Independent Living Today by chenboying


									Independent Living Today
December 2008
Welcome back to the 3rd edition of our Newsletter, keeping you informed about issues and developments within services aimed at helping people maintain their independence.

Highlights of today’s Newsletter include:
Stockton`s Telecare Service – a good practice authority Cleveland Fire Brigade Service Creative Involvement Workshop `Tis the Season to be… Jolly?

1. Telecare in Stockton
The Telecare Service provided to people in Stockton by Care Call Ltd has recently been used as a Good Practice Case Study by Tunstall Ltd, the leading Telecare equipment provider. Tunstall produced a 6 page booklet focusing on the work of Care Call, the experiences of the people who use the service and the benefits and cost savings to the authority. Amongst the case studies is the youngest client to use the equipment, Lucy, a three year who has epilepsy-like seizures due to a heart problem. The service has meant that for the first time in three years her parents can sleep soundly, safe in the knowledge that if Lucy has a seizure, they will be alerted by the alarm and help can be immediately on hand if required. 1

Net savings for the authority due to Telecare is estimated at £220,954 for 07/08 for the first 88 clients, which includes £13,904 in saved ambulance call outs based on £158 per call out, £6,424 in saved A&E Admissions based on each admission costing £73 and £66,528 in saved bed days based on £378 per hospital bed per day. The Case Study is being considered by the Department of Health Care Services Efficiency Delivery Team (CSED), and Stockton is being taken forward as an exemplar authority. Congratulations to all involved! For more information about Telecare please contact Care Call on 01642 528438

2. Cleveland Fire Brigade
Did you know that Cleveland Fire Brigade will provide to all homes in Cleveland:    Free trained staff who will work with you to identify and reduce the risk of fire or accident in your home Free 10 year sealed unit smoke alarms / detectors Free talks to client groups and organisations

For more information please contact 01429 874063 or email and quote ST 3117 How advocates can help in the community Advocates have specialist skills in communicating with their client groups. They can provide fire safety awareness, engage with people to gain consent for the risk to be reduced, use specialist resources and issue equipment. This can often involve signposting. Many issues identified through the Home Fire Safety visits move beyond a fire risk for the individuals concerned and may represent more of a social need. By constantly working with many partners, advocates can assist in providing the best response and help for those who need it, should they request it. Please contact one of the following advocates for more details: Margaret Yull – Disability Advocate Laura McQuillan – Deaf Persons Advocate Kelly Bonner – Young Persons Advocate Shelly Walker – Older Persons Advocate Glen Clerk – Older Persons Advocate Pav Rehman – BME Advocate Lyndsey Galbraith – Drug / Alcohol Advocate 07725 956576 07894 613688 / minicom 01429 874053 07984 613689 07725 956572 07725 422941 07802 458600 07894 613690


3. A Box of Frogs - Creative and Inclusive Involvement Workshop
A Pathway to Meaningful Change Stockton is a proactive leader in developing and supporting service user involvement within the north east region. The Supporting People Durham and Tees Valley Cross Authority Group through its Service User Involvement Task Group recently developed and delivered a 2-day workshop on creative involvement and influence, which was open to Officers and Service Providers from the region. The 2-day workshop was high energy, participatory, informal, 2 way, interactive and fun! The workshop was delivered and facilitated by ‗Box of Frogs‘ ‗Box of Frogs‘ specialise in making things happen. They use visionary and creative approaches to work within the community to create change, by helping the people who use services have a real say and influence in the way those services are designed and delivered. At the heart of their ethos is designing and delivering work that is accessible, inclusive and empowering. They believe that creativity should be an inherent part of peoples‘ day-to-day lives and this belief underpins all their work. ‗Box of Frogs‘ brings the arts, voluntary and statutory sectors, and the people who actually use the services together. They have worked with people from a diverse range of backgrounds and with a diverse range of needs, including people who are homeless, young people, travelling communities, drug and alcohol users, people from Black and Ethnic Minority communities, people with learning difficulties or emotional and behavioural problems, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people and young offenders. ‗Box of Frogs‘ have worked predominantly in the northwest supporting Bolton Supporting People in their service user involvement. Bolton Supporting People is recognised as a 3 Star /Excellent Programme and hold CLG Regional Champions for service user involvement. The workshop included:       Exploring what inclusive involvement really means Exploring creative and arts based techniques and tools with an opportunity to try them out in a learning and supportive environment Exploring different methods of engaging certain groups What works and what clearly doesn‘t work Maintaining engagement and involvement and building on it Moving from involvement to influence

The 2 day workshop was attended by 40 participants. Feedback was extremely positive with 91% of participants rating it as very good (the highest rating) and 9% as good. Some comments on the 2 days: ' It was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with my passion for client involvement, a great chance to meet other people and get some new and innovative ideas.'


