National Involvement Network meeting: Friday 11th September St. Margaret House, Edinburgh

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National Involvement Network meeting: Friday 11th September

St. Margaret House, Edinburgh

Present: Lynnette Linton (Chairperson), Brian Robertson (Vice Chairperson), Advocating Together (Dundee), Redwoods, ARK Housing, Brothers of Charity, Quarriers, Have Your Say (part of the Action Group), Turning Point Scotland, Renfrewshire Disability Resource Centre, Promoting Independent Living in Renfrewshire (PILiR), Gowrie Care, St. Joseph’s Services, Upward Mobility, LinkLiving, Loretto Care, Garvald Edinburgh, Alex Balloch from SCRT, Tricia Burnett from Carr Gomm, Rebecca Williams, Paddy Carstairs, Sylvia Crick, Diane Eaton, Brid Cullen (all ARC Scotland). 59 people in total attended.

  1. Welcome and Introductions

Lynnette welcomed people coming to their first meeting or coming back after a gap:

  • Monica and Sonya from Have Your Say, the advocacy group based in the Action Group, Edinburgh

  • Dorota, Andrew and Rhona from Redwoods

  • Alex from SCRT

  • Tricia from Carr Gomm

  • Rebecca from ARC Scotland

  • Fiona, Tom, Tommy and ? from Brothers of Charity

People who couldn’t come:

Peter Jung from Turning Point Scotland

Pauline McDonald from the Scottish Government

Leam and Michael from TAG

Susan Brown from Fife Council

Sharon Irvine from Cornerstone

Patricia Ferguson

Options for Independence

Partners for Inclusion


Gillian Currie from Capability Scotland

2. News from Groups

Lynnette said that Lesley McConnach was unable to attend the meeting but she had done her sponsored swim for the NIN and raised over £400. She wants to present a cheque to the NIN at the next meeting.

News about the Charter - Lynnette said that 4 more organisations had signed up to the Charter since the last meeting:

Key Community Supports

Simon Community Scotland

Scottish Autism

Streets Ahead Borders
Several others said they were interested in signing up. Paddy, Brid and Sylvia are in contact with these, and meeting local projects to talk about how they put the Charter into practice.
Lynnette read out a list of events that had taken place in the past 2 months.

Hansel – sent in a note. At Hansel Kay and Gemma are taking the messages from the Charter to a joint service forum to try to make sure people are listened to, respected and live life to the full. Gemma said “we will be doing the training ourselves. We will be starting with Statements 1, 2, 4 and 6. In control, our choice, our life.”
Brothers of Charity - the Checking It Out Group has been looking at Charter Statements 10, 11 and 12. The have also been looking at a new safety scheme in the Borders where a symbol shows safe places to go if people get lost or feel unsafe.
Redwoods - The Tiger Group has been working on “What makes a good support worker”. They had a summer break where the group helped organise their summer barbeque.
St Josephs Services – over the past 2 months they have been sending out annual surveys to staff, service users and family members. At the Advisors group they have reviewed the easy read version and will review all of the feedback from the surveys. They have also been working on the Easy Read Conflict of Interest policy.
They are looking to recruit new members to their Board of Advisors.
Quarriers – Hate Crime Steering Group for Quarriers had a map completed by the Quarriers Community Connections Team. An event is being planned by the Discovery Group for November where people give information and use a drama to tell stories. This group will also talk at the staff conference in October.
Quarriers annual survey for people who use services has been based on some key Scottish documents – one of them being the Charter.

Ark Housing - has been working on its Complaints DVD, about how to make a complaint to ARK. The ARK Working group has been reviewing some policies, like the Furniture Policy. This will now be in easy read.
Sue and Gloria have given training to service users in Forres on how to tak part in choosing new staff.
Garvald Edinburgh – they have shipped out a whole load of equipment to support projects in Malawi, including 32 sewing machines. This is part of the Tools for Self Reliance project which helps people.
Advocating Together (Dundee) - people from the SAY group took part in training with Lynnette and Brid on chairing meetings. Ali has become Ambassador for their new Safe Place project.
Turning Point Scotland – Brian spoke about the NIN at the TPS Managers meeting. People are concerned about support needs not being met when someone goes into hospital. Some regions have a Liaison nurse who spends time with people before they go into hospital.
Have Your Say – has asked the Action Group Board to sign up to the Charter and it said yes. This will take place on 7 October and Lynnette and Brian will attend. Great news!
Loretto Care – Loretto is planning on signing up to the Charter so that people can take part in things that will interest service users. Matt takes part in most things that happen in the Whitefinch and Maryhill areas. They took part in interviewing new staff. They have started a Constituted group. They are holding a McMillan coffee morning on 25 September in Maryhill.

