New year, new conversations…and New Social Leaders
Happy New Year!
As I look forward, I am optimistic that 2023 will be a year of positive change in social care. As I reflected in my recent blog, we are experiencing a resounding appetite for change, with a tangible shift in emphasis towards coproduction, so that people who draw on care or support are central to the development of local and national policy, and in the design and delivery of provision in their community.
Following the Archbishop’s New Year message broadcast on the BBC earlier this month, we are confident that the Archbishop’s ‘Reimagining Social Care’ report due out later in the month, while reflecting on the very real challenges facing the care system, will also offer a hopeful vision and contain more ideas for action. We will of course continue to play our part in shaping a positive social care future, working in partnership with the Social Care Future movement to campaign for change, while also working with local authorities and partners across the UK to design and deliver solutions that enable people to have choice and control over their care and support.
In the last year, we have worked on 61 different projects across England and Wales with hundreds of partners to develop community enterprise projects, establish Local Area Coordination and work with organisations to develop new ideas. We have also continued to support and grow the Coalition for Personalised Care to further shape the personal health care agenda and help implement much-needed change.
2023 looks set to be another busy and productive year as we continue our mission to unlock potential and make change happen.
Many thanks for your continued support.
Finding ways to collaborate, coproduce and hear quieter voices
Here at Community Catalysts, we often get approached by local authorities or other large organisations who are trying to address an issue or challenge…or who want to try new ways of doing things. Our natural instinct in these situations is to start to talk about coproduction – working with people impacted by the issue, learning from them and taking a partnership approach to any change. A journey, based on collaboration and mutual respect.
We know coproduction can sometimes be hard to do in practice, not least because different people can come from very different, and often conflicting perspectives…and managing a process that works with this diversity can be tricky and time consuming.
There are quieter voices of course, or even people with no voice at all – but getting creative and finding ways to really listen and partner is always possible – if you want it enough!
To try and come up with a practical and replicable response we recently developed a new approach called the Big Conversation. The approach takes account of the wonderfully messy nature of communities and makes it possible to engage and work with large numbers of people who come from very different perspectives…
Learn more about our Big Conversation approach:
If you’re interested in having a Big (or little) Conversation with us we’d love to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. We’ll also be sharing more about our Big Conversation approach at a coproduction workshop hosted by the Coalition for Personalised Care (C4PC) on 25th January 1:30-3:00pm. Find out more about the coproduction workshop and book your free place
New year…new challenge…New Social Leaders!
We’re really pleased to be hosting our 13th cohort of New Social Leaders later this month. There are a couple of places still available on this (and future) cohort(s) if you’re interested in joining. New Social Leaders brings together values-driven leaders to reflect on contemporary challenges and explore ideas for how to do things differently. The programme is aimed at social leaders such as those in communities, charities and social enterprises who are inspired by the opportunity for change and includes:
- 4 x 2 hour learning workshops (one every other week across 2 months)
- Facilitated learning discussions during the workshops
- Helpful and proportionate learning materials, many of which have been designed exclusively for New Social Leaders
- Supported connections to further mentoring and coaching opportunities
- Invitations to future gatherings and events with other New Social Leader graduates
New Social Leaders costs £150+VAT per person and the next cohort starts on 24th January (later dates are available if you can’t make this round).
Community enterprises continuing to grow across Wales
Just over a year ago, we wrote about how community enterprises were thriving across Wales. At the time, we were working in Powys, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Pembrokeshire to support people to set up their own community enterprises offering care and support to other local people. Since then, we’ve seen interest in community enterprises continue to grow in Wales and have started working in Gwynedd…and just last month we launched an exciting new project in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
You might be interested in our other recent blogs:
- Community micro-enterprises launch in Kent
- Community businesses and the power of communities – one year on
- Ripples of support develop more community enterprises