Edinburgh Development Group already have an existing grant from The National Lottery Community Fund for our project Our Future in our Hands – supporting 3 self-managing care cooperatives for young people and adults with disabilities. This additional money will cover costs associated with their community response to the current crisis.
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EDG is always striving to be at the forefront in the development of innovative approaches to support and care of disabled people. We are pleased to announce our project to establish the first ever self-managing care co-operatives in Scotland.
WHAT IS A CO-OPERATIVE?
Co-operatives are based on the values of EQUALITY, SELF-HELP, DEMOCRACY, SELF, RESPONSIBILITY, SOLIDARITY and EQUITY.
In the tradition of the co-operative movement’s founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others, supporting one another and acting together to serve their members.
By applying these co-operative principles and values into the context of care and support for people with learning disabilities we have an opportunity to change the landscape. Giving individuals and families a collective voice enabling greater scope and varied ways of meeting their needs and creating meaningful opportunities.
Within the context of Self-Directed Support there is an opportunity to explore the possibilities for disabled people to pool their individual service funds and their respective families coming together to develop the range of support that they collectively and individually need, maximising their purchasing power and enabling economies of scale.
BACKGROUND WORK FOR EDG
Through EDG’s exploratory work with particular families over many years we uncovered a range of issues. The future needs of adult children was becoming a pressing concern and one we sought to help them to address.
5 care co-operatives for disabled people and their families or allies over the next 3 years -
This was our pilot co-operative and will be supported to develop as a self managing co-op. It is made up of three families with learning disabled adult children with complex health needs (aged 40 - 55) and their siblings.
Four further co-operatives will be established. Our current plan includes the following groups. The names are working titles as each care co-operative will decide it’s own name once it is formed.
Our Future in Our Hands...
As we approach the end of year two we want to recognise the progress of 8 families who are setting up a care co-operative to manage the support of 8 young adults with a learning disability. In the last year and a half they have spent time bonding, creating a charter, members agreement and memorandum and articles so they can register as a company. A lot of progress in a short time!
Their main reasons for coming together as families are so the young people can be supported to identify and follow their dreams and aspirations, pool resources to access more cost effective and bespoke support and to forma an extended community of families who can offer practical and emotional support.
Supporting Families to find Play Opportunities in South Queensferry
EDG is currently working in South Queensferry with families to develop play opportunities in the local area. This is focused on working with families to identify their needs and different kinds of play opportunities as well as looking into venues where such a group could be held. If you are a family with a young person with special needs in the area and would be interested in developing a group then do get in touch with Lindsay on firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘The Street’ is so-called because it is different from the other coops in the project which bring people together because of a common interest or need for a particular kind of activity or support. In The Street, we invite people who live in the same locality to come together as a community. So members may gather to seek (and offer) support for all kinds of different reasons. It takes us back to the true essence of community, where natural supports build and we celebrate diversity.
A group of four disabled women have come together to provide each other with emotional support and practical advice about issues around the day to day management of their support packages. A big theme which emerged over the first year was that they have all had difficult experiences where health and social care professionals have shown a lack of empathy, knowledge or understanding about their conditions and support needs. On many occasions this has led to a decrease in their mental and physical health.
The women are developing a film resource for professionals to support them in delivering the personalised care that as 'experts in their own bodies' the women see is needed.