For the last few months MacIntyre in Chesterfield have been adopting and testing the principles of the Great Communities Project in Warrington which focus on bringing everyone together and being an integral part of all things community led. The aim is to bring people together within our learning centre and support others to spend time together in a fun and safe environment.
We decided as a group that we wanted to look outward and bring people together. We decided we wanted to do more than just "provide a commissioned service"; we wanted to be a part of the local community and help the people we are commissioned to support do the same. We realised after talking to people that our neighbours and neighbourhoods have the potential to make people feel more inclusive.
Our staff, volunteers, and the people who draw on our support have a lot to offer and give! Combining this with the availability of Swanwick Memorial Hall, MacIntyre’s expertise on dementia and autism, extensive funding skills and most importantly people! The idea of the community roast was able to turn into a reality.
The success of the third community roast in Chesterfield was due to the people who wanted to help. Local people in Swanwick were aware of the active social media posts or heard about the event through the local school, church and social prescribing team. In addition family members of the staff washed endless amounts of pots and prepared the children’s craft competition.
David who is supported at Swanwick was praised for his hard work as Head Chef and his continuous volunteering efforts including cake donations baked by his Shared Lives Carer. Additionally, many thanks to Simon, who had travelled up from Leicester with his Support Worker Scott to help with table setting and balloon decorating.
Staff, volunteers and people we support all wanted to give something to their community, to have a purpose. An inclusive whole community approach was formed by working together and having an equal and reciprocal partnership which is what co-production is all about.