A new way to start thinking

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time and I hope I can do it justice, so please keep with it. I would also love to have your feedback on the content once you’ve had a chance to read through so please click the comments box and add to the discussions, thank you.

This post is all around how for me there is need to explore a different focus to create and develop a whole community involved, connected social care service that lives seamlessly within the communities we live in.

A couple of years ago now I was fortunate enough to be involved in a really innovative project that was brought together by likeminded individuals under the guise of the “Good Enterprise Lab” https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ice/2014/03/05/good-enterprise-lab-real-change-enterprise/  that was held within the Edge Hill University complex  with a special nod to the creator Andres Roberts http://andresroberts.com/

Now this post is not to go into the finer points of the work undertaken, however I’d like to highlight a couple of the really positive elements experienced including:

  • From the start people involved didn’t focus on where they were from in terms of job role, however following the positive conversations, focussed on what skills and attributes they wanted to contribute to the ideas created
  • The use of person centred approaches, asset based community development and appreciative inquiry in order to develop those innovative ideas
  • The total negation of the focus of money and/or higher management decision and policy leads in the progress of the project

What I’d also add is that the whole project from my perspective and involvement started to unravel as many of these projects do (in my experience) when people in higher positions got more involved to steer the focus of aims to access funding streams. This then became the single focus of actions and outcomes to take instead of the positive innovative social care ideas – a totally contradictory approach to the positive work that was undertaken in the first place.

Now I am not trying to start an anti-establishment, rebellious thinking, free funded movement (or am I?). What I am interested to initiate, explore and would love to hear from other likeminded individuals about is; can the positive work started in the ‘Good Enterprise Lab’ be used to further nurture social care community ideas without fear of cost, funding or higher position management led focus?

Thus for this to be further explored and developed in such a way that the ‘contract/funded rule book’ is out the window and we create a foundation of the following:

  • Likeminded individuals working together, from all different backgrounds but a common goal to make a difference, to explore ideas and creativity in the health/social care sector
  • A pooling and exploration of existing positive streams/services/projects that could come together or be enhanced to create a collective positive stable wellbeing project in itself
  • The re-appropriation of existing services that don’t specifically look at achieving outcomes of health/social care inequalities, however with a little tweaking could be supported in achieving those goals
  • A chance to change the very way in which planned changes to community health and social care is looked at to a more community driven citizenship owned, ‘what a community needs’ led health and social care provision

I am not saying that this project would require you to down all existing tools and work in order to make happen.  What I am saying though is, ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful?’ …  are you not just the slightest bit curious to see what could happen if focus is slightly shifted and the community itself as well as the people living and existing within it are those in the ascendency to create, develop and nurture unrestricted social care and health led communities to live in?

I would love to hear from likeminded people and maybe this could be the starting point of the future thinkers in social care to develop and nurture a different focus on how to achieve positive wellbeing for all across local communities.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to the journey it may well take us on,

Till next time remember,

“With hope and belief there are no limitations”


PS thank you to my lovely daughter for letting me use her lovely photo in the featured image 🙂


The positivity in Co-connected communities

I’ve had the pleasure this week of spending a little time away from the day to day running of VCS and get away with the family for a recharging break.

Alongside plenty of walking in the marvellous North Eastern countryside I’ve also been able to indulge in another passion neglected somewhat on normal working weeks, that of reading.

Now during this break I’ve enjoyed reading several books including this little quirky number “Fish Bowl” by Bradley Somer

Now without giving away too much of the story it’s set following a short time in the lives of a 27 storey residential block and the inhabitants lives lived during the period of a goldfish falling the distance of the 27 storeys to the ground – you have to read to understand 😀

What struck me with this book however is also follows a long held approach I use in my work and life, that on all levels we are as a society all co-connected in some way. Indeed the author in their acknowledgements says “…proving that no single person lives his or her own life; we live each other’s together.”

In supporting social care providers I truly value the approach of co-connection and how each service can work with the assets its holds and the quality assets that are in and around that locality to create a co-joined support network that works together for the benefit of all. 

I have to be careful to state here that this is not a reliance on others in being co-connected however a more mutually working together that comes from unstanding co-connection and how we are all living our lives together even if we don’t immediately understand its direct impact.

From the most obvious areas – collective health professionals and carers all coming together to deliver care services to individuals in need of personalised support, with each person playing their part in the collective whole to reach a positive outcome for others….

To less obvious areas – the local butchers and/or greengrocers taking local dementia friendly awareness sessions in order to better understand their changing customer group more and provide a co-connected provision of products and service with their local residential/nursing homes to support the continued business framework of a local community…

There are many more ways that this co-connected approach can be explored and I urge you dear reader to check out Cormac Russell and the  Nuture Development team to see those in positive action

And please if you see or image any further ideas then please feel free to comment below,

Till next time remember “with hope and belief there are no limitations


Thank You!

The votes are in and have been independently verified and I am pleased to announce the following:

2015/2016 April to April has been Valued Care Solutions best and most successful on record.

VCS continues to grow from strength to strength in supporting a wide range of health and social care businesses and organisations the length and breadth of the country. Always to ensure they are providing quality person centred supports alongside high standard governance and management supports.

For this I would like to take the opportunity to say –


Thank you to:

  • All the businesses I have worked with this year
  • All the people I have met and connected with along the way
  • All the connections I have made in social media land

And finally and most important of all Thank You to my amazing wife and children who always give me 110% support in all that I do.

I couldn’t do it without you all 😀

So here’s to another fabulous year ahead and to changing the face of social care provision for the better!

Till next time, take care and remember

“With Hope and Belief there are No Limitations”