Growing people power across England

We're developing a programme of work to grow the individual and collective power and influence of people who draw on support to live their lives across England.

#SocialCareFuture emerged out of frustration that the expertise and vision of people drawing on care or support to live their lives was too often absent from platforms debating the present and future of social care.  It’s what initially drove us to mount a three-day fringe event alongside the major National Children’s and Adult Social Care Conference in Manchester in November 2018 at which people who draw on support shared an equal space with those leading and working in the field, a model we have successfully built on at our gatherings on and offline since. It was the spur to support an inquiry ‘Whose care is it anyway’ led by people who draw on support, and more recently to work with Research in Practice to co-produce an evidence review.  We’ve worked hard get people’s voices heard in places like the 2022 House of Lord’s Adult Social Care inquiry and that by the Archbishops’ Commission in 2023.  To ensure more people who draw on social care have a voice in debates about the future we also launched ‘the pledge’, enlisting the support of leaders in the field of social care to urge event organisers to ensure event platforms included people with lived experience.

Action to grow the power and influence of those of us who draw on care or support continues to be central to our movement’s mission, strategy and way of working.  For our vision to become a reality for everyone, people who draw on social care must be heard and have a powerful seat at the table. So we aim to step this work up several gears over the coming months.

To kickstart the next phase of our People Power work, with support from the Lottery Community Fund, our host charity In Control will help Social Care Future to grow a range of activities:

  • The growth of a stronger network of influence, connecting people and organisations with people who draw on support at their heart for mutual support
  • Mapping and building relationships and connections for people to use in key places for influence including media, events organisers, those organising important debates and reviews etc
  • Developing practical guidance for people who organise events and activities where people’s voices need to be heard – ensuring they understand what it takes to properly co-produce and specific things like payments
  • Offering a range of opportunities for people to grow skills, knowledge and networks to have influence, such as spokesperson and media training
  • Building resources on the Social Care Future website including information, tools, links and connections for members of the movement to use to build power locally and nationally

We’re not starting from scratch.  We want to connect together great things that are already available or happening.  Can you help? Are you doing things like this? Do you have skills, capacity, tools, examples to share?

Contact Martin at socialcarefuture@gmail.com

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