Experiments with co-housing:

“It’s like up-cycling the neighborhood — connecting existing resources to make them work,” García explains. “For example, all this workforce that’s unemployed, all these empty spaces that are without use, all these elderly people that need help, all these natural resources that are not being taken care of — making a project for all these things.”



Co-production, co-operatives & Cartrefi

Adrian Roper is one of our Associate Directors – and a thorough-going champion of co-production, co-operatives and mutuals. He’s also the CEO of Cartrefi Cymru, a not-for-profit organisation that supports people to lead fulfilled lives – people with disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour, older people – and provides breaks for carers.

Cartrefi are taking a lead on citizen-led approaches in a whole range of ways.

  • They are providing a Floating Support Service in Brecon using systems thinking which focuses on identifying what the service user actually wants and needs, with a strong emphasis on articulating this in their own words, rather than following professional prescriptions and pathways.
  • They’re facilitating the development of a multi-stakeholder co-operative in Llandrindod, bringing together people with learning disabilities, families and support staff in the town to raise their confidence and expectations and capacity to make their lives better through mutual self help.
  • They co-founded the Mid Wales Social Co-operative Consortium as a registered body with the primary purpose of bringing agencies and citizens together to develop new, inclusive ways of achieving well-being for people with social care needs.
  • They’re pioneering a highly effective new approach to ‘Active Support’ for people with learning disabilities. This is based on principles of ‘doing with’, not ‘doing for’, and a strong focus on enabling individuals to have more choice and control over their lives through confidence building, skills development, experiential learning,starting from their strengths and interests.
  • Cartrefi have made an organisational promise to respect service users’ rights and responsibilities as tenants, citizens and ‘co-workers’, and to enable them to enjoy these actively rather than passively.
  • And they are kindly sharing their offices and resources with us in Co-pro Wales. How lovely is that!

For more information about their wondrousness, visit their website: cartrefi.org

Focus on health: Llais Time Credits – working with older people

ABMU Health Board, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and NPT CVS are working in partnership with Spice to pilot Time Credits in the Upper Swansea and Amman Valley areas as part of its plan for improving the lives of frail older people. The pilot period will run from December 2014 to March 2015 with a view to growing the programme following this initial period of consultation and piloting.

Why is this co-production?

  • The project will be co-designed with the older people themselves, and in collaboration with the health board and third sector partners.
  • It will take an asset-based approach, building on people’s strengths and valuing the resources of the whole community.
  • It will use time-credits to encourage reciprocity and relationships of trust.


Chickens helping the elderly tackle loneliness

A scheme to introduce hen keeping to the elderly is turning out to have a miraculous effect on their wellbeing by reducing isolation and depression. An interesting light touch approach to older men’s loneliness, HenPower encourages and facilitates poultry keeping alongside a range of other hen-based social activities including art, dance and singing.


Watch the related video [7’37] on vimeo.


I’m Still Me, a narrative for coordinated support for older people

I’m Still Me – the second of four extensions to the Narrative for Coordinated Care – was developed by older people working with UCLPartners, National Voices, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, British Geriatrics Society and others.  It provides a framework showing what matters most to older people, and how services can be designed around their individual needs. I’m Still Me is based on research including interviews with older people and extensive testing of the original, ‘generic’ narrative statements with both older people and their professionals. The final resource reaffirms that the original Narrative is a good guide to bringing coordinated services together around the person; but it particularly challenges healthcare providers to work with others to achieve wider outcomes related to independence and wellbeing.


Ageing Well in Wales launched in October

Ageing Well in Wales is a national programme that will bring together individuals and communities with national and local government and major public and third sector agencies to develop and promote innovative and practical ways to make Wales a good place to grow older for everyone. Ageing Well in Wales consists of five thematic networks: Age-friendly Communities, Dementia Supportive Communities, Falls Prevention, Opportunities for Learning and Employment, and Loneliness and Isolation. Each of these networks is built of any third sector organisations, community or voluntary groups, academics, professionals or individuals who have an interest in these areas. The networks will encourage such organisations and individuals from across Wales to share their knowledge and good practice with others for the betterment of the wellbeing of older people. To find out more about Ageing Well in Wales, please email beverley.jervis@olderpeoplewales.com or steve.huxton@olderpeoplewales.com.