The best way for services to encourage people to get involved is not simply to provide opportunities but to tell people what you are doing and give practical examples of involvement in action.
That seems to be the message from Castle Douglas Activity & Resource Centre where a permanent display on the Charter for Involvement is proving useful for everyone.
Inspector Sharron Reynolds saw the display during a recent visit. She said: “The Charter has been designed by people with learning disabilities as well as the National Involvement Network and ARC Scotland. It tells people what they should expect from their service and from staff, and it sets out standards and expectations.
“The Castle Douglas display gives real life, practical examples of the ways the service has been meeting Charter standards. In doing so it helps everyone identify with and understand the Charter, how it relates to everyday practice and supports better outcomes for individuals.”
Among other things, it highlights involvement in training, recruitment and community participation.
Dawn Millar of the service explained how the display came about: “We’re part of the Dumfries and Galloway Charter Group and created a PowerPoint presentation to show how we are implementing the Charter. It included comments from those that use our service relating to each of the Charter’s 12 statements. Working with the ARC’s Community workplace, The Print Shop, which provides work skills, training and a printing service to the local community, we created the display from that presentation.
“The Charter has helped us involve people in a variety of ways. And we’ve had positive comments on the display.
“I’d recommend it to others – it’s a great way of getting staff to think about what they are doing to meet the Charter and generate new ideas on involvement.”