Change that leads to better lives

Blog: Bringing small supports to life in Slovenia

Colleagues from our Small Supports programme recently hosted some visitors from Slovenia who are doing similar work.

Slovenia small supports
Photo of Nic Crosby with Jus and Brigita. Quote: Throughout the week we got a glimpse of the future we would like to see come to life in Slovenia.

Juš Škraban, a social work lecturer from the University of Ljubljana, and Brigita Obreza, a psychologist from Dom na Krasu Insitution, reflect on their visit to learn more about our Small Supports programme in the UK. Whilst they were here they visited Small Supports organisations in the south west.

We come from Slovenia, where two special social care institutions have been part of the European deinstitutionalisation project in the last three years. One of them is the Dom na Krasu (close to Trieste), in which we have been involved. We scheduled our visit with NDTi and Small Supports organisations to learn from you since we have a task to plan the transformation of a locked ward in the institution.

The first two days of our visit were spent at Beyond Limits, where we were welcomed with open arms by Doreen and Rebecca. They introduced us to the organisation, their way of working and supporting people, some of the people they support. We talked a lot about how their work with people who are institutionalised starts, how they get to know people, how they recruit teams, how they help people move into their homes and integrate into the community, how they build relationships and also how they support their staff. They definitively succeeded in transmitting their values since we felt welcome, listened to and supported in our efforts back in Slovenia. When we saw how all the work is based on relationships, human connection and really is person-centred, which was astonishing.

During the week, we also met with Helen from NDTi, who told us about the importance of different ways of looking for jobs, good recruitment and the importance of good relationships within the team, which contribute significantly to job satisfaction. Nikki from NDTi, who herself has set up a Small Supports organisation in the past, took us through the whole process of getting an organisation up and running. Additionally, Tom and Paula from eLIVEate took us, among other things, through the process of buying and renting property in more detail.

Throughout the week we got a glimpse of the future we would like to see come to life in Slovenia. Equipped with all this new information and knowledge, we returned to Slovenia with a first draft of a work plan for introducing change in the locked ward of the special social care institution Dom na Krasu.

We would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome, the knowledge and experience shared, the words of encouragement and the help offered. And a special thank you to Nic, who took care of the whole organisation of the working visit and who has stood by us for more than three years, helping us to realise our vision.

Read more about Small Supports.

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