Change that leads to better lives

Small Supports Networks

There are a couple of networks associated with our Small Supports programme: one for providers and another for commissioners.

Provider network

About the Provider Network

The Small Supports Provider Network is a mutual group of existing and emerging small supports organisations. The network seeks to provide opportunities for members to share practical information, seek and offer advice, development great ways of working and to challenge and inform local and national practice.

Common Goals

Members of the network are committed to common goals and ways of working that include:

  • From the first steps the person (and their chosen family and friends) have as much control as possible and there is a commitment to this control growing.
  • The starting point to developing great support is the person’s aspirations about where they want to live and the life they want. Conversation about support then follows from this. Compromising on control and aspirations is when things start to go wrong.
  • Supporters (staff) are recruited by and around the individual. They don’t work across services. Staff are not a substitute for friends, community peers, coworkers and neighbours.
  • People choose where they live and who, if anyone, they live with. People are the tenant or owner of their own home or perhaps live with family. There is a clear separation of housing and support.
  • Funding is sustainable and is designed and used around the individual.
  • Small supports organisations stay with people. Change and challenges are expected so they don’t withdraw support or ‘sell’ services on.
  • In their work, leadership, recruitment and actions, small supports organisations are rooted in their local community.
  • The organisations stay relatively small. Knowing each person well means not growing by more than three to five people a year and finding a natural size where people are known and valued and the organisation is financially sustainable.

Interested in joining the Provider Network?

If you are an existing or emerging small supports organisation and would like to join the network, please complete this short expression of interest form and we'll be in touch when there are more details available.


About the Commissioner Network

As part of the Small Supports programme, we identified the need for to bring together those who have commissioned small supports services and those who are hoping to do so. There is an online platform (for posting comments, sharing advice and linking to resources) on Microsoft Teams as well as regular meetings.

Purpose of the Network

  • Hear from those who have made it work
  • Explore areas of innovation
  • Look at traditional commissioning and see how we can do things differently
  • Discuss difficult issues, share advice and give support
  • Learn from shared experiences
  • Understand the outcomes
  • Celebrate when we get it right!

Interested in joining the Commissioner Network?

Membership of this network is exclusively for areas taking part in the Small Supports programme. If you are a Commissioner at a current or alumni site, please contact your Site Lead for more information.

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