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Tags: Communities of Practice

Stoke-on-Trent Community of Practice: A Journey of Prison Release

VOICES communities of practice
By Sharon Sharman, Learning and Evaluation Manager, VOICES   On 8th July 2020 @SoTCoP held the first online discussion of a series of sessions looking at the theme of Prison Release.  Anna Mather, Service Coordinator from VOICES, delivered a presentation to the community based on a customer’s real lived experience of his prison release plan.  Participants of the CoP were drawn from voluntary and statutory sector organisations involved in coordinating prison release.  The presentation:   demonstrated that, through using public transport routes it was not possible for the customer to have attended any of the organised appointments – the customer was of no fixed abode; two of the appointments were to discuss housing options. included the cost and timings of the journey if the individual had used taxi service(s) – costs are so high this would be a very unlikely option. showed that, being collected and supported by a VOICES Service Coordinator it was possible for the individual to have attended four of the six organised appointments.     Discussion followed; it was felt by the community that, if the person left prison with this plan with no Service Coordinator or other support, and was expected to access public transport, the plan would ‘set them up… Continue Reading

Communities of Practice: Update

VOICES cop sized
By Steve Freeman, Solution Focused Practitioner   The current round of @SoTCoPs began in September with a theme of Engagement and is nearing its final stages. Part of the first meeting was a discussion of the term engagement. Is this a pejorative term? Are there better terms or simply euphemisms? Sharon Sharman’s recent piece highlighted the inequity of labelling people as ‘difficult to engage’. Well worth a read https://www.voicesofstoke.org.uk/2019/08/30/please-dont-call-us-difficult-engage/ Sharon’s article mentions elements of unconscious bias. This is a process by which we act in ways that are less than helpful without thinking about it. Unconscious bias exists and it’s better to be aware of it than try to deny it. More information here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5333436/ For the @SoTCoP Engagement series we are taking a systemic view of engagement; how can providers, communities and community members’ best engage internally and externally to maintain and improve services for people experiencing a range of challenges. What would have to happen for engagement to be seen as a skill and an objective rather than a label to stigmatise people attempting to access services? The term ‘silo mentality’ has been around for decades. Increased demand and diminishing funding for statutory and third sector bodies have made this more evident over the past… Continue Reading

Stoke-on-Trent Communities of Practice: New Season

By Lee Dale, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES   After a momentary pause and much reflection, we are proud to announce that once again we have started a new series of community of practice sessions. If you are unfamiliar with the concept and want to know more CLICK HERE to read a previous article, written by Steve Freeman, COP chair. Its important to say here that these sessions are not intended to be a “talking shop” and previous seasons have proven that this certainly isn’t the case. Our aim is to bring professionals and individuals with lived experience together in a safe environment to discuss and share good practice as well as highlighting barriers and system blockages within the sector. A huge part of the learning comes from the networking that takes place where discovering each others roles and what we can do for each other really adds value to our work. We run our community of practice on a monthly basis and provide refreshments and a working lunch.   If this is something you feel would add benefit to your organisation / workforce please contact our community development coordinator Lee Dale on 07769 177 192 or email lee.dale@voicesofstoke.org.uk who will happily add you to the mailing list and… Continue Reading

Stoke-on-Trent CoP – Past, Present and exciting future

VOICES CoP
by Steve Freeman, Chair, Stoke-on-Trent Community of Practice Communities of Practice (CoPs) generally and Stoke-on-Trent Community of Practice (StokeCoP) specifically have an impressive pedigree. From community development projects in America to the harnessing of technical expertise in the UK CoPs have been harnessing untapped resources for years. The Little Miracles report from 2013 describes a project in which the impact of CoPs was assessed http://www.revolving-doors.org.uk/file/1808/download?token=hADIbO3p. Stoke was one of the research centres and the legacy group was developed by key CoP members Bruno Ornelas and Sarah Wilshaw. Phase two of Stoke’s CoP came with the introduction of a solution focused practitioner as chair/facilitator and the development of ideas from the defunct Staffordshire Community of Solution Focused Practice which had been established and run by Carl Plant and Steve Freeman. So much for the history. What has StokeCoP actually done over the past few years? What difference has it make from its early days? Who has noticed a change? And what have they noticed? One of the most important things has been the development of a discussion forum with measurable impact on systems change and peoples lived experience in Stoke-on-Trent and beyond. This forum has seen a broad range of experience and expertise. Expert… Continue Reading

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