3. Promoting the Charter

  1. Marketing Plan for the Charter – Paddy gave a summary of the Marketing Plan that had been produced following 3 planning meetings with NIN members. Agreed we should produce a Charter logo that organisations that sign up could print on their headed paper. This could encourage others to sign up. Although more detail is needed for the Plan, everyone agreed with what was in it. It includes plans for people to do presentations and meet the bosses of organisations that have signed up to the Charter.

There was discussion about ideas for special events, and people wrote their ideas for items of merchandise on post-its. These included T-shirts, mugs, key rings, coasters, badges, lanyards for bus passes, bags for life, a Charter calendar featuring the 12 Statements for each month.

Paddy is going to ask all the NIN member organisations on their thoughts about having a charge for extra copies of the Charter, and starting a membership fee for being part of the NIN. This info will be feedback to the NIN.

  1. Presentation Skills training - Brian talked about the work the Training Sub-group has been doing to help NIN members do presentations. The sessions will take place in Edinburgh Glasgow and Dundee to give people choice. Full details and booing forms ill be on the ARC Scotland web-site and sent out to everyone on the mailing list by email.

Numbers will be restricted to 8 per session to make sure there is enough time for people to practise the skills. Brian said that people were not obliged to do presentations afterwards if it’s not right for them, but the skills they learn in the training will still be helpful to them. Paddy encouraged more people to do the training, and said that organisations take the Charter much more seriously when they hear about it from NIN members.

  1. Evaluation – Elizabeth talked about the aims of the Evaluation training and what will be included. It will be held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Details will be on the ARC Scotland web-site and sent by email to the NIN mailing list. Many members of NIN have done training to interview staff, but this will be aimed at interviewing Chief Executives about the Charter.

4. Talking Mats
Heather and Ali from the Advocating Together (Dundee) SAY group explained how Talking Mats works. Lois from Talking Mats then explained how it was developed to help people with communication difficulties to express their views. Heather and Ali used an actual black mat on the table, but it is also available as an app for laptops, tablets and i-pads. It helps someone to think about the subject being discussed, and they can see their views set out using images.
There was discussion abut how Talking Mats could be used by NIN. Suggestions were:

It could be used at NIN meetings and people could answer questions using Talking Mats.

It could be used as a voting system.

It could help people talk about the Charter.

It could help people to talk about their experiences of Statements in the Charter.

It was suggested we could use the Charter pictures for a special Talking Mats package.

Talking Mats could be used to explain things to Support Workers.
It was agreed that ARC Scotland would look into making use of Talking Mats specifically for NIN and getting people’s views about the Charter.

5. Citizen Leaders
Jess Alexander from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) was unable to attend was unable to attend, so Sylvia explained what being a Citizen Leader meant. Monica helped explain the principles and standards of Citizen Leadership as she was involved in setting it up. Everyone was asked if they thought they were Citizen Leaders. Some people did, others weren’t sure.

People gave examples of where they thought they had been citizen leaders:

  • Tracy helps with the Girl Guides.

  • Robert volunteers at People First meetings.

  • Ann was part of the Charter Working group that produced the Charter.

  • David said being a citizen leader meant being in control and having your own home.

  • Ali said it was making sure everyone was heard.

  • Stuart said he was a member of the St Joseph’s Green group and organising recycling. “Save the planet.”

After discussion most people thought they were Citizen Leaders as they helped to change services and contributed to wider society.
Sylvia explained that the SSSC was developing a strategy about leadership and asked if NIN would like to be involved in this. It was agreed NIN could do this in the future and so Jess would be invited to another meeting to talk about it some more.

6. Next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Friday 27 November, 11.00 – 2.30 pm at the Bambury Centre, 67 Yate Street, Camlachie, Glasgow.
The main part of this meeting will be discussing Self–Directed Support (SDS). Some talks will be given but everyone is asked to come and share their experiences or ideas about SDS.
Another part of the meeting will be to agree how meetings will take place next year. NIN meetings are now very large and can’t get any bigger, but there are also lots of people who can’t come to meetings. Paddy will send out a questionnaire asking people to indicate how they think meetings should happen in the future, and the feedback will be discussed at the November meeting.
Lynnette thanked everyone for coming.

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