Creative approaches to delivering the Care Act (2014)

The Care Act (2014) expects councils to develop local markets that are as diverse as their local populations and offer choice to all. In the 'People not Process: Co-production in commissioning' guidance produced by TLAP in 2015 we showed how people were getting valuable support from non-traditional providers.

One of these was TIN Arts, a social enterprise in County Durham. IN Arts run participatory dance projects for people of all ages and abilities. GeTIN2Dance, is a contemporary dance course for adults with learning disabilities. It is funded entirely through direct payments and is designed to be inclusive, fun and stimulating. GeTIN2Dance gives people a chance to explore different dance styles, create new moves and rehearse for performances. David Shipman, Strategic Commissioning Manager at Durham County Council, describes GeTIN2Dance as; "asking people, what do you want to do, what do you aspire to? But it also aims to move people away from dependence on statutory services and meet social care and health needs in a more inclusive way".

Elsewhere, Heart n Soul is based at The Albany Theatre in Deptford, London and works with people with learning disabilities who want to develop their talents and opportunities. In 2011, some participants of Heart n Soul felt that there was a gap in provision for adults in the area.

Their response was to create Allsorts, a co-produced project where adults with learning difficulties would try new arts activities, meet new people and have fun. Winston Costello a commissioner at Lewisham Council says; "the Council wanted to move away from a purely day centre model and more towards personalised services. It was felt that Allsorts could meet needs not met elsewhere".

Now, Allsorts is a key and highly valued part of Lewisham Council's alternative day provision for adults with learning disabilities described by commissioners as; "rewarding, stimulating, enjoyable and leads to enhanced wellbeing".

Arts and cultural providers are increasingly recognised as playing an important role in supporting people in a community setting in a non-stigmatising way. Participatory arts can connect with peoples passions, interests and abilities, taking a genuinely asset based approach and creating opportunities for co-production. Many commissioners do appreciate the potential of arts and cultural interventions, but are not clear about what practical steps to take to develop their local market place.

On Wednesday the 3rd February, 2016 'Delivering the Care Act 2014: How arts and cultural interventions enable co-production and personalisation' will show how arts and cultural interventions are co-producing activities with people with a range of support needs. Tin Arts and Heart n Soul will be presenting workshops on their approach and how they have worked with commissioners and people who use services to develop and fund their successful interventions. Visit our website to reserve a (free) place.

Entelechy Arts will also be on hand to describe the 'Meet me @ the Albany' programme. This weekly arts programme at the Albany theatre is rethinking social day care for older people. Artists work with older participants to plan and deliver work together. Older people can get involved with a range of activities from weaving and knitting through to circus skills and dance. They launched in autumn 2013 with support from Lewisham Councils Community Directorate to respond to isolated older people, families and carers as audiences and participants and to embed itself into everyday health and adult social care provision. They are now expanding their approach into local sheltered housing to reach new audiences.

This is part of the Cultural Commissioning Programme which is funded by Arts Council England. The programme works strategically to support the arts and cultural sector to engage with public service commissioning and enable commissioners to develop awareness and understanding of how they can work with the arts and cultural sector to deliver public service outcomes. The Cultural Commissioning Programme is delivered by a partnership of NCVO, NPC and NEF. To find out more about the Cultural Commissioning Programme, read about a range of practical examples and subscribe to a regular e-bulletin please visit the website. We are always interested to hear about other examples of cultural commissioning so please do let me know about any examples that you are involved in.


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