National INSIGHT Awards 2019: Celebrating Welcoming, Listening, Learning and Leading

By 13th January 2020 Blog No Comments
2019 conference blog

There was much to celebrate at our fourth National Insight Awards which champions positive or outstanding practice when working with people with multiple needs.

Our aim at Expert Citizens is for every agency across the country to learn to listen to the voices of people with multiple needs and for users of support services to be directly involved in the design and delivery of services. Our network has life experiences which include homelessness, addiction, offending behavior, mental ill-health, extreme poverty and domestic abuse and we are using those experiences to develop solutions which can help to create real, systemic change.

We have developed the INSIGHT Standards to demonstrate best practice and our Awards recognise individuals working in a way that demonstrate the Standards at work. Celebrating best practice can inspire and encourage us all to work better together.

The entries this year came from all across the country and really showed that working practices are adapting and changing. With so many brilliant submissions it was hard to decide on our winners.

Welcoming People Award

The winner for our Welcoming award was Dr Shivamurphy a Psychiatrist, at The Greenfield Centre, for North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust. When an agitated patient left the room at the beginning of a consultation, it would have been easy to simply rearrange. But, Dr Shivamurphy didn’t give up. The patient’s support worker was able to answer some preliminary questions and when the patient was seen pacing outside the consulting room Dr Shivamurphy simply opened the window to engage with the patient, and it quickly became clear that this was much more comfortable for the patient.  The consultation resulted in a beneficial therapeutic outcome for the patient. By adapting with flexibility to an atypical presentation, Dr Shivamurphy offered a genuine welcome with a person-centred delivery on the patient’s terms.

Listening to People Award

Kim Sutton, Senior Case Worker at Bromley Homeless Shelter won the Listening to People Award. Kim has built a service from two chairs at a church drop-in, to a full service working across London and the South East of England. By listening actively and without judgement Kim’s advice has helped people to secure the housing, benefits and support they need to leave homelessness behind.

Learning from People Award

The Learning from People award went to Zack Haider Director and Intuitive Thinking Skills. Zack has supported and coached people to become experts by experience who are empowered to be educators. He achieved this by employing others with lived experience to deliver accredited courses.  This is done though a range of delivery platforms to suit people’s needs. The courses provided by Intuitive Thinking Skills have supported thousands of people away from negative choices and towards self-belief, motivation, employment, and higher education.

Leading People Award

Rhiannon Griffiths, Managing Director of Comics Youth won our Leading People Award for setting a benchmark and passing on the skills and experience. Comics Youth provides comics-based literacy and wellbeing projects for disadvantaged young people in Liverpool. It is managed by and for people with lived experience for marginalised children and young people. They tackle issues such as differing ability, bullying, gender and sexual identity, abuse, peer pressure, and anxiety.  The work also challenges the way systems, structures, and practices can exclude people by not taking their differences in to account.

The Mark Gater Award for Outstanding Achievement

Each year Expert Citizens dedicate an award to an individual who has gone the extra mile to deliver an outstanding achievement in their field. This award is in memory of one such person, our friend and colleague Mark Gater who gave his time, humour, and considerable skill to help others.

This year’s winner is David Ford, Head of Expert Link.

I first met David Ford in 2013, when he helped me to recognise that my own lived experience was important and could be used to support systems change. We’ve become good friends and collaborated on various different projects. He has been a champion of lived experience and provided leadership, founding a lived experience organisation of national significance.

Somehow, David also found time to support other organisations as a trustee for a London-based homelessness charity, sitting on the Government’s rough sleeping advisory panel, and chairing a ‘building on progress’ task and finish sub-group.  He’s also supported initiatives through leading organisations such as Thames Reach, Being the Difference, Lankelly Chase, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

As well as considerable skill, he has brought to these challenges his own lived experience. Such is the scale of his achievements in the field of advocating for lived experience; I could go on and on.

If you want to find out more about our work at Expert Citizens including our INSIGHT Standards or to talk to us about how we can help your organisation please get in touch.

About the Author

Darren, Chief Executive of Expert Citizens CIC, a trustee of the Lankelly Chase Foundation and Expert Citizens & VOICES adviser for the The National Lottery Community Fund board. Darren is a facilitator working with organisations like MEAM, Homeless Link, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Virgin Money Foundation. Darren uses his own experience of severe and multiple disadvantage to challenge stereotypes, dispelling the myth that people experiencing some of the toughest social issues of our time are making a ‘lifestyle choice’. Darren has been featured on local and national media including BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester, BBC Radio Four Listening Project, Victoria Derbyshire Show, the Guardian and the Huffington Post.

Further Reading

INSIGHT Standards

Greenfield Centre

Bromley Homeless Shelter

Intuitive Thinking

Comics Youth

Expert Link