We were challenged to think about how we can design and provide better, more effective environments and support services to people who ‘challenge’ and those with complex needs. We shared innovative practice and inspiration!
I spoken on behalf of Housing Options about the challenges of getting both the environment and support right whilst also trying to give people ‘ordinary’ rather than service led lives. There’s no doubt that this is complex and challenging but it can be done. The ASL’s report “There is an Alternative” provides many positive examples of how this has been done to great effect and in a number of different and creative ways.
Throughout the day there were references to mcch’s Holly Lodge; a new development which is due to be completed in early 2013. It will combine innovative bespoke design, assistive technology and environmentally friendly features to make it one of a kind in Kent. Dan from Avenues and Julianne from mcch spoke about the creative and person centred support their two organisations will deliver together to the tenants at Holly Lodge.
I also presented a workshop about Assistive Technology with Kevin Godfrey from Icom. We talked about how good assessments and creative thinking can bring personalised technology solutions which can enable people to live more safely and give them greater control, independence and confidence. Some assistive technology can also enable staff or carers to provide more reliable support in less intrusive ways. Kevin and his colleague John brought some equipment with them and gave us a live demonstration of some of the technology in action!
Afterwards, I spoke to Rob Marno from SPECS, who co-chaired the conference. He described it as “totally inspiring” and thought the day provided lots of insight into the task in hand – getting the message out that people with behaviour that challenge need good housing and support.
Information about the other speakers, workshops and copies of the presentations are available on the KCBN website.
Rob Marno from SPECS, Conference Co-chair