Creating possibility by developing understanding of inclusion

When you see my job title, Manager of Inspiration and Inclusion, you can probably guess what drives me. One of the key focuses of my role is ensuring there are opportunities for people to get involved in community events. I was thrilled to receive some recent feedback about one of our current programmes.

"We are really excited as we have already seen some fantastic changes in the care home communities, with more awareness from staff of isolated individuals and the importance of inclusion.”

In our programmes, the starting point for inclusion is identifying people who are isolated and raising expectations among staff, that these residents can be involved and make valuable contributions. Too often we concentrate on providing activities for those who will always get involved, and assume other residents aren’t sociable or interested in what goes on.

“We have already exceeded our target in terms of residents engaged, with a significant increase in participation from many residents who were at risk of loneliness and isolation, who previously rarely left their room for activities.”

When we have the belief and expectation that anyone can participate in whatever we do, and begin to adapt our approach so that we are more accessible, people show up! Once that expectation has been shifted, we open the possibilities for involvement everyday.

“The diaries we have created for particular residents also highlight some wonderful changes in the every-day life at the home, including changes in behaviour, openness to new ideas and improved relationships with other stakeholders at the home."