This month’s edition includes:
- Safe Waiting
- The Christmas Countdown
- Changing It Up
- and much more…
A note from Nick
Well folks, that was 2021 – we look forward to 2022 with optimism and a continued hope to bring the Local Area Coordination vision to more and more people’s lives. Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in Local Area Coordination for their hard work, passion and dedication in this challenging year? I am excited to see where 2022 takes us together as a Network.
In this month’s blog, we’re exploring the principle of ‘choice and control’. It seems fitting to finish the year with this as our society once again grapples with finding a balance between personal choice, control and Covid safety.
Our personal sense of choice and control is probably something that all of us have lost to some degree at points during the pandemic. However, for many of the people Local Area Coordinators have been alongside, that loss has felt significant, intense and enduring. Staying alongside people and helping them achieve and maintain a sense of choice and control during difficult times is a key aspect of Local Area Coordination work. I don’t think you’d find a Local Area Coordinator in the country who hasn’t been tested on this at some point during this pandemic though. This is one of the many reasons why we place so much emphasis on reflective practice as a Network and in our individual teams. See our fab new resource Safe Waiting!
In times of crisis, it feels even more important to avoid just focussing on what’s going wrong, whilst at the same time not ignoring or inadvertently dismissing the complexity of people’s lives either. It’s a really tricky balance, but it’s the crux of the Local Area Coordination challenge in my opinion. A focus on choice and control is a big part of the answer to getting the balance right.
At our online Gathering at the end of 2020 Ralph Broad, the founder of Local Area Coordination in England and Wales shared his wisdom on this. He pointed out that our self-determination and choice and control doesn’t just appear magically, but rather it is the result of a number of factors including:
- “Individuals and families being acknowledged for their expertise and experience and being supported to speak up and be heard…”
- “Having the chance and time to explore, to imagine different and better, and to build a vision for a good life.”
- “Having better access to accurate, relevant, timely information in whatever way makes sense.”
- “[our] natural relationships, family, friends, work, colleagues, neighbours, groups, associations, and the wider community.”
Ralph went on to say:
“It starts by building the right relationship of trust, taking time to get to know people well. It is about having the right conversations, understanding what matters to people, understanding their strengths and celebrating their strengths aspirations as well as their needs and understanding the people who are important to them. It is about taking time to help people to explore, to imagine different and better, and to try new things, to meet new people, to build and pursue their vision for good life and how to make it happen”
Of course, we couldn’t agree more with Ralph here!
Can I wish all our readers a most peaceful Christmas and New Year when it comes and thank you for your ongoing support for Local Area Coordination.