Shropshire Council

Get involved with MiR

I want to welcome everyone to 2021 with positive wishes, and although we are still in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic and into a third period of lockdown, there are glimmers of hope for the future with the roll out of vaccinations and the continuation of positive support within local communities.

As for Making it Real, although we have not been meeting as before the pandemic, there has been a lot happening that involves Experts by Experience. Here are just a few examples:

  • Individuals are involved in the ongoing development of Shropshire’s Direct Payments offer.
  • Carers support is due for transformation.
  • Recently, I was personally able to work closely with a paid Expert by Experience on a project looking into the best ways of organising Shropshire’s social work teams to support people with learning disabilities and / or a range of learning needs and Autism. You’ll hear more about that in the coming months.
  • And then Tanya Miles was chosen as the new Executive Director Adult Social Care / Housing and Public Health. An Expert by Experience was a key part of the interview process.

With the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s been difficult to operate as we used to but now as we enter 2021, we are in a position to run the ‘pause and reflect’ sessions that we’ve spoken about for a while looking at both the past and the future of Making it Real in Shropshire.

Making it Real is committed to the idea that “We all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us” #SocialCareFuture / social care future blog.

The pandemic has highlighted fault lines in social care support and services throughout the country. In the light of the pandemic we now need to look again at what works well and what needs improvement; and we need to reconsider the barriers to, and expectations of coproduction as people are supported to achieve their goals in life.

In late December we gained agreement from TLAP and local Health services to be part of our ‘pause and reflect’ discussions, which is great news. Now it is time to move forward and plan the sessions. With the early 2021 lockdown in place, it looks as if sessions may have to be online, but we shall see what happens with that plan. It’s not easy to see where the county will be with the Coronavirus in the coming months.

To help get discussion moving I have pulled together a report looking into ‘Making it Real - our journey together’ over the last seven years. You can find it on the new MiR webpage.

If you would like to be involved in the ‘pause and reflect’ sessions, if you’d like to be involved in planning the sessions too – then simply let me know by sending a note through to stewart.smith@shropshire.gov.uk

We can’t make promises for 2021 but it’s now definitely the right time to ‘pause’ and ‘reflect’ as we consider how we move our journey together forward.