A variety of voices, operating across the four nations of the UK guide IMPACT’s work. IMPACT’s Assemblies are central to this, focusing on lived experience, and practice knowledge. These voices include people drawing on care and support and their carers and social care staff. They also offer a space to reflect on the realities of local service delivery.
We have five ‘IMPACT Assemblies’ (two in England and one each in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). Each Assembly meets twice a year to help shape IMPACT’s priorities and work plan. The variety of group members involved ensures that seldom-heard voices are central to our work.
Our Assemblies focus on making sure that what we’re doing is embedded in the very different policy and practice contexts of the four nations. Part of their role is to help us promote our work locally and identify future issues.
How our Assemblies work
30 to 35 people are part of each Assembly. They include roughly equal numbers of people who draw on care and support, carers, practitioners, providers, commissioners, and researchers/national bodies. Those involved include people with lots of connections across adult social care. We also include those who haven’t previously been included in these kinds of discussions or are taking part from a broader background and for the first time.
A national lead from our Leadership Team and another senior colleague from that national context chair each Assembly. Together they make sure that lived experience, practice knowledge, and research experience are always present.
We work really hard to make sure that everyone feels comfortable taking part, and that there are lots of different ways in which people can contribute. Some of our meetings are very ‘strategic’ and others are about more practical, ‘operational’ issues. This allows us to move between different types of conversation at different times.