Molly Mattingly, Head of Learning Disability Programmes
"For many years we have worked to help people with learning disabilities make the most of their local communities. Community Connecting
,which is almost at the end of its two-year life is supporting small not-for-profit organisations to develop ‘connecting’ services.
Studies have indicated that traditional services are not flexible or responsive to people with high support needs, while ‘community connecting’ services delivered by small third sector organisations work well. This type of support is restricted by the lack of sustainable business models. Individual budgets are ideally suited to purchase community connecting services but the options available are limited.
In order to capture the learning from all the people and organisations that have been part of this project we held an event in London last Wednesday. We had representatives from each of the six sites – each of them are small third sector organisations from Bournemouth, Hexham, Exeter, Coventry, Bromley, Canterbury, and Northamptonshire.
An important part of the day was the ‘market place’ where each of the sites had the opportunity to share with everyone how they are involved in developing community connecting with people in their organisations. We also aimed to discover ways of overcoming barriers, and to discuss ways to expand the learning and to identify support needs that will help carry the work forward.
The project will report on what makes a successful community connecting service, how this type of service can provide value for money and the different ways that organisations are developing this type of service.We will be publishing information from the event along with photos in the New Year so watch this space!"
21 November 2011