Promoting Independent Living
Neighbourhood Networks in Scotland is a housing support service that facilitates local networks of mutual support for vulnerable adults. The community development approach of Neighbourhood Networks is based upon the importance of connecting people, empowering people as individuals and enabling mutual support amongst network members. There is an emphasis on identifying and highlighting the life skills individuals have.
The Neighbourhood Networks held a celebration of the previous year’s activities and achievements. During the event, members, Community Living Workers, an Involvement Worker, the Director of the organisation, and Care Inspectorate Inspector; reflected on their work, the good practice carried out and what Neighbourhood Networks offers to promote independent living and mutual support.
The Director of Neighbourhood Networks, John Dalrymple, explains their ethos as trying to “promote and facilitate local networks of mutual support amongst folks who are a bit perhaps disadvantaged or marginalised within their own communities.” The importance of being involved in their local community is emphasised by John as he reflects that “I guess one of the biggest issues we’re trying to address is loneliness and isolation. So we’re trying to make sure that there’s no one who’s known to us who’s living an isolated lonely life.”
The Care Inspectorate Inspector, Moira Agolini, comments that the service is “a good service to inspect, they work well with us. They understand the Care Inspector’s role, they work in partnership with us because they work in partnership with the members. So that’s the kind of culture of the whole organisation. The way they’ve empowered, that’s an old fashioned word now, but they’ve give people an identity, self-esteem, confidence, a part in community, that wasn’t there before.”
A member of the Neighbourhood Networks, Joe Fagan, agrees that “The Neighbourhood Network is a voluntary organisation and its run by people with special needs. It helps to connect people in their own community.”
Community Living Workers Carol, Pauline and Eleanor all describe their role as getting members more involved and connected in their own community. These local workers develop peer support networks of vulnerable adults and support members to connect to one another.
The Care Inspectorate Inspector Moira sums up the service as “I think what I would like to say about Neighbourhood Networks is that I always leave any of their events feeling better than when I came in. And it’s because of the enthusiasm and the passion, not only of the members, but also of the staff group. I think somebody summed it up tonight about making a difference to their lives, but I think it also does make a difference to staff as well. They have passion, they have motivation, the staff group. I think Neighbourhood Networks are a really good example of truly promoting independent living.”
We publish regular inspection reports for all care services - and grades can go up and down depending on what we see. The effective practice we see here should always be read in conjunction with the latest inspection report.
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