We’re really grateful that we’re able to continue our Sharing Care work and that Power to Change are generously and flexibly supporting our further learning.
Over the first half of 2022 we’ll be focusing and learning with and from our members and we’ll be asking questions about what membership means, what ideal opportunities to contribute and influence and share & care within our care co-op look like.
Our original aims
When we submitted the application to Power to Change back in 2019 we said that we want to capture our learning & create resources to support the development of interested community-owned care organisations and that we want to work on developing a federated model that enables peer support and sharing of resources. And we have moved some way towards that - some elements of our work have moved faster, some slower. Great new opportunities have arisen and we have followed them. We’ve also got stuck with some challenges a couple of times and have had to move forward in a different direction. It has all been part of our learning.
Why is this piece of work needed?
Development of community based support is integral to our holistic model of care, it is included in our offer on our website and is also a key part of our learning toolkit. And as such it is also an essential part of our replication work so that we move closer to being able to work towards federative ways of operating (and we have explored how that might look in a piece of research).
We offer holistic care and support. Our user members work with our staff to develop mutually caring relationships and it has always been part of our vision to widen and deepen our community engagement to enable varied opportunities for our members that support everyone living good lives. This is also true for the potential community based care providers - to contribute to transformation of how care is currently provided, to enabling living good lives, working with local communities and supporting neighbourliness needs to be one of the features.
So far, while setting up our care co-op, we can say that we’ve learnt two main things
1) while the theoretical model for community care element is in place the practical delivery can take many forms and this needs to be explored further,
2) to develop this element of our work in line with our ethos and so that it can firmly become part of our replication/peer support offer dedicated time is needed to create and kickstart the systems and processes.
We needed time to recognise this
It seems obvious - that we need time and space and resources to do this well. It has taken us some time to be able to fully recognise that. It’s not the case that we have ever ‘dropped’ this piece of work and development and we have done our best to play an active and supportive role in our community. We had a dedicated team member who was supporting this proactively - joined community organisation meetings, organised learning and training sessions, engaged in initiative and achieved some really good things which supported parts of our community.
At the same time, have recognised that we have not really clarified for ourselves what the work with and within our community means and most importantly what does our community want, expect, wish for… How can our members be the leaders who have our support and how can we support, connect, remove barriers. So that we move forward together and the journey is informed and led by our members.
Read on to learn more about our plan for 2022 (and beyond) & maybe you will want to be part of it…