Change was in the air – along with plenty of Christmas cheer – at Southern Housing Group’s Supported Involvement Day, held at Newclose Cricket Club on the Isle of Wight last Wednesday.
About 65 customers, residents and staff across the Group’s care and support services gathered to celebrate the island’s third annual Supported Involvement Day.
Themed “change”, the day was a chance for residents to give feedback to staff about Southern Housing Group as well as suggest ways forward for the future.
Residents listened to seminars on personal budgets and financial inclusion before identifying new customer led objectives, which outline areas for improvement and development over the coming year.
Lunch saw magician Aaron Isted impress residents with card tricks while a visit from Santa and a Christmas raffle got everyone into a festive spirit.
Resident Kate Knox has attended several supported events and found them all “excellent”.
“They’re very informative – you can ask whatever you want and get reasonable answers back. I feel like you can really say what you mean and it’s listened to and understood.”
Jack Simmonds, who has been a resident at the Group’s Rope Walk scheme for 18 months felt the day was informative.
“Listening to the different people speak they all go into depth on the topic which makes it easy to understand, whereas if I read it I don’t take in as much.”
Southern Housing Group’s Care and Support Manager, Naomi Somerville, said the event was a chance to celebrate improvements in the Group’s Isle of Wight care and support services.
“It provides an opportunity for residents and customers with learning disabilities, mental health issues, vulnerable young people and older people to come together to give their views on local issues affecting them in their day to day lives,” she said.
An award ceremony topped off the afternoon with nominations coming from both staff and residents. A three person judging panel, including Judi Griffin MBE, chose the finalists with a winner selected across each of the six categories.
Customers and residents were also introduced to members of the Supported Customer Forum, a new resident involvement initiative being set up in the New Year.
The forum will meet quarterly to give feedback on the Group’s performance and services.
Positive Contribution to scheme activities award (Group or Individual) – Winners: Mark Williamson and Sheila Blute
Positive Contribution to your community (Group or Individual) – Winner: Vikki Hewitt
Individual Achievement award (Individual) – Winner: Caroline Owen
Scheme award for promoting continuous service improvements – Winner: Young Persons Schemes Ryde and Newport
Resident-led community forum/social group award - Winner: The Monday Group
Special award – “Make a difference award” – Gemma Bignell.
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