CO-PRODUCTION IN ACTION: KEYRING LIVING SUPPORT NETWORKS

Independence, opportunity and inclusion are the core values on which KeyRing Living Support Network’s community-based support for vulnerable adults is established. Featuring Networks of around nine “Members” supported by a Community Volunteer, all living in close proximity in their own homes, the organisation recognises the skills and positive contributions that individuals can make to the Network and to the wider local community, and the value of volunteers that possess local knowledge – and can blur traditional boundaries between “client‟ and “supporter‟.

KeyRing, a Registered Charity since 1996, started with one Network in south London in 1990, and has grown to extend the original focus for adults with Learning Disabilities to include a wide range of vulnerable client groups. The flexible, person-centred and outcome-focused service model is currently enjoyed by over 900 Members living in 42 Local Authorities in England and Wales, the Welsh services being established in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and Monmouthshire, and complemented by a full range of service literature in the Welsh language, and a number of Welsh-speaking staff.

Members are encouraged to become as independent as possible and many, with the back-up of a strong personal network of support, are able to live without further paid-for support, reducing the financial burden on the Local Authority. For the organisation as a whole 11% of service users moved on from needing support in the last year. KeyRing has a Members’ involvement programme which supports a framework of involvement activities including Network meetings, Area and National Forums, Members Conference, Complaints Officer, involvement in training and recruitment of staff and in organisational strategic and operational reviews.

In addition to the Networks, KeyRing also runs a number of specialist services, including Self Advocacy, Older Persons Networks, Therapeutic Networks, and CQC-registered services.

For more information check out www.keyring.org or contact Steve Wood (steve.wood@keyring.org, 020 7324 0750).

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