April has been a very busy month for the CDCC project. We’ve held successful roadshow events in Cardiff, Llanelli, Llandrindod Wells and Llandudno. So thank you for everyone who has come along or supported these events.
This first batch of events in April were aimed at Local authorities and Third Sector organisations. We were thrilled at the level of engagement, debate and discussion about how CDCC will successfully develop the UK’s first citizen led direct payment cooperative here in Wales.
The next stage of the project is an important milestone in the development of CDCC as we will be running 4 Citizen Events across Wales throughout June. These events will be an opportunity for disabled people to discuss their experiences of direct payments and explore the opportunities they provide in gaining greater choice, voice and control. The Wales Cooperative Centre will deliver a session on co-operatives and the benefits of citizen directed cooperatives as a way to manage direct payments. From these roadshows we will start to identify groups of citizens with emerging cooperative ideas, and who might want to further develop their ideas as part of the project. Please see here for more details about the events.
(***PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DETAILS OF EVENTS. SEE BELOW***)
The cooperative will be fully designed by the citizens owning and using the service and details of how the co-operative will operate will be decided by the members. However the roadshows in April have allowed us to explore in detail the benefits and barriers of the project and consider various co-operative models which could suit Wales. Through discussion and exchanging of ideas we have been able to get a better sense of what the co-operative supported by CDCC might look like.
Across all 4 roadshow, similar themes emerged:
- Practical benefits for the individual such as:
- being able to choose direct payments without having the responsibility of being the employer
- and sharing responsibility for recruitment and training of Personal Assistants as well as admin tasks.
- Personal benefits to members through creating a community with opportunities for all members to be elected onto the board of the cooperative
- Community benefits: it was recognised that such a cooperative could play an important part within the community and possibly act as hub which would have wider benefits for all community members.
How to get it right:
- There needs to be widespread education and training about direct payments and cooperative approaches. Citizens, local authorities and social workers should all be aware of the benefits of this approach and how it could work in practice.
- Information about direct payments needs to be straightforward and accessible to all
- The cooperative also needs to ensure that the board positions are open to anyone who is a member of the cooperative.
- The cooperative needs enough members to be financially viable.
- The co-operative could consider developing other services that it could sell in order to create additional income.
- The co-operative needs to take into account the different rules around direct payments in each of the local authorities
- The co-operative will have to register with CSSIW if employing personal assistants directly
It was recognised that there needs to be a change of culture to ensure that disabled people have greater choice, voice and control over their services.
So- 4 events in April with very worthwhile discussions. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed to the Roadshows; it’s much appreciated and has helped to further develop ideas about what a direct payment cooperative could look like in Wales.
The next milestone of the project is the Roadshow in June (see below or click here). We have limited space on events, so if your hoping to attend (or are supporting people who want to attend) please send us your booking forms ASAP!
3rd June 2015 (10am- 3.30pm)
Conwy Business Park, Llandudno Junction
10th June 2015 (10am- 3.30pm)
Selwyn Samuel Centre, Llanelli
South East Wales:
16th June 2015 (10am- 3.30pm)
Future Inns, Cardiff
CHANGE OF VENUE:
23rd June 2015 (10am- 3.30pm)
Ivy Bush, Carmarthen