' Excellent event, exceptionally well organised with great participation from all involved. Thoroughly enjoyable 2 days!' ' It was such a rewarding training session, everyone was so positive and willing to learn in the environment created! Thank you - it was a breath of fresh air!' ' I have already fed back to my organisation that it was the most enjoyable training that I have been on for ages!' ' Fantastically structured - it was interactive, informative and always close to the subject point.' If you would like to find out more about how involvement is developing at Stockton, then please contact Naomi Garbutt, Modernisation Manager, Independent Living, on 01642 528937.

4. `Tis the season to be….Jolly?
Slade, Wizzard and Wham are blasting out of the radio again, town is teeming with busy shoppers dashing to get their presents, and the festive lights have all been switched on… which can only mean one thing - Christmas is just around the corner. And that means it‘s time to celebrate, to spend quality time with family and friends, to indulge ourselves, relax, and be of good cheer. According to the songs, it‘s the most wonderful time of the year, and this is the season to be jolly. While this is the way that lots of people see Christmas, the truth is that for many, Christmas isn‘t necessarily a merry time. A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that one in three adults said they would escape Christmas if they could. So what‘s the reason for wanting to get away from the celebrations? For some people it can serve to highlight feelings of loneliness or isolation, stress, anxiety and depression. Helene Elysée, a Therapist at Alliance Psychological Services in Stockton says ―Christmas is known to be one of the most stressful times of the year— everyone‘s rushing about, feeling under enormous pressure and thinking they are the only ones feeling this way!‖ One in four adults will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. This can affect anyone, and many people will know or care for someone with a mental health problem. Christmas time can be particularly difficult for people with mental health problems and their carers, because it can heighten feelings of sadness and depression, and financial and other pressures can impact on anxiety and stress levels. Dee Clarke from The Link (a carers‘ support group for mental health) in Stockton echoes this. Dee says ―We [carers] try to be positive, but Christmas can be hard for carers, because it‘s a time when everyone is expected to be happy, and this can put more of an emphasis on people‘s mental health‖. Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, conducted an online poll in 2007 to look at the cost that Christmas spending can have on people‘s mental health. The poll found that there was a 40 percent increase in stress or anxiety levels, and a 25 percent increase in depression levels at this time of year. As Mind‘s Chief Executive said ―Christmas is an expensive time of year…financial worries can have a devastating impact on mental health…People who


have mental health problems are more likely to be living in poverty , with many dependent on benefits because they are too ill to work…worries about finances…will only add to their distress‖. And this seems more relevant than ever, particularly given the recent turn in the economic climate. It is vital to remember that looking after our mental health and well-being is just as important as our physical health and well-being. As Helen Elysee says, ―This is a stressful time, and it can help to talk to people who understand the particular pressures that Christmas can bring‖. The Mental Health Foundation have produced a ―countdown to Christmas de-stressing‖ which aims to help reduce people‘s stress and anxiety levels, and includes taking some exercise, monitoring the amount you drink, social interaction and making time for yourself to relax. The full countdown can be found on New Directions, based at the Lighthouse Centre in Stockton who provide Drop-In services for mental health support and information, are running a range of activities throughout December and January. These include a darts tournament, quizzes, a Christmas supper with Christmas carols and a Christmas concert. Dee Clarke is looking forward to The Link‘s Christmas party, which provides an opportunity for The Link‘s carers to get together, along with the staff that they‘ve worked with throughout the year. Dee says, ―This is often the only opportunity some carers have to get out, and spending time together makes us remember why we do the work that we do‖. If you or someone that you know or care for needs to speak to someone over the Christmas period, then the following contact information may be useful: The Samaritans 08457 909090 0800 0527350

