In the third and final part of the series on coproduction, Matt Kidd, from Creative Inclusions, discusses how the panel is continuing to support the pilot in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The spread of the Coronavirus has enforced all sectors of society completely revisit how they do business, and the co-production panel is no different.
The traditional ways of doing business are off-limits for the foreseeable future so we have turned to technology and virtual solutions.
In addition to finding ways to conduct the guided conversations and recruitment and training activities remotely, the co-production panel have been working with Greater Manchester’s Homelessness Action Network to ensure that the lived experience perspective plays a central part of how the region responds to the Coronavirus, particularly in relation to rough sleeping and emergency accommodation.
They are leading on the wellbeing and co-production workstream, which is also providing input on the type of support and activities which are most likely to help people through this time, when face-to-face contact with support staff is vastly reduced.
They spoke about the importance of people accessing homelessness services believing there is a long-term offer of help and support which will stay with them beyond the crisis period, and that people aren’t just attempting to temporarily ‘sweep them off the streets’.
They have seen the type of approach, which has proved so successful in Housing First, and are playing an active role in ensuring some these principles are implemented when producing personalised plans for those living in the emergency accommodation.
The panel has created a list of all the activities, which have been helping the coproduction panel through this crisis, as well as times when they have been in custody, these include:
online peer support offered by Mutual Aid groups for people with substance abuse problems, such as AA, NA and SMART recovery and the peer support being offered through mental health charities in GM,
producing and sharing short videos of self-management tips
sharing skills and strengths that people are developing or rediscovering which are helping them through the lockdown.
They will co-design a webinar with the programmes team so HF staff can help introduce these activities to anyone accessing the service who might be interested.
In addition, they will offer this webinar to the staff who are producing personalised plans for those in emergency accommodation.
The coproduction panel are working with Lankelly Chase, an organisations which offers support, practice, and research services, to develop some online community reporter training to help capture their experiences through a variety of ways drawing, art, poetry, creative writing, sound, photography or video.
We will be extending this offer to people accessing Housing First if individuals and their Housing First workers feel this would be a useful, appropriate and therapeutic opportunity for them.