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Co-Production Week 2024: What's missing?

At Your Voice Counts, we embrace the theme of Co-Production Week, “What’s Missing?”, by focusing on what’s missing in how we co-produce support and solutions with people. A recent case with Terri, one of our Senior Advocates, and Gary, one of our Specialist Learning Disability and Autism Caseworkers, highlights this approach.


Case study: "By listening to Ali and working closely with him, they were able to find the support he needed"

Terri was helping Ali who seemed to be getting fewer benefits than others in similar situations. She knew something was missing in the support process and asked Gary, with his specific expertise, to help.  They decided to meet Ali together to find a solution.


At first, Ali was hesitant to meet Gary. He finds meeting new people stressful and any kind of intervention threatening. Over time, Terri revisited the idea of the meeting and eventually Ali agreed.


Gary joined Terri on her next visit. Terri made sure Ali was comfortable with the plan and got his consent again then Gary met Ali separately to discuss financial details while Terri stayed away to protect his privacy.


Gary discovered that Ali might not be receiving the right benefits and needed specialist support so Gary is now researching Ali's living situation to check if this affects benefit criteria. This is an unusual case with learning opportunities for everyone involved. Gary will write to the DWP to request information about a specific benefit claim and, based on his extensive knowledge, Gary believes he can support Ali to achieve a realistic outcome. He may also help with a benefits assessment if needed.


After Gary’s meeting, Terri talked with Ali about how it went. He described Gary as “canny,” showing his approval. Terri and Gary then discussed and agreed the next steps.


This experience highlights how important it is to work together with the person involved to find solutions. Terri and Gary involved Ali in every step, making sure his needs were met. Terri took time to talk with Ali and build his confidence, so he felt comfortable meeting with Gary. By listening to the person and working closely with him, they were able to find the support he needed. This approach highlights that when we include the person in the process, we can create better and more effective support systems.


At Your Voice Counts, we believe in the power of working together to make a real difference in peoples’ lives. For more stories and to learn how you can get involved, visit our Get Involved page.


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