BACC has worked with Bradford Council's Adult and Community Services Commissioning Team to develop and support the Supporting People service user involvement group since 2008. The group has now held 45 meetings. These are open to anyone who uses or has recently used a housing support service in the district and their carers or advocates.
This work provides a mix of consultation, information, training, mentoring and empowerment to a range of people who use housing related support services in the district. These include people with experience of mental health problems, homelessness, physical and learning disabilities and vulnerable older and young people. The aim is to influence and improve the housing with support services they use.
Key achievements include
- Concerns of service users are now firmly at the heart of the Supporting People programme in Bradford
- Service user representatives take part in a range of strategic meetings
- Service users take part in inspection and review of services
- There are opportunities for people from a range of different backgrounds, with different experiences to work together.
- Service users have been both collectively and individually empowered.
In Bradford service user involvement in the Supporting People programme has broken new ground in the last four years and has developed a model for other services. This has opened up the governance and commissioning structures to real influence from service users.
One of the reps from the group Gary Staniforth has established a social enterprise called Hidden Homeless Ltd which was featured on the Channel 4 programme Secret Millionaire.
Comments from a recent evaluation
- Everybody is involved feedback & discussions regarding the topics discussed, very good
- Very relaxed - everyone has the opportunity to have their say
- You get to learn and know about what other groups are doing
- The group offers the chance to inform you of other services that you may need in the future
- 18 months ago I was angry & frustrated with the system ... by being involved I've now gained a voice and am helping improve things for other people.
Thursday 24th October, 11am-2pm at The Carlisle Business Centre, Carlisle Suite 2, Carlisle Road, Bradford, BD8 8BD
For more information about the group please contact Neal at BACC
© Bradford Alliance on Community Care Limited. Company Registration Number: 4034816. Charity Number: 1096166