I was thrilled to take part in the recent innovative Festival of ideas and possibilities: Showcasing personalisation organised by SITRA. We ran Whose Shoes? workshops in Birmingham, Leeds and London.
Huge thanks to my co-presenters Philippa Codd and Dorothy Hall, who generously gave their time and shared their experiences of using Whose Shoes? in a wide range of settings, supported by their vast knowledge of the care and housing sectors.
The Festival was billed as “an opportunity for clients, commissioners and providers of housing, care and support to share and contribute new and innovative ways in which services can be personalised in their communities” It deliberately set out to be a creative, informal environment – and certainly succeeded. My brain-friendly learning group (Hi Mel and Stella!) would certainly have approved: we had Box of Frogs drama, Question Time, Secret Millionaire, Dragon’s Den, Speed Dating and much more…..
Each event was hugely rewarding but in different ways. So which did I enjoy most…?
The marks are… Birmingham – our best workshop (we had to turn people away!); Leeds – the best “buzz” in the marketplace; London – fab networking, including meeting Robin Johnson, Joint Editor, Housing Care and Support journal, who invited me to write a feature. They were all really great events!
Best outcome for me?…meeting lots of people passionate about personalisation, but particularly Sally Taylor and staff from East Midlands Housing Association. We have since co-presented a lively one-day workshop looking at how Whose Shoes? can be used specifically to explore the opportunities and challenges of personalisation within the housing sector.
Most impressed by?… Box of Frogs – very powerful drama about mental health issues. AND they are great people – we had almost as much drama trying to catch a taxi together, but that’s another story… 🙂
And the overall winner?….….hopefully, service users and carers!
With such a concentration of people who really care about supporting people and personalisation and so much exchange of good practice, these events must surely lead to better outcomes. It’s up to all of us now to build on these foundations and continue to work together to embed the personalisation ethos throughout social care, healthcare and housing.