Our Hi-VisUK National Lottery Community Fund supported project ‘Making Waves’ is working in strategic partnerships with Bradford Metropolitan District Borough Council, Cornwall Council and Hartlepool Borough Council. We are also working with the local NHS Foundation Trust in each area. Over three years we are and will be developing strategies, joint plans bringing key stakeholders together to help reshape the local care and health marketplace, to better understand and support all local people with DSI and their families.
We are thrilled to announce that our flagship project MAKING WAVES funded by The National Lottery Community Fund (England) is now up and running. It will drive our work over the next three years as we create local networks in project areas.
We are working strategically with local authority partners and a bespoke network of local providers in Bradford, Cornwall and Hartlepool to change the experience of dual sensory impairment (DSI) and transform the face of DSI care.
Our co-production networks in the three areas and a new e-learning platform dedicated to dual sensory impairment, will help reshape the local care provider marketplace around the lived experience conversations we have with local people with DSI.
The learning we achieve in MAKING WAVES local partnerships will be shared nationally and internationally. Keep up with MAKING WAVES developments in our NEWS page.
Since January this year Hi-VisUk has been in Cornwall working with the local authority on the specialist adult deafblindness aspects of the Care Act. This includes our unique training and qualifications for staff to increase an authority’s capacity to meet their duties regarding deafblind adults. Part of a three-year contract secured by Hi-VisUK, this will see us training hundreds of staff across the county.
This builds on our groundbreaking work in Hartlepool with the local authority and local providers. It also complements our work ongoing with Bradford council’s sensory support services. Our work with all local authorities across England continues to grow alongside and partly through our partnership with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) with whom we jointly arrange open-course social-care training on age related deafblindness and the Care Act.
For several years we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council through its Sensory Needs Service. Our collaboration continues to go from strength to strength. It all started with their team manager, Julie Ralph and her colleague Margaret Hird sampling our training which at the time was through our In Good Hands project. Bradford then commissioned us to deliver training to their teams on site including to some of their colleagues from neighbouring local authorities.
Recently two very exciting developments are taking shape. We both agree on the vital importance of local authorities being deafblind aware across a broad range departments and services, not just sensory services. But these are lean times with budget cuts severely limiting the ambitions of nearly every local authority in the land.
So to spread the training throughout Bradford City Council, we trained and mentored some of their sensory team who have now started to deliver our courses on their site. This work is done under a licence with us and all resources remain our copyright. We observe and monitor quality. Secondly we have been supporting them with their own first deafblindness e-learning course to further spread the awareness training across the Council.
Our aim is to build capacity of others to support older people with acquired dual sensory loss. A key element of this is the provision of our unique accredited training.
Hi-VisUK will continue the investment by our sister project, In Good Hands, to build the capacity of Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind to become a dual sensory service for their members and local older people in Sunderland and north County Durham.
Their volunteers and staff are being supported with training in deafblind awareness and how to use our identification tool. This will enable them to identify older people with the condition and provide appropriate support.
Older people identified as having a dual sensory loss will be supported by the Society’s volunteers and where appropriate by HiVisUK staff to ensure they get the appropriate response from other local service providers.
This is one of our unique capacity building models that Hi-VisUK will promote across the country.
Our OCN Level 2 course in Acquired Communications Disorders continues to show no signs of a decrease in interest. Care providers tell us there is nothing like this training anywhere else and that it is filling a huge gap in their understanding, confidence and skills – especially when combined with our highly practical and concise Hi-VisUK deafblindness training.