Beliefs and training at Options for Supported Living

What do you enjoy? What do you want to say ‘no’ to? What are you looking forward to? Think about your own life, and how you would answer these questions. We regularly put these questions to the people we support via an independently facilitated self-advocacy group called Voices R Us. The casual, relaxed and open conversations which are had by members minuted and feedback is then given directly to our Chief Executive, Richard and the board of Trustees, to review, change, action or resolve. Richard takes an active role in getting to know and build relationships with the people who we support. Every month, Richard calls and visits people we support and their families when they are at home. Richard has also taken part in indoor climbing sessions, going to Tranmere Rovers football matches and, when invited, has been a guest at birthday parties of the people we support. Many people we support regularly pop into the office to say hello, have a cuppa and find out about what is going on in Options, such as recruitment dates and social events.

Our Beliefs begin with the line ‘we believe that all people should live a meaningful and fulfilled life’. Our Beliefs apply not only to the people we support but our staff too, as having happy staff is essential in providing great support. This goes hand in hand with our Working Values, which are 12 values that all staff must follow. They are Integrity, Commitment, Enabling, Confidentiality, Challenge, Listening, Recognition and Encouragement, Rigour, Teamwork, Learning, Vision and Risk taking. These values are for staff as individuals and for the organisation as a whole. In line with this, staff are given the opportunity to attend a Staff Consultation Meeting every quarter where they are able to find out what changes are happening within the organisation, and ask any new questions or issues which staff would like to raise on behalf of themselves or their teams. Any issues raised are then explained or actioned to look in to and get an appropriate response as quickly as possible. Staff views and opinions are also welcomed in a more informal context during Philosophy Night, where over dinner, staff are asked their opinions on what’s working well or not working in Options, discussions on social care as a whole and other issues affecting the lives of the people we support.

We believe that training is really important so we go above and beyond the minimum level of training required. As well as standard and person specific training, we offer two courses; Certificate of Inclusion (COI) and Person Centred Leadership course (PCL). The COI is key in developing our staff to focus support on enabling, independence and outcomes. The PCL aims to develop potential leadership skills for Support Workers who are looking to become Team Leaders.