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The latest Peer Support Meeting was held on Wednesday 22nd March at the Project Art Works Arches.

Alongside families we were pleased to be joined by Richard Lewis, ESCC Strategic Commissioning Manager and Paul Bolton, Service Development Manager from ESCC Adult Social Care and Jess Steele from Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust.

Kate Adams welcomed families and delegates to the meeting.

Methods of Support Research Project

Project Art Works Programme Manager Matt Pitts spoke about the project and provided information on emerging findings about the issues experienced and support need for families in establishing / delivering personalised provision for a young person or adult with complex needs and behaviours perceived as challenging. The final evaluation report is due to be completed in April 2017. We will disseminate the document to the network members.

PA / Support Worker Update 

Paul Bolton, Service Development Manager Adult Social Care & Health, ESCC, introduced himself and outlined the Support with Confidence scheme and forthcoming project to recruit more PAs to the area.

As part of a wider conversation about support workers, families shared the difficulties they have experienced in trying to recruit experienced support workers. Several families stated that they had been unable to recruit suitable candidates who could provide the right level of support for the young person / adult in their care at the pay rates set by ESCC. There was further confusion about hourly rates as care managers had instructed families to pay an hourly rate below the rates that were being advertised on the Support With Confidence PA register. Families expressed a desire to have more control over how allocated budgets are spent, suggesting that they would like to be able to employ a support worker on a higher rate if they felt they were best able to meet the particular needs of their child. We have passed this enquiry to East Sussex County Council and asked for clarification on current policy regarding hourly rates of pay – we will share the response via our website and mailing lists.

Models of Accommodation

Kate Adams shared a presentation from My Safe Home outlining their ‘HOLD’ scheme to support home ownership for people with long-term disabilities. Presentation available here

Jess Steele from the Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust, introduced the work of the Land Trust and their aspirations for a bottom up development and community build in Ore Valley. Presentation available here


We are currently scheduling the next Peer Support Meetings for 2017. If you would like further information about this or previous meetings, or would like to suggest discussion topics for future meetings, please email us at [email protected] or call 01424 423555.

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