Change that leads to better lives

Not A One Way Street

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) and Community Catalysts share a concern that older people (including those with high support needs) are too often seen as a burden and a drain on resources, rather than as individuals with gifts, skills and assets.

This joint research identified and promoted the various ways in which older people with high support needs can and do take up positive and enabling roles within models of mutual support and reciprocity.

NDTi has previously developed a framework, ‘Keys To A Good Life’ to promote what is important to as well as important for older people with high support needs in exercising choice and control over their support, in order to have a good life. We used elements of that framework as a critical aspect of examining models of mutual support and reciprocity. Community Catalysts Ltd has a wealth of experience and existing close working relationships with services and networks delivering support based on mutuality.


  • Achieve a breadth and depth of vision, based on a rigorous analysis of examples, ideas and practicalities involved in establishing mutual support and reciprocity with and for older people with high support needs
  • Deepen our understanding of the intricacies involved in establishing and sustaining mutual support systems, including how people resolve issues as they arise and resilience, rather than reliance, may be achieved
  • Examine issues and dynamics of replicability, developing guidance for different audiences on the conditions and circumstances for replicating models of mutual support and reciprocity.

The outcomes of this work can be found here.

Contact Details

Madeline Cooper

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