Inspiring and supporting people
The content in this article may now be out of date. Please try searching for a more recent version.
There have been massive changes in the way we offer support over the last 12 months. Some of that change has come about thanks to the fantastic new services we have available, as well as the challenges to funding we sometimes face.
Head of support, Wendy Stephens, pens the second of our 'Where we are heading' blog for the 2014 Customer Annual Review. Here she looks at some of the big innovations in support we have launched this year.
Bromford's support team is here to help you get to where you want to be. There are times in life when we all need some extra support – whether to build our independence and get established in our first home; take control to better manage our health, relationships or money; access information and work through a problem; develop our confidence, skills and experience and/or move into paid work. We support you to work through whatever challenges you may face.
We work with you to understand what it is about your life you’d like to change. We’ll help you think about options, what choices you could make and what the consequences might be. We'll help you connect with the people, groups and services around you that will help you stay in control long after our support has ended.
Many of the services delivered by support colleagues are funded externally by Local Authorities or County Councils. We all know that times are tough across the wider economy and our services are experiencing funding cuts too with support for some groups of people being cut all together.
We’re finding ways of giving our funders the savings they need whilst safeguarding services for you. So, there’s been lots of change this year.
In many of our older people’s services, external funding has stopped completely but you have told us that you want us to continue to provide support into the future and are prepared to pay towards these services. Working with you we’ve developed a different approach, building active communities where everyone can be involved and make a contribution. Increasingly we’re working with you to promote health, wellbeing, fun and learning.
We’ve introduced hubs as a standard way of delivering services. In Warwickshire our hubs are aimed at customers with learning disabilities and are a place to come and meet one of our advisors to talk about how we can help to realise your goals and aspirations. Bringing a range of organisations together into one place ensures that the appropriate advice, information and activities are easily accessible to support you to achieve – there are sessions on everything from maths and English through to health and wellbeing.
We understand that having something meaningful to do with our days is important for everyone’s wellbeing. We now have an opportunities team determined to source great opportunities for you to access training, volunteering or paid employment and to successfully match you to these opportunities.
Our Connect hub in Lichfield helps you overcome barriers to employment and access a range of training and skills opportunities. Our own employability skills programme helps customers build on the skills and life experience you have; to understand how modern recruitment works and to provide the best chance possible of securing the right job for you.
We have introduced more flexibility in the way we deliver support with group sessions, drop-ins, Skype and telephone calls in addition to one-to-one meetings in your homes. We’ve changed the way colleagues work to ensure we’re as efficient and effective as possible.
Through talking to you, we are continuing to develop how we deliver services introducing approaches such as ‘tea and talk’, ‘stay and play’, walking and gardening clubs. We’re spending less time on paperwork and talking about the things that are problems for you as individuals and have begun to focus much more on your strengths and what you want to achieve.
Alongside the changes we’re making to externally funded services, we’re using the skills and experience of support colleagues to benefit all of you living in our homes. This year we’ve introduced a ‘starting well’ service working intensively with some new customers to provide the best possible start in the tenancy. During the first couple of months of tenancy we offer coaching and practical support to help people manage their money and home well, as well as manage any behavioural issues and get connected to local resources.
Read more from Bromford