It is tempting during a recession, or during a time of difficulty and stress (for example huge Local Authority Budget cuts) to consider the best strategy to be one of tying a knot at the end of your piece of string and hanging on.
We can look at the business plans of organisations and see this attitude as organisations and providers look to maintain their position, or re-position their organisation on the basis that their current model of support is no longer en vogue.
We have a different view. We very much see the current financial climate, combined with the effects of difficulties at Winterbourne View, as a real opportunity to make changes for people that we don’t support at the moment. We also see this as a real opportunity to grow for the benefit of the people we do support.
The people that we support, and their families have shown us, for example through the opening of a new uStep service in Nottingham, that uStep is a way of providing people with life changing opportunities, whilst reducing costs for commissioners and keeping people safe – so why would we not build on this?
The only reason that we would not continue to move forward is a lack of belief in what we do. If we truly believe that we are providing fabulous opportunities to allow people to be happy in their life, then we have an obligation to drive forward; confident that if we create opportunities, people will make the most of them and will have a better life as a result.
The people that we currently support, together with their families, provide us with the confidence, and inspiration. So whilst others are delighted to be standing still, and giving themselves great pats on the back for successfully delivering their business plan, we will continue to develop new uStep supports that will give more people the chance to be happy.
Delivering a business plan is simply not good enough, and frankly not something that the people we support, or their families, are particularly interested in. Indeed the phrase that sticks in my mind when we open new uSteps is ‘please ubu can we have some more’. So let’s do more and build more happiness on top of the new lives that uStep has already provided.