“All our big decisions are only ever made by involving our people” – a local charity and social enterprise are celebrating how its service-users help shape and improve support for adults with disabilities.
This national Co-production Week, Teamwork Trust – which supports autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs in North Northamptonshire – is thanking the members who play an active role in its decision-making and forward-planning.
Emotive videos from service-users on the charity’s steering group committee will play out on social media during #CoProWeek – a nationwide campaign by Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) that showcases organisations working in equal partnership with their people.
Teamwork’s short films tell the story of why adults with lived experience of autism and disabilities help influence the charity’s work and support services and how they use their unique insight to drive change.
John Bruce, a strategic director, Teamwork Trust, said:
“We don’t just consult our service-users, families and carers, we live by the motto – ‘nothing about us, without us’ – which means continually empowering and encouraging them to be directly involved in all our plans, all year round.
“We do this because we know that only the people who use our services can tell us what it’s really like for them. We work very hard to make sure our service-users and their families and carers have a voice, and that they are given real choice and control in all we do, and that we make improvements based on their ideas and feedback. This powerful campaign about our steering group committee really highlights this.”
James, a Teamwork service-user in Corby, added:
“We get to decide for ourselves how we want to do things, and that makes us feel like we’re playing a role in the community.”
Teamwork Trust’s began its service-user-led strategy in 2018 when it received a £500,000 National Lottery grant to develop its ambitious ‘Reaching Communities’ project. The National Lottery awarded a further £100,000 to Teamwork in August 2020 to safeguard the charity’s future during the pandemic and enable them to develop a brand new and inclusive mix of hands-on, remote and digital support across all services.
#CoProWeek by Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) will run from 5 to 9 July.