Thank you to everyone who attended the CDCC Roadshow events earlier this summer. It was great to see so much enthusiasm and interest for developing co-operatives as a new way to manage direct payments in Wales.
Input from attendees has been valuable in developing the CDCC project.
The idea of developing direct payment co-operatives in Wales was generally welcomed. It was seen by many as a way to gain greater control over services, and an opportunity to work together in hiring and training staff, or pooling payments. There was particular interest in the project from citizens who would like the benefits of direct payments, but were unsure about taking on the responsibilities of an employer if hiring their personal assistants directly. It was thought a direct payment co-operative could provide a way to overcome this barrier and be a new way to make direct payments more accessible to a wider number of people.
However, it was acknowledged that there should be things to bear in mind when developing direct payment co-operatives.
Firstly, there needs to be a core group of people willing to put in the work necessary to set up the co-operative, as well as a number of potential members keen to join the co-operative once it’s established. It was noted that the latter could be particularly difficult in Wales given the low take up of direct payments.
Secondly, it was recognised that the co-operative needs to be financially sustainable. Direct Payments alone may not be enough to sustain the co-operative, so other forms of income would need to be built into a successful direct payment co-operative model. However, the opportunity to develop a financially independent organisation to deal with direct payments was welcomed.
And lastly, it was generally agreed that there needs to be more consistency about how direct payments are used across Wales, with more flexibility when using direct payments strongly welcomed. Wales wide accessible information about direct payments and clearer guidelines as to how they can be used was called for by a majority of attendees. However it was noted, that a direct payment co-operative could play a role in developing these materials.
So thank you all for attending the roadshows- we hope you found it fun, informative and inspiring!