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#25stories – 'working in my house' training benefits everyone

Over the last 25 years, social care has undergone a lot of change. Where once stood institutions and care homes now, people live in their own homes. Understandably, with that comes a huge shift in what makes good support. Our 'working in my house' trainers teach staff what they want from their support.

Craig, Chloe, and Gary, formed Brandon’s first team of trainers and are all supported by Brandon. Having trained staff across Gloucestershire, they set their sights on other areas. Their co-produced training programme has also been delivered in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. Most recently, the team travelled to London.

The training team use group work and scenarios to show staff what it’s like to receive support, and how it feels when everyone has an opinion on how they should live their lives. They talk about the conflicts in their lives, how difficult it can be when families, support workers, social workers, and other external stakeholders, who are trying to help, all have different ideas.

Dawn Dacosta, area manager in London, said: “It was great working with another area, the training is aimed at support staff so they’re clear they’re supporting people in their own house. It empowers people we support to talk about how they wish to be supported and ensures a real sense of self-worth. It also gives staff a chance to hear how the way they support makes a real difference, giving them a chance to reflect on their own practices and challenge themselves or others.”

Each member of the team brings different skills to the workshops which helps keep the audience interested. For example, Craig, who loves travelling and meeting new people, is a confident public speaker. He delivers powerful messages in a simple way, so that everyone can understand. Chloe uses her comic timing to enthuse the audience. She never fails to make them laugh and has been known to include a spot of breakdancing to reinvigorate the delegates.

The trainers talk about how they want to make choices for themselves, even if it isn’t always the best choice. They want support staff to understand that they want the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them, in the same way everybody else does.

Kim Whelan, area manager in Gloucestershire, said: “It’s so important for our teams to hear from people who receive support. It’s good for people we support to be empowered to tell teams how they want to be supported, to say ‘it’s my house’. People with a learning disability or autism can face inequality. This training aims to elevate the status of people we support, and we hope it goes some way to creating equal opportunities in the future and the best outcomes in terms of a quality lifestyle.”

Craig, Chloe, and Gary, influence better practice for all by sharing their workshop with staff as well as with other people who have a learning disability or autism. This means that people in other areas have the skills and confidence to train support teams in their own area.

Dawn concluded: “It was so valuable; two of the people who are supported in London have already started to run some training. We’re hoping to put together a bigger team of London-based trainers, so that even more staff can benefit.”

More information

If you’re interested in finding out more or want to set up your own team of trainers, email the quality team for more information.

Think you can empower people?

Search and apply for support roles in our jobs section.

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