Gateshead’s Strategic Partnership: Future-Basing Event Jointly Sponsored LGA, IDeA 21st July 2004. Summary This 8-hour event aimed to blend the objective of better access to services for all with key themes particularly Employment, Health and Social Care and Lifelong Learning, as set out in Gateshead’s Community Strategy. The fifth of a series of 6 future-basing events sponsored jointly by the LGA/IDeA, the event was designed to be a partnership project benefiting the LGA’s manifesto work, IDeA’s improvement work and Gateshead Strategic Partnership in equal measures. Future-basing was the technique employed to facilitate the event. Future-basing is a simple but powerful technique designed to create a future vision and decide clearly how to achieve it. The technique helps build operational plans and generate a motivation to act. It is built on the premise that starting from a position of success is more motivating than focussing on challenges. This note is principally a record of the contributions from the day. At the end however the LGA/IDeA suggest a couple of areas this strategic partnership may which to consider when they next meet/develop their next community strategy. Step 1: Setting the future date: Wednesday 21st July 2014 Step 2: Developing a vision Describing important success areas. List of themes the Strategic Partnership has been successful at achieving with regard to better access to services for all, particularly with regard to Employment, Health and Social Care and Lifelong Learning. Key themes were selected from the following list for further future-basing thinking. To make this selection each person present had 3 votes. Those headings in bold represent the priority areas as chosen by the group. Gateshead town centre being: Accessible – into buildings Information Safe streets – less glass Less shiny materials Stakeholders are open and responsive Flexibility of services Gateshead is welcoming ‘moved out of shadows’ of Newcastle Communication links – relationships, external communities People want to shop here Confident about information Massively increase economic engagement Centres any transactions, any agency ‘Life Check’ Equal access age, disability, ethnic minorities Consciousness of discrimination issues Enabling society Positive and enabled communities More disabled young children in main stream education system Choices – professionals are enablers rather than imposers Professionals talk to you rather than telling you what to do Freedom of delivery
Everyone can access learning opportunities relevant to their needs Free advice and guidance about life chances Less duplication of ‘service provision’ Big improvements in employment figures Affordable, local, friendly learning environment Skills shortages Critical juncture points – 10 year study complete of a group of NEETs who were 14/15 in 2004 Learning is valued - Cycle of non learning and non working across families has been broken Home orientated approach to learning – particularly under 7s All kids leave mainstream education successful in something either academic or vocational. 24% of residents of Gateshead disabled in 2004 – this has increased. At least half of these are employed People with disabilities are valued and so is their contribution to society. Social care service provision is needs based rather than resource based. Choices – collaborative – not ‘done to you’. Mentoring system now covers everything going beyond the system in placed in 2004 Harnessing older people’s skills All sector employer engagement – policies which are inclusive and creative in terms of providing opportunities across all sectors.
Step 3: Key Achievements The Group then divided up into a series of smaller groups and sought to clarify, with more descriptive detail what success looks like. There are a number of rules employed in the identification of achievements: they must be positive, in the present tense, descriptive, capable of influence by the person who has written them down, each person has to contribute their own thoughts. The most popular achievements were worked on through the remembering of milestone events and actions (step 4). 2014 – All kids ‘leave’ mainstream education successful in something We celebrate our 5th year with no exclusions Pupil survey shows pupils 95% satisfied with their school The N.E.E.T group is now 0% We have achieved 100% post 16 engagement All schools, teachers, pupils and advisers are aware of post 16 options Awards were made to young people who have significantly improved their own fitness All young people are measured against their own personal aims and aspirations and point of entry (added value) Gateshead is top of the school achievement tables GCSE A* - C. Gateshead young people in higher education reach record levels – again! Family awards for young people and parents/carers each gaining GCSEs reach record levels All school leavers have achieved an NVQ Family literacy programme is wound up More university leavers want to stay and work in Gateshead Volunteering recognised as an achievement Social care service provision is needs based as opposed to resource based – collaborative – not done to you. More finance provided by government Pooled budgets/finances across agencies Better partnership working within all sectors Early advice and accessible information/guidance Mentoring ‘independent person’ with clout on decisions/needs Stronger user voice Developed a forum for all disabilities (independent)
