Inclusion can seem to be the buzz-word that is used whenever organisations want to show that they are meeting all the criteria to involve people who use their services.
However involving people who use services in an organisation really shouldn't be about ticking the inclusion box. It should be more about the ongoing shift in culture and philosophy in how we develop services in partnership with people we support.
During the 1990s Quarriers embarked on a culture change that embraced the principles of person centred planning. From this beginning, inclusion emerged as the next logical step to take for the organisation and the people it supports. Although individual services were providing specific opportunities for people to design their own services, Quarriers recognised that there were fewer options for people to collectively influence events and set about to change this.
Since establishing the Inclusion Department, Quarriers has developed an Inclusion Policy that aims to increase the ways that the organisation directly engages with the people who use services.
The following initiatives have been set up as a direct result of Quarriers' Inclusion Policy:
Go4IT - Quarriers Digital Inclusion Service
Go4IT is Quarriers Digital Inclusion Service for people supported by Quarriers and their support staff.
Go4IT provides support and access to the benefits of technology and the ever-increasing online world that the majority of us take for granted. We promote Digital Inclusion by removing barriers and providing training, assessment, access to equipment and support.
Our service provides long-term IT clubs which aim to teach its members how to use computers to do word processing, access the internet, play games and pursue their knowledge and interests. The long-term club enables members to form new relationships with other members, staff and volunteers increasing their social network.
Quarriers Discovery Group initially started as a representative group of twelve individuals. Their aim was to increase involvement of all people who use disability services across the organisation. By May 2004 members of the group played a major part in planning an event for people who use disability services within the organisation that resulted in a two day conference called 'Let's Communicate' held at Paisley Town Hall near Glasgow. After 'Let's Communicate', the Discovery Group were able to recruit enough members to form six satellite groups that now serve to represent the views and opinions of individuals who use Quarriers services across the west of Scotland. Each of these groups receive support to create their own independent agendas for meetings where minutes are circulated to Quarriers Executive and Council of Management. Members of the groups participate in staff training and conferences, as well as meetings with various policy making forums within the organisation. The group have also conducted their own survey using questionnaires to discover what people who use Quarriers' services think about Quarriers.
New Horizons Group
Quarriers New Horizons Group was established in 2003. Their main aim is to generate greater interest about staff recruitment among people who use services. The group receives support from a Staff Development Officer, HRD Manager, Inclusion Worker and Project Manager. The group meets regularly to examine ways to establish a range of training opportunities that help people understand more about becoming involved in staff recruitment. In these meetings members learn how to explore the things that are important for them about selecting their own staff and what they are required to know to make this process successful. The group has also developed a three day training event that equips people with the necessary skills to participate in advertising, selection and recruitment of candidates. They are also in the process of developing a handbook that will encourage people to learn more about becoming involved in recruitment.
Voices In Projects (VIP)
In February 2005, Quarriers organised the 'Q in the Park' conference for young people who use housing support services. The event was used as an opportunity for young people from around the west of Scotland to have their say about how their services operated and also about the wider issues affecting them. As a result of this conference, a group of young people agreed to meet together regularly to represent the views of others, inform the organisation and share their experiences. They called themselves VIP (Voices In Projects). The group has selected office bearers and provide their views to the Quarriers Executive.
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Quarriers Head Office
Tel: 01505 612224