This episode is a real treat for anyone interested in a more person-centred way of delivering support. The conversation is with Helen Thomson, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Calico Group, an independent charity group which operates in the northwest and does everything from house building to employment support to helping people with drug and alcohol addiction.
Andrew and Helen cover a lot of ground including how the Calico group is able to integrate the services they provide to ensure people get the seamless help they need. They do this through a focus on internal data sharing and ensuring trusting relationships and an understanding of all available services provided are in place across the organisation. It's all about not putting anyone in a box but rather offering them the tailored support they need.
The Calico group also understands the multiple benefits of giving opportunities to people with lived experience to participate in the delivery of services. Who better to connect with and guide someone looking to reduce their dependence on drugs and/or alcohol than someone who has been on that journey.
Helen also talks about the importance of taking controlled risks in the delivery of public services and the wonderful concept of “reverse mentoring”.