Variety of channels of communication developed Choice of services and providers i.e. commissioned or person centred. For example, have home help, go onto director payments and choose when and what you want done. Everyone is becoming aware of what is available and the choices. More one-stop shop with links to specialist information/guidance Publicity channels using a variety of mechanisms ‘places people go’, ‘pub beer mats’, ‘TV/radio/adverts’, ‘newsletters’, ‘free phone numbers’. Commissioning strategy achieved Welcoming ‘moved out of the shadows of Newcastle’ Gateshead town centre A totally accessible town centre Quayside and town centre linked Gateshead has achieved it’s own definable identity The town centre is buzzing at all times of day Out of town hits 30% regularly Let’s have a night out in Gateshead! Scottish courage renamed ‘Gateshead brewing PLC’ Gateshead town centre based around ‘café gardens’ award winning plaza. Tyne bridge wins arts award for facilities for pedestrians (moving walk way) Gateshead achieves regional award as destination of choice for culinary shopping Latest Gateshead riverside development dwarfs Newcastle skyline Harvey Nick’s opens Gateshead branch in town centre Most residents shop in the town centre or the metro centre First Michelin star awarded for Gateshead riverside restaurant – supporting new evening culture Good food guide has over 10 Gateshead entries Quayside – Town centre – Sauthwell Park (Cultural Quarter) monorail opens Gateshead becomes family weekend destination for both visitors and locals Green walk ways link town centre with riverside Car park raffle winner presses button to demolish 24% residents of Gateshead disabled in 2004 – this has now increased. At least half are employed. For 5th year Gateshead wins national award for employment of disabled people by S.M.E’s Software for visually impaired employees is on all PCs. All public service employers have led by example and have exceeded derisory national targets. Bob is now in a new job following training that was pro actively offered and designed for him. Alison is no longer irresolute! Joe becomes first wheelchair user traffic warden Airs project goes national from Gateshead base! More lifetime homes being built enabling easier adaptations to suit needs/rise in older population Better accessible environment enabling more social inclusion with community’s – dropped kerbs, colour contrasts, bubble kerbs Gateshead transport system 10 years ahead of national trends now completely user friendly Employment partnership developed independent company to train, support and develop work opportunities (with local employers) for people with disabilities. GSP receive 2014 CBI award for securing 50 national companies to locate in Gateshead town centre (excluding McDonalds) with commitments to increase ‘quota’ of disabled employees. 50% increase in community enterprises set up by people with disabilities Critical juncture points – 10 year study complete of a group of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment and Training) who were 14/15 in 2004 Provision of mentors
All schools offer ‘life skills’ Better health/sexual education including HIV Vocational guidance to learn/enquire their goals Community safety partnership won ‘National Drug Education Award’ Family mentoring service resulted in more successful relationships at school/home Better community links with police/both engaging More leisure facilities outside meeting needs of age ranges Interventions of project resulted in 50 more young people achieving their goals – in learning, employment, family relationships Mentoring scheme has resulted in genuine friendships Unintended pregnancy rate reduced and average age of first pregnancy increased by 3 years Agencies better understand each others roles through their involvement in the project Significant reduction in young people in target age group involved in criminal justice system Increases in positive outcomes in employment following returns to learning and training Young people from study become peer mentors First young person from target group of NEETs gains honours degree
Everyone can access learning opportunities relevant to their needs Breaking down barriers we now have accessible learning for all ages Approaches to life learning are greatly improved Ambition and confidence restored particularly in practical skills Long live adult liberal education! All educators respect and appreciate learners potential Step 4: Remembering Milestone Actions and Events. The group where asked to prioritise a number of achievements and then undertake reverse project planning to identify the key actions/events or milestones that led to the achievement of the outcome. The group was asked to reverse project plan from 2014 to 2004. This approach is used to try and assist participants to seek solutions rather than be constrained by the current day issues that we all face. Attachment A: Project Plan outlines the high level project plans selected and developed by the group. Questions asked of the group: What key actions/events happened to make these achievements happen? When between 2014 and 2004 did they happen? Issues for Further Consideration. The group of people representing the Gateshead Strategic Partnership at this event was limited. Informal ways of working appeared to improve the dialogue and conversations across organisations ‘Human interest Stories’ are a powerful way of converting cross organisational targets and aspirations into ‘real’ outcomes 35% of the people in the room do not plan to be working/representing the areas they work/represent in 2004 by 2014 – so who will be having these conversations then? Working backwards from a positions of achievement resulted in much energy and very constructive conversations Future-basing appeared to ‘level’/de professionalise/ de silo the conversations had Participants felt that ‘lifting their heads up from today’ did help them to offer insights into forthcoming challenges and opportunities that they might not otherwise have seen The Gateshead Strategic Partnership might benefit from commissioning ‘Futures Papers’ to be clearer about trends and projections – these might help the authority and their partners to think longer term.
Teresa Payne (IDeA) Iain Twine, (LGA) 25th July 2004.
