Thinking of Nico on the first anniversary of his death

On the anniversary of his death, Friday 22 August, Nico’s Mum asks you to join her in remembering Nico and all the happiness, love and laughter he brought into the world.

“We laid him in a box with blue skies and sunflowers and filled our house and the church with huge bouquets of sunflowers. Friends of ours and of Nico’s brought us more sunflowers, real, painted and ceramic and we keep them in pride of place.’

Love, Belief and Balls

Here is a call out. Is it a charter? Is it a plea? Is it a pipe dream? I suggest we start with the fundamental principle that a learning disabled person should be living in their own home, whether that be with their family, on their own with support, in a small group home. It should be their choice. Anyone (especially the State) that thinks otherwise has to prove their case before a court.

The blog from Mark Neary is definitely worth following.  This recent blog is a good place to start:  

The Centre for Welfare Reform

The Centre for Welfare Reform was founded by Dr Simon Duffy and is a community of independent Fellows who are thinkers, innovators and leaders who have demonstrated a real commitment to equality and diversity.  The Centre is one of the richest resources for ideas and invoviation available in the UK.    Make the website a place you visit regularly and sign up for their newsletter.

The Centre for Welfare Reform


Family Rights, Citizenship and Mental Capacity

In early July 2014 Bringing Us Together hosted a workshop for family members to consider Family Rights, Citizenship and Mental Capacity.  Facilitated by Katie Clarke and Pippa Murray – the day gave an important space for families to share their experiences and skills.  Sally Warren was invited to go along as Paradigm are keen to work with Families as they develop resources in relation to supported decision making.

There was so much shared and Simon Duffy skilfully listened and created the summary of the conversion you can see by clicking the link below.

Summary of conversation re: Family Rights, Citizenship and Mental Capacity

Connecting Our Voices #107days

Paradigm and friends adopted Day 55 of the #107days Campaign.

The day was spent in a community workshop, facilitated by Paradigm and Nan Carle, which focused on connecting the voices of people from around the country to highlight injustices, share thoughts and agree action to stop the crazy, ill thought out decisions that prevent people living valued, ordinary lives. Lives with their family and in their community. In a community space, passionate people (family members, self advocates, researchers, support workers and community members) met for a series of conversations, which lead to a commitment to personal action and to new alliances to ensure collective action.  Click here to read the summary of the day

Individual Service Design

Enable me

No two people are the same.  Ensuring people are supported to design and plan their life with those they love and trust is the very foundation of good support.  This practical course introduces people to Individual Service Design and the skills for facilitation. 

It sometimes feels like there is no end to it

Katie Clarke writes are regular blog.   Here Katie talks about the challenges her daughter faces with recruiting PA’s and the reality that PA’s will eventually leave …..a constant process of recruitment.   Click here to read

Re-connecting Hearts and Minds

A Friday in March 2012, forty busy people in a small room in central London – the attraction, well, undoubtedly John O’Brien but also a real connection in terms of the focus of the day, the call to re-connect Hearts and Minds. Right from the start the energy, the shared concerns about the current trends in terms of support offered and a determination to ensure a future where people know what good support is for them and get it, was palpable. In conversation we were asked to clarify what we need to do to encourage relationships to emerge, to consider what it is that gets in the way of these relationships and to suggest some ideas for action. It became clear that the ‘stuff’ that gets in the way is mainly a response to the systems, the regulations and rules that were actually created in the belief that they would ensure quality and keep people safe and well. Risk assessments, Care Quality Commission regulations, tendering processes, policies and procedures, professional boundaries. There was some mention of reduced funding BUT this wasn’t seen as one of main blocks. The fear of being seen as not ‘meeting the required’ standards was seen a real concern. When asked what needs to happen to encourage relationships based on respect, mutuality and a connection that encourages shared learning and action it was clear that the ONLY WAY is to ensure a real focus on the person. That we need to work together to stop over complicating what should and could be so simple, essentially to ‘remember the soul of our work’ (John O’Brien).

Re-connecting Heart and Mind. Notes and action plan 2012

Include ME TOO

A recent news item about Include ME TOO a organisation established to support families and their disabled children to connect and offer peer support.  Include ME TOO click here

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