TLAP at the ADASS spring seminar
The recent ADASS Spring Seminar presented another great opportunity for people who use services to get their voices heard.
There is a slight worry when you attend events like this that it will be a lavish affair with an overspend on hospitality and food, which wouldn't be appropriate in these times of austerity. Fortunately this wasn't the case. There were a few little touches from the sponsors, but no waste of valuable money at all.
There was a really positive atmosphere in the room and we received a fantastically warm welcome from everyone, with people telling us before our talk "don't be nervous, you are with friends".
The standard of the talks was very high. It was excellent to how service orientated it was, looking outwards towards the people who need the help, not inwards towards the directors or the organisation itself.
For our talk, we described how personal budgets were really important and how they make a big and real difference to the lives of people who use services. It felt like our talk was really well received and had a big influence on the discussions for the remained of the seminar.
After our talk, people came up to us saying that what we had said will change the way they think about delivering services. One example they really liked was Sally's story of her mother, who suffered from dementia and looked forward every day to a gin and tonic and a cigarette. A care provider came up and said her organisation had recently banned smoking, but following the talk and hearing about what a huge boost that little bit of independence was for Sally's mother, she'd look at reintroducing it. It was great that she recognised that the wants of a person should come before organisational red tape and rules and that was one of the many positive comments related to our talk.
It was also great to see Harold Bodmer officially appointed as ADASS president. We wish Harold every success in the role, but would also like to give a big thanks to outgoing president Ray James, who has been fantastically supportive during his spell in charge.
Overall it was an excellent day that allayed fears, gave people a great platform to share useful information and showed that ADASS is in good hands and moving in the right direction.