Appendix: Gateshead Success Stories. Choosing 1 success area or an achievement describe how achievement feels from your own personal perspective. Story 1. Social Care Services Needs Based As Opposed to Resource Based 2014 Letter to my friend. I am writing this from home as I’ve taken early retirement. The reason I have retired, or, perhaps should emphasise taken early retirement, is that there is no longer any need for my organisation. When the council and PCT agreed to pool their budgets and develop a commissioning strategy (following strong intervention form the GJP and funding to support this approach), I worked with the VCS to develop user led and user designed services. Those organisations now provide all social care services (mainly employing ex Council Staff). The Council acts as an enabling body for all organisations so we decided to wind up GVOC as the VCS no longer needs funding or development and the LSP is full of users who are skilled and able to ensure the work is done! PS Must close, off to shop at Harvey Nicks in the Town Centre Story 2. Choice of Services and Commissioning Strategy. People wanting services now have much more information of what is available and are challenging the providers for ‘freedom of choice’. No money to deliver is no longer an excuse as the government have said all needs will be met. The new way forward is to question where the money has gone as people feel they should have a ‘voice’ and are not happy at monies not being available for being wasted elsewhere. Up in arms those who want ‘freedom of choice’ from old bored 8 O’Clock bedtimes (the miserable old home help – helm Hitler). Bedtimes want the monies themselves to buy their won services and get up and go to bed as and when they want and lead the independent life that all their ordinary friends enjoy thus providing choice which now belongs to everyone of every age and disability. Government now offers choice where need is found as a right not an excuse.
Story 3 Out of the Shadow As we left the western avenue restaurant owned by the Ruex Brothers, I remarked to my colleague that the new exotic vegetable store along the street seemed to be doing a cracking trade for this time of day. The evening was warm as the sun disappeared over the sad sky line of Newcastle’s West End and a pleasant breeze wafted across the magnificent central square or Piaza as it had become to be know by the locals.
We were going to hail a cab to the Sage Gateshead to take in the late evening blues cabaret. But before we did we enjoyed the scene as a collection of street entertainers amused the happy throng of passers by outside the ‘Gateshead Brewery Company’ new flagship family bar. I remarked to my friend that it was a little like the square outside the Pompidou centre in Paris. But he disagreed, ‘It’s much better than that’ he said. Story 4 10 year study – NEETS The Gateshead strategic partnership provided a mentoring service for `14-15 year olds in 2004. One of the aspects of the service was to provide a mechanism for young people to explore their aims and ambitions and any barriers to achieving them. Since then the 2004 group have returned today to tell the GSP – that one is now a head chef and has earned a Michelin star and is opening a new restaurant in the town centre, another has won the young designer of the year and plans to set up a Gateshead design centre to include training for young people; another following the inspirations of mentoring service has now taken over the BBC’s Alan Titmarsh gardening programme. All are now mentors in Gateshead for the 2014 14-15 year olds. Story 5 Stronger user voice – earlier advice and accessible information/guidance Do you remember the dream we had in 2004? When we started up the forum for older people. There were 47,302 older people in Gateshead then and there are now 60,000. We recognized the need for older people to have a voice. When I think about the difficulties we had then! How did we manage to achieve the successes we have? Information and advice was thin on the ground, no-one knew where to go on this. We needed funding – that was difficult to get. We needed to prove that users needed an organisation to speak up for them. We set about trying to look as professional as they thought we should be. We started to produce the leaflets, give out the information that should have been in place – this on very small amount of funding Wasn’t it great when celebrated our 1000th member when we were awarded our funding for our first paid worker. All this from a group of older people working as a team to prove a stronger user voice was needed. Now it is accepted that users are involved at the start of consultation and volunteers are recognized for the skills they possess. Information is not just sporadic – it is printed in many forms. WE HAVE COME ALONG WAY SINCE THEN. Story 6 All kids leave mainstream education successful in something Over the last 10 years Gateshead has witnessed a dramatic improvement in 16 year old school leavers with a recognised qualification or certificate. The Gateshead schools initiative based on the TDR enquiry model started in 2004 sought to engage all schools, training deliverers and local employers with a view to ensuring that all 16 year olds achieved something. Schools have introduced extra curricular vocational courses in a wide range of sectors. All 14 year olds are now educated and trained to an industry recognised qualification, either ONVQ or NVQ. All have 15 year olds have a personal career plan which is endorsed by – for the academic route – the pupil, parent, teacher and either the 6th form or college. For the vocational route – the plan has been endorsed by the pupil, parent, teacher, training provider and employer. This initiative has helped plug the skill shortage areas. Whilst maintaining both 6th form and college student enrolment numbers.
Story 7 10 year study of Not in Education, Employment and Training NEET group Today we had a meeting of the 2014 group. Time has flown since 2004 and only 4 of the study group are unable to be here as they are currently living out of the borough. The meeting is to allow the 2014 group to meet the GSP who initiated the project and to plan our new project ‘2024 bigger and better’. I talked to Joanne before the meeting who told me about her daughter who will be starting school soon. She and her daughter have already benefited from their local children’s centre which has helped her become a confident and positive mum. At the meeting Stuart, who just joined his first training course last month, thanked the scheme for not giving up on him over the years. The GSP members all knew of the 2014 group who had been helped and engaged by their agency.