Our First Meeting

– Andrew Power

This took place on 17 September 2015 at University of Southampton.

The agenda was very open, and included a welcome and personal introductions. We talked about the background to the idea of the group and the proposal. We then talked about the proposed aims and activities of the group and how we’d like to run the group.

Co-production is all about ensuring conversations start when everyone is in the room. I therefore purposely didn’t want to set anything in stone before the meeting. This allowed everyone in the group have a say and to help shape the focus together.

Mel Nind identified a similar platform group in Norway called Prosjektgruppen and said that they might like to meet us in the future.

What we should use the group for:

We agreed to use the group to work collaboratively around researching disability issues. We would do this in three ways:

  1. Identify important issues affecting people with a learning disability.
  1. Research these topics to see what has already been covered, and what gaps exist.

3.   Try and get research out to the people who need to hear it.

We aim to develop activities such as a conference and a seminar series in order to help spread the word about these issues and talk with other people across the UK doing research in these areas.

We will be using this site to document our journey. In time, we hope it will become an online resource for all our activities and for sharing what we are learning.

Important topics

Everyone talked about what were the main issues currently facing people with learning disabilities. Here’s what we came up with from our first meeting:

  • Personal Budgets
    • Direct Payments, Risk, unclear information from Councils, a Personal Assistance Register
  • Housing Support
  • Social Isolation
    • Friendship clubs, having fulfillment, community capacity
  • Supported Employment
  • Outcomes and Person Centred Planning

Ways of working

We agreed to meet every 2 months, rotating the location at each meeting between People First Dorset, Choices Advocacy and University of Southampton.

For each meeting, we would pick an important topic and find out what research is already available on it.

Next actions:

Set up a WordPress site. (Check!)

Invite 1 or 2 more people to join group from Portsmouth/Hampshire (AP, CJ)

Find out what research is already available on the first important topic for next meeting (Personal Budgets) (everybody)

Think about a Statement which captures what we do = wording of website (everybody)

Twitter workshop: (MN to find out – everybody to attend)

  • Andrew Power
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About andrew_power

Disability Researcher who studies geographies of independent living, personalisation, social care, austerity and welfare
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