Innovation matters at Carr Gomm, especially when it comes to championing a person-centred approach for people. We encourage creativity by encouraging our staff to challenge the status quo of their workplace, in pursuit of providing better experiences for both people supported and our team. You can sense both the passion and innovative responses across all of our services, and this was especially prevalent during the lockdown in early 2020.
Many of our creative ideas are funded through Futures; a unique staff innovation programme that demonstrates our commitment to listening to our team, learning from each other, and maintaining our leading edge in social care. Every idea or suggestion is welcomed. There are no bad ideas! In the past year, 37 ideas were submitted to Futures and up to £12,100 awarded to support implementation.
Here’s a look at some of our favourite ideas from the last year, and some insight into why these have helped make a difference to our services, people supported, and team.
Circle of Friends
Was suggested as a way of reducing social isolation across Glasgow. People there told us that they needed more opportunities to socialise, and a funding request was sent to Futures. Money was awarded to the Glasgow Focus Group for the purpose of organising an initial seven trips to help people struggling with loneliness. Circle of Friends was formed, and friendships flourished.
Lockdown at the beginning of the year was extremely challenging for many of the people we support, but Circle of Friends continued to innovate by hosting get-togethers online and over the phone.
“This group is another lifeline for me, it is great to be part of the start of something good, and I am more hopeful now that I now have connections and people to talk too.”
Person supported (Glasgow)
Another innovative idea was by Karin Chipulina, a member of staff from our Craigmillar Community Grows project. With Edinburgh’s weather sometimes being a little unsettled, and many of our events having to take place indoors, Karin wanted to create an outdoor space in which people could continue to connect in a safe and socially-distanced way, whatever the weather! Futures awarded funding for an outdoor shelter, and it really has been the silver lining for many people in this difficult year. We’ve managed to host storytelling sessions, outdoor get-togethers, and many other initiatives that have helped reduce loneliness and isolation across Craigmillar.
In Fintry, the service wanted to host a fun day filled with activities, to help people supported enjoy some more freedoms after the difficulty of lockdown. They suggested a summer festival, to include live performances, dancing, and a silent disco. Of course, the amazing socially-distanced festival was a hit with everyone, and we’re hoping to do many more of these social events when the time is right and safe.
If you would like to learn about our innovative Futures programme, visit: https://www.carrgomm.org/carr-gomm-futures