading this blog, I think that the work you do, and the stories that you share are amazing – I love reading about the people we support and their journeys; I think the best-practice and memorable stories you collect and share across the organisation really do make a difference and show how fantastic our staff are as well. I always feel inspired by your writing, so a big thank you!

    The Dementia Project team couldn’t function as well as it does, without all your support, guidance and literary superpowers! Thank you for doing what you do for all of us in MacIntyre (especially for the Dementia/Health team). Nicky P/Sue/Dave if you read this, let’s play Snakes and Ladders with Keep Going…….Don’t Stop! and hopefully experience the wonderful and Great Interactions that the i4t group experienced!

  • Kate Webb says:

    What an absolutely brilliant training tool! I LOVE this. Thankyou for sharing and for the super photos. Oh and well done for coming 3rd!! ☺

  • Nicola Payne says:

    Love this blog Rhea and what a fabulous idea with the game. I love that games like this get people really thinking , simple but so clever.I am planning to meet this group in February. You had a great time and now am really excited for my trip.

  • Tess Marshall says:

    I love this snakes and ladders idea – as you say, how imaginative.

  • Alison Wright says:

    Rhea, we at i4t group are delighted that you enjoyed our Great Interactions Snakes and Ladders game. It was a year in the making and the i4t group members designed and made every single bit of it.
    As you say, its a fun and interactive way of getting the Great Interactions message home. We have used it with people with learning disabilities and also with staff teams from Healthwatch, library services and Sexual Violence support groups.
    Next time, come and play the Great Interactions card game with us……

  • Lyn Mawhinney says:

    I love this , how fantastic and looks such good fun , Thank you for sharing this .

  • Andrea Hartley says:

    How good is this using great interactions ,also being very creative by making all the parts to the snakes and Ladders game well done to everyone involved.keep on having fun .

  • DARREN says:

    Every time I read a blog I am taken back by the awesome level of support people give in this company. Such a simple thing to do (snakes and ladders) yet exceptionally effective. I envy you Rhea as I would love to travel around checking out all the facets of the company. However, I think I would soon get bored of the motorways 😛 – Thanks for sharing.

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