New Directions was proud to take-part in this year’s National Care Forum conference. At the event our Head of Operations Andrea Woods and our Shared Lives team of Karen Bennett and Hazel Friar represented us. With them, three members of our Shared Lives Community, James, Glenn, and Thomas represented our Shared Lives service.
While there we both presented and put on a series of workshops. We showcased the journey we undertook in introducing our Shared Lives community to greater access to technology. We covered the benefits that this technology has brought to their lives. We also highlighted the challenges that came with this effort. While greater access has brought a greater level of independence. So too has it brought a range of dangers that we needed to address. Our presentation highlighted several important steps we undertook.
We discussed how we assessed and curated a robust set of measures designed to keep our people safe online. We are now proud to say we have an extensive set of training courses and safety measures in place. We created these with the help of the Merseyside Police Service and People First.
At the event, we also produced several workshops with the help of James and Glenn. These workshops offered other organisations a better understanding of the problems we faced and the measures we took. We hoped that these helped highlight issues and resolutions surrounding introducing technology to those with complex needs.
Our Shared Lives manager Karen Bennet had this to say about her time at the conference. “It has been an amazing couple of days at the NCF conference. I was so nervous at the thought of Shared Lives presenting a workshop but I am so glad we did it now. Thanks to the amazing Thomas, James, and Glen sharing their stories and presentations on how modern-day technology has improved their lives we were able to showcase what a fabulous service Shared Lives is! Everyone was so welcoming and gave exceptional feedback about the workshop, they were really kind and complimentary which was lovely to hear. I was so proud watching James and Glenn chatting away to different people, sharing their lived experiences and all the work they had put into their presentations, (they were networking better than me! Ha). I get the feeling this is not our last workshop at a Conference…watch this space!”