Saturday, March 15, 2008

Personalisation and Co-operation - mutual solutions in social care

Today I went to a co-operative movement conference on Personalisation and Co-operation. The speakers were Neal Lawson from Compass, Helga Pile from UNISON and Mick Taylor from Mutual Advantage.

I am sure that I will blog some more later on some of the broader issues but I found Mick Taylor’s contribution particularly interesting and inspiring. He has been working with a new co-operative society, Caring Support, set-up to pool individual budgets of a group of social care users. This gave them collective and individual control over the services that they received as well as providing for better terms and conditions for the staff.

I do hope that the co-operative movement will promote and incumbent such mutual solutions to the challenges of an ageing society and the needs of the most vulnerable users of public services. The government appears interested in this area with the recent announcement of more money for the Social Enterprise Investment Fund.

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