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“Peer Support Network events and activities play a crucial role in keeping my family well connected to other families facing similar issues regarding the welfare of the people they care for. They help to shine light upon issues others are facing that may not be known to us, giving an opportunity to support them through awareness. Connectivity and awareness is needed to provide a caring and supportive society. The network provides a platform for discourse not readily available elsewhere.”  Parent and Support Worker feedback

This year the Peer Support Network has worked with over 200 parents, siblings, carers, support workers, health and social care providers to share their experience and empower person-centred approaches to care, community life, housing, health and wellbeing. We have invited guest speakers including health and social care practitioners, commissioners, councillors and legal specialists to explore the lived experience of people with complex support needs.

January

March

  • Amaze SEND Information, Advice and Support Service for East Sussex joined us for a Connecting Families workshop. Several families were assigned an Amaze Independent Supporter to attend meetings with families, school and local authority and help build evidence for their Education Health and Care Plans to ensure their child received the right school placement for them and the support they need at school.
  • Our first Summit focused on Adult Social Care Cuts and Rates of Pay for Support Workers and PAs. In light of the Summit, the Adult Social Care Operations Development (ESCC) team are currently investigating their policy on Rates of Pay for support workers and PAs (currently below living wage).

May

  • Learning Disability Liaison Team, Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group joined a Connecting Families workshop. Families received ‘My Care Passports‘ to support their children during hospital appointments and admissions.
Artist Tom Lepora leading Connecting Families creative workshop

July 

  • We asked ‘What are our aspirations for personalisation?’ at our second Summit of the year and rallied together a diverse group from across the community including, parents, siblings, support workers, councillors, commissioners and legal specialists. The aspirations and recommendations shared at the Summit fed into a Charter of Ambition and Rights for Personalisation.
  • 29 parents, carers, support workers, artist and health and social care professionals took part in free Positive Behaviour Support training days
  • We delivered Political and Social Context for Care awareness raising sessions for the Explorers Project partners and Premier Inn staff sharing how we work with the circles of support around individuals with complex support needs.

“We both enjoyed attending the summit, (my daughter) I felt benefited from it most, it was somewhat empowering for her, I think, as she seemed to crank up another gear about her brother and others having to fight to have a say in their own lives.” Parent feedback, July Summit

Peer Support Network Summit July 2018

August

  • Legal professional and CEO of Embrace Rebecca Whippy ran a workshop about Education Health Care Plans. The workshop was programmed in companion with our Summer Art Breaks programme. Families received 1-2-1 support from Rebecca to identify their rights under the Children and Families Act 2014 and share practical tools such as letter templates.

November 

  • Our Family Employer Workshop in collaboration with Disability Inclusion saw families share experiences of managing provision through personalised budgets or Personal Health Budgets or Direct Payments. We are building opportunities for bespoke training for families at Project Art Works for the New Year. Watch this space!
  • Lastly, the Peer Support Network launched the Charter of Ambition and Rights for Personalisation. The launch was part of the EXPLORERS project seminar ‘Art, Rights and Representation: Reflecting the lived experience’ at De La Warr Pavilion.

To download the charter, visit: https://projectartworks.org/charter-of-ambition-and-rights-for-personalisation/

To request a hard copy, email [email protected]

Dates for your diary 2019:

Tuesday 29th January, 11am – 1pm

Personal Independent Payments (PiP) workshop

Wednesday 13th February, 1.30 – 4.30pm

Peer Support Network Summit – Advocacy and Independent Representation

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