13th December 2017 by CVT Central
Karyn Kirkpatrick and Huw John
Huw described how the support we provide in CVT is changing and why things feel different; not only because of less money and more rules but also because the people we support are getting stronger and more confident voices.
While many of the five hundred plus people we support tell us they have good and happy lives, they also want to try out new things. To do this we need to be imaginative with our resources and focus on our core values. Our charity is built around community, a contribution which is valued and appreciated and ways to enable people to become “world citizens”.
We know plenty of people living in their own flats and houses in their local communities are said to be “integrated”, and tick the commissioning boxes, but have lonely and empty lives; so it’s not always about where you live, but more about the connections, relationships, support and involvement that we all need to feel part of our neighbourhoods.
So, for us it’s about lots of small steps – keeping an important focus on friendship, purpose and a sense of value, and using them to develop a community environment that can encourage the right outcomes. It’s an “inside out” approach that is being influenced and shaped by the people we support, who are the shared catalysts and agents of change - co production by design and default.
New relationships and partnerships – some formal, others informal, plus emerging groups and projects with shared interests with local people are happening across the charity. Sharing our resources with local communities that often lack their own is also changing dynamics, perceptions and relationships - and sparking different ways, creating different days and building community capacity.
We are also developing new Shared Lives support, with a twist. We believe that by building relationships with our existing community resources, our Shared Lives carers will feel well connected and supported, and perhaps better placed to help support people who need greater support to live in a family and community setting. Our new Shared Lives Carers will also bring the richness of their community relationships and networks to our lives. A new community framework perhaps?