Excellence in Approach by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee
In 2011, the Social Care Institute for Excellence defined what it considered would be excellence in approach to social care. They said that to achieve outstanding care giving, a provider should place the people it supports at the heart of its services, ensuring that people spend their time “purposefully and enjoyably” and they went on to add “…in activities, pastimes and roles which bring them pleasure and meaning and enhance their quality of life.”
ubu delivers purposeful enabling support to the people we serve led by their ideas, goals and dreams. Our approach to transforming people’s lives with minimal support is at the heart of everything we do and enables their engagement in pleasurable and meaningful activities. We believe that this approach is just as important as ensuring people have control over their day-to-day lives, and ensures that each of the people we serve maintains and develops relationships with their families, partners, friends and local communities.
How though, do we define, measure and demonstrate that the people we serve are engaged in ‘pleasurable and meaningful’ activities? You might think that would be a simple question to answer. ubu understands and recognises that each person we serve is an individual with very particular needs, aspirations and goals in life. So we listen, take note and then act on what we hear to ensure that activities we are enabling a person to take part in are tailored in a bespoke fashion and actually meet their needs rather than simply fitting them into a schedule or convenient timetable.
At ubu we are committed to personalising and humanising the care and enabling we deliver. I have seen individuals we work with transformed through creative engagement in their local communities. The people we serve are encouraged and enabled to seek appropriate work experience programmes (we ask all of our major suppliers to provide a work experience placement) and to find meaningful therapeutic work placements to gain experience and build confidence to achieve success in their futures. Many of the people we serve have set themselves apparently audacious goals. And why ever not? They choose to take part in political discussion, community action and fundraising groups and the arts, including dance, music, crafts or drama.
The arts are for everyone: they delight and inspire. They promote individual identity, sensory pleasures and help us integrate into all kinds of social settings. ubu’s personalised enabling services have always encouraged artistic pursuits and activities because we have seen the positive behavioural benefits that can be achieved and enjoyed by the people we work with. We have been inspired by the contribution they can make to improving physical mobility, alleviate depression and anxiety and reduce social isolation.