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Customer consultation in Stoke

A coproduction activity regarding shaping support based on feedback was planned and led at our Lifehouse project in Stoke by Team Leader Dann Partridge.

It was styled it as a Customer Consultation, based on the fact that with the customers at the heart of everything we do, then they need to be a deciding voice in how their support is offered.

Dann takes up the story.

“We asked them to describe “in their ideal world”, how their support would look, how it would sound and how it would feel. We asked them to consider any challenges or limitations they may have, and we asked them to write it from the perspective of a support manager.

“Starting with How support should sound, we focused on language used by support staff, communicative styles, and how we could adapt these for people who may have ADHD, Dyslexia and other challenges which may affect their ability to give and receive information.

“Less jargon, more positive focus, and a blend of styles, was some of the feedback we have taken from this.

“Next we looked at How support should look. This was a section where we tried to focus on location of support (some people would rather an informal setting whereas some would rather have a structured conversation in a professional environment). Some would like support blended into an activity, while others fed back that mutual support groups, or peer-led support, would be something that would appeal to them.

“Finally, How support should feel was us asking people how good, quality support makes them feel. This one challenged our customers to describe the feeling they get by engaging in regular support.

Feeling of achievement

“They stated that the feeling of achievement is something they enjoy, and they like to feel like a weight has been lifted once a burden has been shared with a support worker.

“Being productive and checking things off on their journey was an encouraging feeling for many and feeling motivated is a new feeling for some customers – as a lack of success previously has left some of them feeling unmotivated.

“Support should also feel person-centred – they like to play an active role in deciding where they want to go and how they are going to get there.

“Once this Customer Consultation was completed, we placed the sheets of paper on our Service Coordinators’ office wall. I then informed my team that this was now their “Support Bible”.

“The customers have told us specifically, what they want their support to be. We will regularly consult this information to ensure we work in the way that suits the customers.

“We can adapt, we can change, and we can be creative. We are person-centred, we are psychologically informed, and we light the way for customers coming from the darkness into their light. These are our tools.”

Coproduction is central to Adullam’s aim of helping people gain the confidence, knowledge and skills to live independently, and this piece of work is a great example of that.