Change that leads to better lives

Blog: Breaking through at 9 3/4 years

Amanda Nally, Community Led Support (CLS) development lead, writes about the recent annual gathering in Manchester.

NDTi’s CLS programme has reached that stage, 9 ¾ years. 7 and 8 November saw us come together in Manchester for the network’s annual national gathering. We welcomed over 90 people from England, Scotland and Wales, representing more than 18 areas across the Community Led Support national network. We heard yet more evidence of how this programme seeks to support areas who are determined to transform adult social care.

But, unlike Harry Potter, there’s no magic or wizard-like spells, just a clear programme, framework and support underpinned by core principles and strengths based approaches at it’s heart. It’s relational, system wide and holds a strong vision of partnership shaped and developed with local people, communities and health organisations.

This year we had key speakers from a team of researchers funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) National Priority Programme for Social Care who are collaborating with NDTi to independently evaluate the Community Led Support Programme. More to come from the research over the next few months. However, clear evidence shows that when CLS is applied well and wholly, which takes real bravery in the current climate and despairing narrative of social care, people have much better experiences of the system. Outcomes are focused on what matters to them as well as better outcomes for those working in the system too.

Those who joined told us:

It was really great and started some great conversations between different authorities.”

“Most useful being in the same space as so many fantastic influential people and hearing all of their own stories.”

“Everything was useful, I felt emotional coming away, knowing I’m not alone, we are not alone and we are working towards the same goals doing the right thing for people in the community.”

Being able to hear how other people are implementing the different ways of working which is have a real impact on people's lives”

The selfie frames were popular, as was the CLS playlist that accompanied dinner. This was developed from one question at the start of day one: “What songs come to mind when you think about Community Led Support?”

We’re very much looking forward to a year focusing on the programme reaching it’s 10 year anniversary and the difference this way of working is making to adult social care, communities and health but most importantly keeping the focus on the individuals within this.

If your organisation is interested in finding out more about the CLS programme and becoming part of this vibrant network, please contact programme lead, Jenny Pitts.

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