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Time to unite the liberation movement!

I have been reflecting with Lynne Elwell this week… What has happened to the beginning of a liberation movement where people were being freed? It seems people are now having to fight their way to community. But isn't it everybody's right?

Taken from Herb Lovett in Dallas 1996… we are now in 2016!!!!!!!

'Community is not a place but a way of life. Community means you choose where you live, with whom and what you do with your life. You do not earn your way into ordinary schools. You do not prove yourself ready to a team for the job you want. You apply to your employer and start working. You do not prove to a team that you're ready to have a home of your own. You live in one. You should not have to be charming to get the help you need. But we have people all the time having to prove they are good enough. And that is just wrong.

And whose behaviour is difficult behaviour? When someone spends all day working and they get a meaningless treat at the end of it, who is behaving badly?

When someone gets ignored for being inappropriate or sent off alone or is kept isolated, who is behaving badly?

When someone gets drugged up or tied down, who is behaving badly?

When someone gets to earn a trip to the shops for not annoying people, who is being manipulative? When someone gets ignored for being inappropriate or is sent off alone or is kept isolated, who is behaving ANTISOCAILLY?

When someone gets tied down or is drugged up, who is behaving aggressively?

When people get routinely physically restrained, whose behaviour is out of control?

When people are kept apart from what they enjoy doing, apart from the places they want to go, and apart from the people they want to be with, whose behaviour is antisocial?

And when people keep doing the same meaningless rehabilitation exercises year after year, or keep the same behaviour plan year after year and nothing good changes for the person, who is slow to learn and fails to profit from experience?

Community is not about therapy, though we can all grow in it. If we listen to people and heed what they are telling us, not just with their words but with their actions as well, we temporarily able-bodied can grow past our difficult behaviour and become honourable members of community as well.'

20 years on and this is still a powerful read, relevant and true. 2016 also marks 20 years of Partners in Policymaking, brought to England by Lynne Elwell.

This year we celebrate 20 years of Partners in Policymaking in England. I am honoured to have been part of this amazing movement since its birth in 1996 in Oldham. We are working on both how to celebrate the achievement and increase the success of Partners. Too many achievements to mention, but they are everywhere, making such a significant difference. Wherever there is something brilliant happening, you tend to find there is a Partners graduate in there!

Whilst Partners in Policymaking is a leadership course, now a suite of leadership courses, the element that continues the movement is the network that has derived from it. People associated with Partners and In Control are all part of the People Power movement. Members are involved with a wide range activities, such as:

  • Coordinating and supporting Partner's leadership courses.
  • Setting up and being involved in new initiatives like the "you know" website, set up by Jayne Knight, Gail Rainford and others to link support to people - www.youknow.org.uk
  • Being part of parent partnerships supporting developments for EHCs (Education, Health and Care plans) for children.
  • Supporting families through the helpline with a range of advice around PHBs (personal health budgets) for children and adults.
  • Extending self-direction into areas within and beyond the disability sector.

Last year we brought In Control's programmes together in one Whole Life event. It covered all ages and all groups. The networks built there were invaluable, watching mums of adults share their experience with mums of young children, watching children and adults workers talking together, providers and commissioners, daughters of older people talking to commissioners of older people's services. People usually separated by the way that statutory systems work were brought together with the aim of making lives better for people and seeing a whole life perspective.

We continue to strive to champion, check and challenge that people who need support, regardless of why they might need it, have control of it. We champion and support best practice, we check via POET (personal outcome evaluation tool), a survey aimed to get the voice of people who are at the receiving end making a difference to policy and direction by highlighting what works and what doesn't work. Partners and local gatherings enable these results to get action to find solutions to what's not working, together as local leaders. We challenge via reminding statutory services of the ethics and give families the information to understand their rights under the relevant legislation.

We believe together we are better - so if you are not linked to the People Power network, now is the time - sign up here.

Let's make this the year of becoming honourable members of community and unite the liberation movement that is so deeply needed!

Julie Stansfield

1 comment for “Time to unite the liberation movement!”

  1. Gravatar of JennyJenny
    posted 18 January 2016 at 17:32:25

    Completely agree we need as well we need to support local partners to link up with others. Need to help people to think big and contacting people up. To stop getting isolated. Personalisation will win the day if we work together help each other listen to each other and help put the pieces together.

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Last Updated : 18 January 2016. Page Author: philippa.barker.