What is 'connecting'?

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Our research has shown that people with the highest support needs rarely get the right help to make strong, enduring relationships in their local communities.

Connecting is a skilled and time-limited intervention that fills the gap between person-centred planning and making those plans a reality.

It marries people’s skills, talents and aspirations to opportunities in their communities. The emphasis of connecting is less on supporting people to be ‘in the community’ or to do activities, and more about them building relationships based on reciprocity – what do people with high support needs have to offer their communities and what they can be offered in return.

Connectors work with paid support workers, families and people’s circles of support. They come from a variety of backgrounds but share a set of skills and qualities that you can read more about in our definitive guide to connecting.

People and their families have used connecting to improve quality of life and increase options, while paid support staff pick up new ways of working. Having a wider circle of people who care about and look out for someone also makes them safer.

There are long-term savings to be made too as new relationships ('natural supports') reduce the need for specialist services. And connecting works best when it is paid for through a person’s individual or personal budget so that they and their families have control over how it is arranged.