This week Nottingham No Limits held a family fun day in Bilborough, Nottingham. We invited all of the families we support, along with other providers, disability groups, and local people. Attractions included face painting, fencing, peddle boats, and cycle powered smoothies. We had hoped for around 200 visitors, so we were delighted when the final count was over 460. The success of this event led me to reflect on the journey we have travelled in establishing our children and young people’s provision in Nottingham.
The No Limits ethos of empowering young people was instrumental in winning the Nottingham contract. It’s what makes us stand out from other ‘home care’ providers. As the service becomes established, the challenge for us is to
deliver outcomes in an outputs focussed world, in a scenario that amplifies all of the challenges of personalisation
e.g. a disparate workforce, tight costs, geography etc.
Using person centred approaches, we ask families “what makes your lives difficult and how can we help?” Some people just want respite, and we can offer staff to look after their child so that they can take a short break. However by inducting and coaching our staff to work in a facilitative way, we offer support that goes beyond this, and the outcome of these interactions is increased choice and control for the individual. This often leads to a shift in thinking from “I need a break”, to “What can I do with my child’s provision to help them develop and achieve?”
We help families to see that the outcome of these day to day interactions can be really profound. For example, a practitioner engaging with a child through play, for the child to have fun whilst learning cause and effect, and new words like ’again’ in the case one young man. I wonder how often in his life he’ll use that word to get something he wants? What a great outcome.
Seeing these successes has helped families trust us and try new things. For example a young man used his support to go to a festival with a friend, a real world experience that challenges existing models of support. To quote a commissioner speaking to a parent about their options; “you can chose x for home care, x for respite, or MacIntyre
who can do everything.”
There may be some scepticism about the Great Interactions Policy and some may be reluctant to buy into the concept. It’s when people see the outcomes of everyday great interactions that they recognise the true value.
Project Manager, No Limits