Find out more from 2024-25 host organisations

We spoke to some of our 2024-25 project hosts, to find out about why they applied and what their aspirations for their projects are. Hear from them below.

Pamela Dudgeon, Family Group Decision Making Coordinator at City of Edinburgh Council said:

Working with IMPACT will strategically aid the development of our project- Group decision-making to support people with drug and alcohol issues. It will be a fantastic opportunity to help steer, embed and share learning locally and nationally. It is encouraging that the model used to evaluate the project places value on lived experience. Working with IMPACT will help to identify and address practice barriers.

Centres like IMPACT are important as they help evidence of what works get used in practice, raise the profile of projects and create a platform to share learning across health and social care.

Mark Warr, Chief Executive Officer of the National House Project said:

The House Project approach started with young people telling staff in a local authority what they needed to leave care well. By taking a relational approach and using research, lived experience and practice wisdom we codified the fidelity of the psychologically informed approach and scaled an innovation from one LA and 10 young people, to 20 LAs and 730 young people, across Scotland and England. Key to this has been a framework approach that can flex to the needs of both different young people and local authorities, and we continue to work with young people and their LAs to develop ways to provide young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed.

We are keen to work with IMPACT, care experienced adults and sector experts to develop an evidence informed change programme that enables care experienced adults to be supported to live well. As a learning organisation who has previously worked the Innovation Unit on services within Childrens Social Care we welcome the rigour, knowledge and insights that come from working with IMPACT and have the ambition to transform services in the LAs that we are working with and for this to be used to inform practice and policy at a national level.

We can’t wait to get started.

Val Vertigans, Lead Strategic Officer, Adult Public Perception, at Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership added:

Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership and Aberdeen City Council are delighted to have been accepted to host an IMPACT project for 2024-25.  

Having the benefit of an IMPACT Facilitator for 12 months will help support us in gathering robust evidence to inform how we work with people experiencing complex self-neglect and hoarding – a behavioural condition where an individual persistently neglects to care for personal hygiene, health conditions or their surroundings, as well as hoarding.  

Self-neglect is a serious and complex problem, often underpinned by past trauma, which requires clinical, social and ethical decisions in its management and treatment. People experiencing this condition frequently do not acknowledge there is a problem and/or are not open to receiving support to improve their circumstances.

Having a Facilitator will enable us to build on existing multi-agency relationships to better understand these complex issues and identify required changes including:

  • Developing a practice model and guidance to support positive outcomes;
    • Identifying tools to understand trauma-informed self-neglect, build relationships and create a supportive organisational context;
    • Developing training materials; and
    • Improving our understanding of impacts including on individuals, financial impacts, impact on our services currently endeavouring to support such cases.

Without the support of IMPACT we would be unable to create the capacity needed to undertake this essential work, due to the significant pressures on our resources. Our ultimate aim is to inform a business case for a service to undertake the long term and specialist work required to support people living with this condition to achieve more positive outcomes.

Kim Killow, Planning and Development Officer at North Wales Together, said:

We were made aware of IMPACT via Dr Adam Whitworth at the University of Strathclyde who we came into contact at the recent BASE UK conference. Following a discussion with Adam on the work the programme was undertaking to support more people with learning disabilities to have equal access to paid employment (one of the priorities in the North Wales Learning Disability Strategy), Adam suggested that IMPACT would be a good fit with our ambitions.

We’re just about to publish a North Wales Supported Employment Strategy for people with learning disabilities and from the 1st of April 2024 will move into the implementation phase of that strategy. The partners felt that the addition of an IMPACT Facilitator to the programme team would add significant value by taking forward a discreet project linked to this strategy and under the theme of Disability and Employment.

The team is small and yet we have big ambitions! From 2024 to 2027 we will be setting up a new supported employment model that will be integrated within social work services for people with learning disabilities. This is the main way the strategy will be implemented. However, there are a number of complementing actions/ recommendations in the strategy. The addition of the Facilitator to the team who can provide focused attention and development support to one of these additional areas has been enthusiastically welcomed by partners. The actual project is still to be signed off with partners and this will happen by the end of March as we have a proposal being considered. We are realistic about the change process however we anticipate that by the end of the project we will have made much greater progress than we would have without the Facilitator and this will help the partners accelerate the implementation of the strategy with clear evidence that can be shared with stakeholders.

North Wales Together is fundamentally a programme aimed at improving the lives of people with learning disabilities based on what is important to them in their lives. We felt IMPACT’s own motto “good support isn’t just about ‘services’ – it’s about having a life” and the principles on which it operates fit well with the driving values of the programme including the focus on co-production and the importance having evidence to build the case for change. Where we believe IMPACT adds value is that with ongoing cuts to services, the health and social care sector can struggle to find the time and resources to devote to service improvement. In our view providing access to resources such as the Facilitator, to enable such projects to be undertaken alongside operational delivery, which is done with us rather than to us, adds clear value to these services. The other aspect of the centre that we feel is vitally important is having a platform to share learning from the projects locally, regionally, nationally and across the UK.

Meike Beckford, Head of Impact Management at Thera Trust, added:

Thera is excited to be working with IMPACT to show the difference that the right housing can make for people with a learning disability. Appropriate housing is one of the biggest barriers in discharging people from long stay hospitals and assessment and treatment units – despite being considered ready to leave. We know that supporting people in their own home as part of their local communities, rather than segregated in institutions, provides longer term stability and better quality of life. We want to give more people the opportunity to choose where they live and make a home for themselves, so they can get on with living their best life!

When we first looked at IMPACT, many project areas resonated with us and the challenge was just deciding which to pick! We saw IMPACT as an opportunity to tackle some of the big challenges faced by people with a learning disability, their families and those of us that work in social care to support them. We hope this project will allow us to expand our reach and make a change for more people in the future, whether or not we support them directly.

By the end of this project, we hope to better understand the impact that the right housing can have on someone’s life, so that we can influence commissioning practice, support the Transforming Care agenda and ensure people get the right home for them.

Seanna Lassetter, Principal Social Worker at Walsall Council, added:

Recent involvement in research highlighted that social workers need more time and opportunity to deploy their knowledge and skills where these can have most impact on outcomes for older people. IMPACT gives the opportunity to align additional resource to existing transformational activity within the council to improve social work practice. It is important that we are evidence based in our approach to improvement and learn from what works well.

We hope that through our project we will be able to reduce barriers to social workers achieving the best outcomes for older people, and expand approaches that enable social workers to engage in best professional practice.