It has been a quiet week in the sense there have been no Service User sessions. Instead we have been doing some sorting out and planning for the future. Space2Create has grown and changed quite a lot since it first started. One of the problems we face as a voluntary organisation is that volunteers come and go. Nothing bad about that. We always intended that Service Users would come to us for help, we help them regain self-esteemand confidence, get used to being in groups and socialising. Over time they would take on some jobs and start to help run S2C, become a volunteer. When they are ready they move on, sometimes volunteering somewhere else, going to college or even getting a job. Brilliant. Exactly what we want. Others come to us without any health problems but maybe because of life changes, moving areas, divorce, bereavement, redundancy etc. They often have valuable skills but again when they are ready they move on. Similarly with students looking to gain experience before a course. That is all great and we take great pride in the way lots of people move on to new and better lives.
The difficulty comes in maintaining enough people to run the organisation safely and within regulations. It fluctuates. Sometimes you have lots of volunteers and sometimes not many. When there are not many that puts a strain on a small number of people holding the most responsible roles. At all times we have to ensure our Service Users are safe.
We have recently concluded that as we have grown we are facing a choice as to not change is unviable. So we either go backwards and shrink or we move forwards and take a next step. The next step is what we have been discussing. How to preserve the unique atmosphere and positive experience at S2C yet take on a more formal role. The provision of healthcare is undergoing many changes at the moment with a move to have more support available in the community. It is this we are looking to be part of. To grow, have one or two key roles initial as paid rules to ensure continuity and consistency and expand what we offer people. Tricky. Not so much a cunning plan and more of an essential one! Watch this space!
I must also comment on the great news that Kentmere Ward is to be kept open. Many thanks from all at S2C who supported the campaign to save the ward and also took part in the public consultation which helped change the decision to close it.