Mental Health Matters Helpline NHS Direct 0845 4647

Further information Alliance Psychological Services Ltd. is an independent provider of counselling and psychological therapy services to the NHS and elsewhere. They can be contacted on 01642 352 747 or Further information can be found at The Link provide support for families, friends and carers of people with mental health problems. They can be contacted on 07952 792231. The New Directions Drop in Service is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1pm until 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm until 4 pm. New Directions will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year‘s Day. If you are interested in the any of the New Directions activities mentioned in this newsletter or for any other information, please call 01642 732436. Further information can be found at (many thanks to Natalie Hanchard, Commissioning Manager - Mental Health, for providing the above article)


5. Avalon’s Floating Support and Mail Reading Services.
The Floating Support Service is a free service which is aimed at older adults. The aim is to enable people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible by offering support to carry out every day housing related tasks. This can include assistance with shopping, attending appointments, completing forms plus much more. The Mail Reading Service is also a free service and is aimed at people with a visual loss. The aim is to assist with reading and responding to mail. Due to the personal nature of the support the same support worker visits each week / fortnight to ensure strict confidentiality. For more information please call 01642 633556 and ask for the Floating Support Service.

6. The Disability Advisory Group
This group is made up of local residents who have experience of living with disability and representatives of some of the local disability groups. The activities of the group are co-ordinated by Stockton-on-Tees Diversity Team, who are available to offer support to the group and its members. The group will works in 3 main ways: Network Meetings, Newsletters and Working with Officers. Officers have the opportunity to invite members of the group to work with them to help plan services and assess the needs of disabled service users. This could be by inviting members of the group onto a project steering group, making site visits or asking them to undertake ―mystery shopping‖ visits. When people join the Disability Advisory Group they are asked to complete a member profile which gives details of how we can support them to work with us. Your team will be given a copy of the member profile for the relevant members when they work with you. Contact the Diversity Team for more information on Telephone: 01642 528830 or Email:

7. Independent Living and Supporting People Updates
Good Practice and Guidance Community cohesion and housing: a good practice guide (newly revised)This guide gives practical examples of local areas that are playing a role in forging cohesive and resilient communities. It also provides a practical toolkit aimed at housing providers and the residents with whom they work. Housing and mortgage support at a time of recession A case study which describes the different approaches South Holland District Council and Wakefield Council have taken to support the housing market in a time of recession. Young people: housing choices The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published 2 new reports about young people and their housing choices. 'Young people's housing transitions' is based on a series of UK-wide discussions and events. The discussions covered the difficulties that young people faced, and examples of good practice. 'Housing choices and issues for young people in the UK' focuses on the fact that young people are experiencing increased risk and uncertainty as they move into independent housing.The review considers


their options, highlighting some of the most pressing housing-related issues currently facing young people in the UK. Making a difference: Supported lodgings as a housing option for young people The aim of this guide is to inform and support local authorities' planning and commissioning of supported lodgings within the context of strategies to tackle youth homelessness. It is based on a review of supported lodgings services in 17 local authority areas in England, and of data collected through the Supporting People programme Reviewing and refreshing your housing strategy Government is determined now more than ever for local authorities to become more strategic in their thinking and an ‗excellent strategic approach‘ is key to developing plans for the longer term to enable the delivery of real outcomes, not just outputs within your communities. In response to many enquiries about the status of local housing strategies and what local authorities need to have in place a guidance note has been produced which is intended to help understanding about ‗where you are and where you need to be‘, and to seek support from others within local areas to develop strategic approach. House Price Index Statistical Release – September 2008 The latest UK house price index statistics produced by Communities and Local Government were released on Tuesday 11 November 2008. The latest statistics release includes data based on mortgage completions during the month of September 2008. Housing Corporation: In brief - Low-cost home ownership - Affordability, risks and issues This report summarises research that explored the impacts of the credit crunch and market changes on the supply of, the demand for, and the affordability of low-cost home ownership

Do you have any information about the work that you are doing within your service area that you would like sharing? Do you have any good news you want to share? Are there any events or developments that you would like publicising? What about your own experiences - have you any anecdotes or stories, poignant or that might raise a smile? If so, we want to hear from you! Please ensure that your articles are sent in by 6th February 2009.

We`re on the Web! and type Independent Living into the search site
And we also have a dedicated email address for all your independent living enquiries: or you can write to us at: Independent Living, Adult Strategy Team, Tithebarn House (1st Floor), High Newham Court Hardwick, Stockton TS19 8RH, Tel 01642 528490 Fax 01642 528457

If we have missed anyone or any organisation off our mailing list that you are aware of who you think would like to receive this newsletter, please let us know.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Independent Living Team !


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