Being that voice of change

By 2nd August 2017 Blog 2 Comments

On joining several customer user lead forum’s and group’s I was under the illusion that I would be a voice for those who feel they are not heard, yet I was constantly being told not to say thing’s because of offending the service’s I was a part of. But how can they change If we don’t raise those issues I felt we were being silenced about. We used our own personal stories of homelessness, addiction and mental health, yet we are edited and cherry picked to not upset those who run the service’s we were engaging with.

How can we be a true advocate for system change when we are muted?. How can things change when we cannot challenge those policies and procedures that were a barrier to us moving forward?.

We talk about how a lack of communication between partnership services can be a huge barrier for a person moving on from crisis in their lives. And we talk about how service’s should work together better, yet I see very little evidence of talking turning into action. Why can’t our local service’s be a real role model for people with multiple complex need’s, and practice what they preach. I learned about the value of transparency while being in recovery, yet I got the support from service’s who don’t have the capacity to communicate their misgivings. Thing’s are looking really grim over the next few year’s for people in supported housing, with the plan’s to change the funding in individual’s housing benefit in 2019, and the continual roll out of universal credit nationally, which I see as setting people up to fail.

I can’t see how things will improve for people with multiple need’s unless our voice is genuinely heard, and not just used because it look’s good to do so. I forecast a rise in homelessness and mental health ¬†during the forthcoming year’s.

So our service’s are going to be more valuable than ever, and it’s important that we keep them on track and true to their values. Just appeasing them isn’t going to do that, it’s no good being a voice if your passion and insight is just false platitudes, and always being made aware not to step on peoples toes.

This is my own opinion.  My belief is open to respectful challenge and debate.


  • Lol B says:

    You make some very good points. Trouble is, the battle for funding leaves each separate bit of these services jealously guarding their own ‘front door’ as it were. They won’t speak to another complementary service in case they are amalgamated and lose their identity and their funding. Any move like that would mean loss of staff who are excellent at say, listening to people and helping the work through issues, and more reliance on reams of paperwork!

    • Lee Dale says:

      I agree with this totally… And with the way services are commissioned you can see the competitive behaviors they have… But unless we get services to communicate with each other and share good practice, we are only going around in circles and us individuals in services are the ones suffering…. Non profit organisations are spending huge amounts on paying their top end staff.. In short I feel we create organisations and projects in the short term which in fairness create jobs for people, but when they come to an end we are leaving vulnerable individuals back at square one, again with no hope and that huge “us and them” mentality….. How services act and behave as an effect on how service users view them and their ethics.. Personally I just see profiteering from our demise.