Matthew’s Book


‘Matthew’s Book’ is a small project but it has generated a big response. The book is on an iPad. It provides a multi-media guide to Matthew and his needs. The book will follow Matthew wherever he goes, including hospital, to ensure that all staff working with him can quickly find out about the essential aspects of his care .. and what good practice means for him. Continue reading


A new look at day centres

There’s a part of our welfare system that is almost invisible, at least as far as the literature is concerned: the day centre. Day centres are the poor relation of welfare, given little regard and seen by many as a relic of the old days of institutional care. They are deeply unfashionable. In some areas they’re seen as ripe for abolition. And yet, among the people who rely on day centres, there is still strong support for them. Those people, however, rarely have any choice about whether the centre stays or goes. When is comes to choice and control, choosing to keep the local day centre open (when the financial pressure is for closure) is so outside the prevailing orthodoxy that it’s usually ignored. Continue reading

Gig Buddies

Gig Buddies is a project that pairs up people with and without learning disabilities to be friends and to go to music and other events together. The project got started in March 2013 in the East Sussex area. They’re part of the Stay Up Late group of projects.

They regularly recruit new volunteers to buddy up with a person who has a learning disability. At the moment, they’re particularly looking for volunteers in the Eastbourne and Hastings area in East Sussex.

More information here.

How social care assessments overlook the ‘us’ in families


Martin is recovering from a stroke. He now needs help with activities like dressing, washing, shopping and cooking. Some activities like going to work and driving are right off the agenda. His mobility and communication are impaired and at times he feels useless. But worst for Martin, he feels he is no longer the husband, father, grandfather, friend and colleague he used to be. Continue reading

Giving more in a sharing economy


People’s surplus time is something we can make much more of, particularly with regard to the needs of older people who are isolated or who feel vulnerable. To capitalise on this resource we have to tackle those obstacles that reduce people’s propensity to offer their surplus time. The solutions may be many but include technologies that allow people to identify where their surplus time, however marginal, can be used to good effect, achieving a better connectedness between formal care, informal family care and other community support, enabling organisations and groups to increase mutual support within existing structures, changing the perception of what older people have to offer, and supporting people to create their own systems of informal support. For each of these proposals there is a practical agenda. Continue reading