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  • Staying well, connected to others and resilient
  • Supporting people to contribute and do things they enjoy

Imagineer Development UK CIC Independent support brokerage

Organisation

At Imagineer and the National Brokerage Network we work with people and community to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

We believe in working from the perspective that anything is possible to not be held back by limiting ideas, beliefs or service structures.

When working alongside people and their families and friends we invest time and energy in really listening to that persons story, what has happened for them and what really matters in their life. We then explore what the person would like to achieve and the steps they want to take to get there, the person is in the driving seat determining the steps, who can help them and at what pace they want to go.

What is the innovation?

Imagineer has developed a model for Independent Support Brokerage that embeds the functions of independent support brokerage, person centred planning, circles of support, community circles, solution circles and asset based community development.

We also recognise the elements of local area coordination, link working and individual services funds that compliment support brokerage and integrate this into our practice or work in close partnership with those fulfilling these functions locally. 

We have a broad perspective about the resources available to make things possible, we look beyond the personal budget and personal health budget and consider what is really available to the person, including sources of income, grants, funding, resources that reside in the community and within the persons network of support.

We also provided music based opportunities for people to come together, share an interest and passion, explore their creative side and find a voice.

Read Stories of success - Independent Support Brokerage in Halifax. An article by Martin Walker, TLAP Self-directed support policy advisor who visited Imagineer on a road trip. His quest to find examples of good practice, especially in relation to support planning, around England brought him in touch with Imagineer and its innovative way of providing care and support.

Problem

Imagineer aims is to solve the problem we recognise within our communities, this includes: isolation, segregation and lack of opportunities to be connected and develop skills and confidence. 

Our aim is to solve the problem we recognise within the current service provision, this includes;

  • Lack of awareness about the opportunity to direct your own support and care
  • People having the opportunity to be fully involved in the process of accessing support and care
  • To explore the options available with the community 
  • To have the right to try something different that works well for them
  • To move away from a label or diagnosis led provision of care and support 
  • The strain on Social Work and care teams to respond in a timely manner, through working in partnership we can be more effective with our time.
  • To be able to achieve outcomes for people that lead to stories that can be shared to inspire others about how things can be done differently.

Solution

Imagineer has now been providing independent support brokerage for 10 years and in this time we have working with over 150 people. 

This has given the team at Imagineer a real insight into the challenges that people face and the approaches that have supported people to overcome these barriers to reach the outcome they are looking for.

To achieve this we have made sure that at every step of the way the people we are supporting and their family and friends are in control, that they have a full awareness of what to expect from social care and health support and also the full range of options available to them.

We utilise a merged model of all approaches described earlier in the document and we adopt methods of sharing and gathering information that places the person in the centre, this includes utilising graphic facilitation and facilitated communication.

Imagineer and the National Brokerage Network are a team of people that represent the people the organisation supports, with people leading and running the organisation who have long term health conditions, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health conditions and sensory impairment. 

Evidence-base

Imagineer has tracked the progress achieved over time and we are happy to be able to demonstrate and very high level of satisfaction with the level of support we have provided.

The majority of connections made to Imagineer have been through word of mouth and based on the good reputation we have established.

As a small organisation we have a national reach for the delivery of independent support brokerage and support brokerage training.

We have gathered stories of the transformation change achieved in peoples lives and the social impact delivered. We ask members of the team to regularly check with the people we support regarding their experience so we can capture the positive feedback and respond effectively that anything we need to address.

Expected impact

We aim for people to feel;

  • In control
  • Connected with their own community
  • Able to choose from a range of options available to them
  • Healthier
  • Valued
  • Informed 

Our hope through the work we do is to reduce peoples dependency on the social care and health care systems as they feel happier with the support they have been able to find within their own and local networks, they feel better equipped and confident in managing the circumstances they find themselves in and able to explore their own solutions.  In this way people can respond more effectively to their day to day life circumstances. 

Stage/spread

The work of Imagineer and the National Brokerage Network covers the whole of the UK, with regional coordinators based in London, Kidderminster, Wirral, Blackpool, Blackburn and Northern Ireland.

The Head Office is based in Halifax West Yorkshire.

We have a team of independent support brokers who we work alongside, some employed by Imagineer and others external to the organisation.

The team at Imagineer coordinate referrals made throughout the UK.

What would councils/health organisations/local areas need to do or have in place to enable it to develop?

It would be valuable for local Councils, Health organisations and local areas to link with the provision of independent support brokerage within their area and build the capacity for this alongside other initiatives such as Individual Service Funds, Local Area Co-ordination and Social Prescribing and Link Working. 

What would kill it?

The outcomes and achievements would not be possible If the value of independent support brokerage is completely overlooked by a local authority or CCG.

If the social care and health system is not open to what people can achieve using support that is wide ranging and could include Personal Health Budget or Personal Budgets.

If initiatives to support people to achieve their outcomes for a good life, i.e. Link Working, Community Connecting, Asset Based Community Development are not seen as a collective of good practice to bring about social change. 

If we do not continue to progress with Personal Health Budgets and Personal Budgets.

If the myth continues that following asset and strengths-based approaches means reducing the council of health budgets.

Where to go for more information

www.imagineer.org.uk

www.nationalbrokeragenetwork.org.uk

www.beatit.org.uk

Head Office 01422 363817

Email info@imagineer.org.uk