What keeps you awake at night?

Kate Sibthorp, National Co-production Advisory Group
Added on
Making it Real

Do you worry about who’s going to love your children when you’re gone? I do. And so do other parents who have sons and daughters who need support.

Making it Real can help us all to care about people, to see them as unique individuals, and value them for who they are, and what they contribute. 

The idea of personalisation, of focusing on a person and figuring out how to support them so they can live the life that makes sense for them, is not new. But the last few years of austerity seem to have eaten into that aspiration. Budgets have been pared down and many people are experiencing services as being only concerned with their basic physiological and safety needs.

We must think hard about how to meet people’s needs for relationships, for achieving things and contributing to their communities. Often, these things aren’t about how much money is in someone’s budget but about spending that money wisely.

Making it Real describes what good, personalised care and support looks like, from two perspectives. There are I statements, which say what it looks like from the point of view of people who access services. And there are We statements, which describe what you might be doing if you work in an organisation that cares about doing things in a person-centred way. It has great flexibility, and will be useful to all sorts of people and organisations – social care, health, housing, statutory and voluntary.

I would love to hear of organisations and people who access services working together to raise aspirations and creating great lives. It’s all about people having conversations about the Making it Real statements - working out which ones matter most to them and coming up with ways of doing things better.

My daughter is learning disabled and has autism. It would be so easy to leave her to her own devices. She would, happily at first, sit all day watching videos, doing jigsaws and colouring comics. But I know this would make her autism worse. She would close in on herself. And that is my fear for her future – what I think of as benign neglect.

So Making it Real really matters to me. It opens up possibilities through purposeful conversations. I want services and providers to listen, to really understand my daughter and to support her to continue to live life to the full, to be happy. They need to be there when I can’t be.


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