Monday, 4 September 2017

Gloucestershire stakeholders day

Somehow or other, the commissioners and others in Gloucestershire cottoned on to the idea that good services for people with personality disorder-type problems need more than just a couple of interventions 'off the shelf', with a lot of inclusion and exclusion criteria, and some tight compliance monitoring.
So they decided to invite a little gang of from Slough up the M4 to their multi-agency stakeholders day, in a big modern church hall. We gathered at Calcot Sainburys, where about 100 small packets of sweets needed to be bought - after a slight administrative muddle and having them in the wrong place at the right time. These were to be the symbolic lunch for our audience. When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed and plied with coffee and cookies by very attentive organisers. We were first off, and it was our job to give them some background to the field, and tell them about how we do an 'Enabling Environment' and 'relational practice' in the modified 'whole town TC' we do every Tuesday. We wanted to do a role play of the group, but there were only four of us - three senior group members and myself. So we had to invite some audience participation, and had about eight variably willing volunteers up onto the stage with us. They were very good! The symbolic lunch (fresh from Sainsurys) was vigorously distributed at the appropriate point of the role play. Good fun was had by all, and I think we got our point across quite colourfully. Here's a link to the prezi presentation...
The Slough gang relaxes with their lunch
The other presentations were really rather inspiring too - some very good work in which the police implemented the mental health act in truly compassionate and helpful ways, and some very imaginative and innovative voluntary sector services. And some women and men in suits sounding as if they really did want to do things differently.
Sadly, it felt like we were visiting an oasis from our own desert. If only ideas like this could come into the home counties (apart from SLough, where we are doing a small scale effort rather under the radar).
The afternoon finished with sausages and burgers from the barbeque, run by service users. I can't imagine that getting past health and safety risk assessment at another big modern church a bit closer to home...

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