Just like buses

Buses and bus stops in Wood Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

After the last few years of being (understandably) invited to very few face to face meetings or events, this week I have been invited to four. Just like buses – none for ages, then they all come along at the same time! I didn’t manage to all four, but have been to two so far this week and have another event this afternoon.

On Tuesday, I attended the Centre for Service Excellence at the University of Edinburgh Business School. The event was exploring the issue of co-design with those with lived experience. There were a range of fascinating speakers, including an input from Blackwood homes/care/support in relation to a project they are involved in. They state the purpose of their Project is; to co-create beautiful places for independent living that offer what people need to live healthier and happier for longer and to ask questions, co-design and test new ideas with real people, so together we’ll learn what it really takes to develop thriving, healthy neighbourhoods of the future. Further information is available on their website: https://www.blackwoodgroup.org.uk/

In particular, the speakers focussed on the things to take into account when working on co-design with vulnerable adults. In terms of the way we work in Adult Support and Protection with Adults at Risk of Harm, there were many helpful suggestions of how engagement could be respectful, positive and effective. I will be making a point of catching up with the National ASP Implementation Group – Advocacy and Voice of the Service User/Carer Subgroup about the issues to consider and potential solutions to some of the ways of working discussed at the event and hopefully sharing the presentation slides from the event.

On Wednesday I attended the very first face to face (and Teams Option for those further afield) meeting of the Child Protection Committees Scotland Group, which had taken place for over three years. For the previous three years, due to the Pandemic this meeting had been on-line only. It was a real pleasure to meet up with colleagues from across Scotland again in the context of Child Protection. Again, there was a really interesting array of speakers, speaking on a variety of topics. However the importance of engagement with those with lived experience in relation to co-design of services featured strongly. All the speakers were excellent, but I particularly enjoyed Dez Holmes’s presentation on evidenced based practice and the input from Shumela Ahmed of the Resilience Learning Partnership. The work of the Resilience Learning Partnership sounds fascinating – they state on their website that they are an education and training provider specialising in psychological trauma and lived experience, more info available from their website at: https://resiliencelearningpartnership.co.uk/. Shumela spoke passionately about people with lived experience being valued and thriving – inspirational stuff! Again, I am struck by the similarities of the wider Public Protection agenda in covering these same themes of responsibly involving both children and adults with lived experience in the co-design of services.