We are taking a new approach to help us address inequality in Scotland – which focuses on embracing three key approaches of people-led, strengths-based and connected.
These approaches are central to each of our new funding streams and will help us to better understand and make good judgements about strengths, opportunities and issues in communities across Scotland.
A good example which brings to life what we mean about a strengths-based approach is Addaction’s Ayrshire Next Step Project which supports individuals recovering from substance misuse issues to overcome feelings of ‘disconnect’ from society and barriers to employment.
What Big Lottery Fund Scotland loved about the project:
The programme’s approach has been designed by the service users – and is focused on empowering participants to decide what they want to do and helping them to make this happen.
This involves working closely with each participant to talk about their interests, skills, aspirations, and developing an action plan, providing regular support to achieve goals.
The service is tailored and flexible to enable participants to overcome their personal barriers by building up skills and confidence.
It also provides appropriate additional support to service users to allow them engage in the activities which they feel are most useful and of interest to them.
Participants are empowered to regularly review their own progress in achieving their aspirations – and given a plan to aid their self-empowerment to allow them to reconnect with society.
The organisation was awarded £200,629 in January 2013 for a three year project.
How they did it:
Allan Brown, Project Coordinator at Addaction’s Ayrshire Next Step said: “We are focused on fully supporting individuals recovering from substance misuse, This is really important to our project as individuals in recovery need to feel that they are valued contributing members of their own community.
“Our strengths-based approach instills a sense of pride, raises their self esteem, and makes them aware that they can `reconnect` and play a positive role within society.
“It was crucial that we consulted service users in the designing of the approach and activities as we strive to ensure that we equip individuals with the tools to aid their recovery.
“Our consultation process entails one to one feedback sessions with service users, through Mutual Aid Partnership meetings, consultation with established recovery groups, and questionnaires. It also uses the outcomes of an Awards For All funded one year pilot project – which by its uptake and success proved the real need of such activity to be in place to aid individuals’ recovery.
“We work closely with each individual participating in the programme to ensure that their needs are met – creating a tailored and flexible action plan agreed by both the service user and project coordinator. These action plans are regularly reviewed to ensure that all involved are happy with progress, and that any changes necessary are implemented.
“The overall goal of the project is to ensure that individuals feel empowered and able to reconnect with society, gain new skills, link with further education, plan for the future and take great strides in their recovery journey.”
For more information go to our website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/scotland