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Great Communities

MacIntyre and Community Catalysts launch an exciting innovation project in Warrington

MacIntyre is an established national charity whose primary purpose is to make a positive contribution to the lives of children and adults with learning disabilities. Community Catalysts and MacIntyre have formed a partnership, working together on the ground-breaking Great Communities project to find innovative ways to think about care and community, push boundaries and learn lessons of national significance. This project is very exciting and is totally unique.

Councils in areas like Warrington are facing unprecedented demand for services accompanied by significant budgetary reductions. These pressures are leading local authorities to:

• Demand ‘more for less’ from the providers of care services
• Tighten eligibility criteria and cut services, so that many people are losing the support and services that they relied upon.

Alongside this, young people and their families in transition to adulthood can face a cliff-edge, with limited options available to them and few aspirations for the future.

There is a need to develop a radically new vision for a remodelled approach to health and social care which focuses on keeping people well, independent, connected and contributing to their local communities. To meet this need MacIntyre are investing their expertise and resources to develop and test the vision, using Warrington as the test site.

Community Catalysts and MacIntyre know that the people with learning disabilities they support in Warrington have knowledge, assets and gifts that are untapped. We want to use this project to work together to engage with and learn from people with learning disabilities. We want to find ways to help people use their knowledge and gifts to enhance their own lives and futures whilst making a contribution to their community.

We also want to use the combined knowledge and resources of Community Catalysts and MacIntyre to help the people, not supported by MacIntyre, who are falling through the gaps and whose lives have been impoverished by the cuts in services.

We believe that there are lots of untapped assets and resources in every community – rooms unused, talents unseen, vehicles standing idle, people with time on their hands unaware of how they might help.

We think that working with local people and organisations in Warrington to think about all these issues will result in communities which are much more inclusive of people with a learning disability. We also believe that working in this way will result in a wider range of more sustainable local and personalised community support, which help people with a learning disability to live their lives. We think that this need not cost much money – much more for a lot less.

We want to use the Great Communities project to engage with local people, test all these assumptions, design new ways of working and demonstrate what is possible. This ground-breaking project will forge strong partnerships with Warrington Council and other key stakeholders to ensure this investment from MacIntyre has maximum impact locally. It will then act to ensure this local investment is a springboard to transformational national impact within the sector.

MacIntyre is currently recruiting a project manager to lead the local work. The closing date for applications is the 5th October. Visit the MacIntyre website for more details.

Posted in: MacIntyre Great Communities

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