Looking Forward continued

We are living in exciting times!  Personalisation is bringing new focus to the person-centred approaches which are at the heart of Hansel services.  Self-directed supports promise new levels of choice and control for many people who use services.  

Personalisation and self-directed supports also bring new challenges for the organisation and the people we work for.  We are working with people to develop their understanding of what these changes and challenges mean for them - supporting them to find their voice and to learn new skills through very specific involvement and participation training.  People who chose to use Hansel services are being supported to have a real say in how we move forward and we in turn benefit from Trainers and Quality Checkers drawn from the talents of the people we work for.  The Compass network  will enable even more people to get involved during our 50th year.

Personalisation and self-directed supports are coming to the fore in a difficult economic climate. Continued pressure on public sector funding requires us to find new ways to deliver the same quality of services, the same outcomes, more efficiently and cost-effectively.  Again, these are challenges we are meeting on behalf of, and in partnership with, the people we work for through, for example, careful use of assistive technology and small-group, friendship-based supports.

Perhaps our most exciting development for 2013 is the opening of Our Space at the Baird Centre.  £1 million was raised for this fantastic building.  The generosity of our supporters – from the initial legacy from the family of one of our clients, to Trusts, businesses and individuals – has been astounding!  And so is the building.  Purpose designed to meet the needs of a wide range of service users, including dementia-friendly areas, tracking and a Changing Places toilet, the building is also beautiful, with large widows and glass doors opening into landscaped gardens, which together with a glazed roof fills the building with light and brings the outdoors inside.

Our Space at the Baird Centre is much more than just a building (though what a building!), it is an idea born and grown by the people who use our services.  Beginning with a desire for horticultural therapy, which was delivered in an existing greenhouse, the ideas for Our Space activities now include arts and crafts, music, dance, health, learning, ...  The name Our Space was created by the people we work for as was the logo – indeed both were truly embedded before any ‘corporate’ thought was applied – and it embodies the spirit of personalisation and co-production which pervade Our Space.

Our Space will be more than just a Hansel service (though what a service!), it will be a resource for the wider community.  The Changing Places toilet within the Baird Centre will allow people with complex needs to enjoy the local facilities without cutting their visit short to return home or suffering the indignity and dangers of  getting changed on a toilet floor.  Our Space will be a place where people can meet, learn, volunteer, enrich their lives...

Our 50th Anniversary is not just about looking back – it is a springboard to the next 50 years!

Looking back