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Social Enterprise, Personalisation of Services and Community Development

If you are interested in learning more about how social enterprise, personalisation of services and community development are working in the UK, please click here to download a copy of the VASS UK Study Trip Report 2014.

Hard copies of the report are also available from the VASS Office for $15 (including postage). Please email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING to order a copy.

Collaboration and Collective Impact

If you are looking at working together with another organisation and would like your collaboration to be as successful as possible then the following articles are a good place to start:

Articles on Collabration

Click here to read an article by Tonya and Mark Surman, who have developed the 'Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change' an innovative approach to organising collaborative efforts. More information about their Constellation Model can also be found in the the following article

Click here to read an article on a report about charity collaborations published on

Furthermore, if you are looking to collaborate with another organisation and wish to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with them, please click here to download a MOU template, that has been developed by Community Law Southland.

Collective Impact

Collective Impact is increasingly being talked about by government agencies and community sector organisations. It describes a way of working that focuses on how we can work together to achieve big goals, such as reducing poverty. We were very privileged to be able to organise a workshop with Liz Weaver from the Tamarack Institute in Canada on this high interest topic. Liz was brought to New Zealand by Inspiring Communities. She is one of Tamarack's lead trainers who provides coaching, leadership and support to community partners across Canada.

The workshop explored the concept of Collective Impact, focusing on the five conditions that enable us to work together. Participants were shown a variety of tools and strategies to help develop a common agenda, build shared measurement and determine the role and impact of 'backbone' infrastructure. Click here to download Liz's presentation.

In response to the growing interest in Collective Impact, Community Research has established a page on their website to host resources on the topic. It features a video of Liz's talk to the Comvoices Parliamentary Breakfast held on the same day as our workshop. Click here to view video.

Making it Real (UK): Marking Progress towards personalised Community-Based Support

Making it Real is a framework developed by a UK initiative entitled Think Local, Act Personal. Think Local, Act Personal is a sector wide commitment to transform adult social care through personalisation and community-based support. It committed over 30 national organisations to work together and to develop, as one of the key priorities, a set of markers.

These markers, outlined in Making It Real, will be used to support all those working towards personalisation. This will help organisations check their progress and decide what they need to do to keep moving forward to deliver real change and positive outcomes with people.

To download a copy of Making it Real click here

Empowerment and Self Direction Relative to the Design and Governance of Personalised Service Arrangements by Michael Kendrick

The attempt to create services that are designed and directed by service users has been growing in prominence in many human service sectors and has spawned a wide variety of policies, systems and examples in many jurisdictions. This article has a focus on how decision-making of this kind can be operationalised by demonstrating how organisational authority can be transferred to and employed by service users and their allies both singly and in conjunction with other parties. It describes various levels of empowerment relative to service decision making as well as the common organisational forms that user directed services have taken to-date.

To download this article click here

Community Building

Community Building is about developing relationships and connections. Many disabled people do not have a wide network of family and friends within their community. In order to facilitate this it is also important for organisations that are helping people to build relationships to have good community networks themselves.

Inspiring Communities has published What we are learning about community-led development in Aotearoa New Zealand. it includes a section on community building which contains practical information and ideas for organisations looking for ways to expand networks and participate in their local communities. Check out the Inspiring Communities website for other information and resources:

Individualised Support

We are looking for better ways to support individuals that:

  • puts them in the driver's seat and enables them to make decisions about their own lives
  • connects them with their families and communities
  • helps them to fulfil their goals and aspirations

This means that our role as service providers is changing. We are thinking about how we can move away from group models of support to individualised ones, and how.

Here are some links to websites and articles that you might find helpful:

Learning from the Skillwise Utopia Project

Many of you who come to VASS Members’ Forums will have followed with interest what John Grant and his team have shared about the service transformation project at Skillwise.  The Utopia Project is being run in partnership with SAMS, and they have recently written an interim report that begins to describe the outcomes of the project.

The report overviews many of the practical skills required by staff to successfully move from a "centre based" approach to being effective facilitators in the community.

Click here to read the report.

Community Resource Unit

CRU exists to support the development of leadership and authentic change which enhances the possibilites of people with disabilities to belong and to participate in community life. It aims to:

  • Challenge ideas and practises which limit the lives of people with disabilities
  • Inspire and Encourage individuals and organisations to pursue better lives for people with disabilities.

The CRU website has a resources section and news about upcoming events.

Michael J Kendrick

Michael has been researching and writing about individual services for some time. He has published a number of articles that assist organisations thinking about how to change and design services that focus on the individual.

Janet Klees You Tube Clips

These short clips by Janet Klees focus on the role of support workers, and relationship building. Go to


Achieving Social and Economic Inclusion:  From Segregation to ‘Employment First’

The Canadian Association for Community Living published this study in 2011.  It examines effective policies and practices for supporting people into open employment in the Canadian context.  The report identifies both barriers to labour market inclusion and enabling factors for inclusion in the labour market.  Barriers include the lack of coherent policy or programme framework, and enablers include factors such as an ‘Employment First’ approach, and awareness and leadership among parents and educators.  The report makes interesting reading, especially as a comparison to our New Zealand situation.

Download a PDF of the report here

People First NZ has published a Plain Language Employment Agreement. Download a PDF of the agreement.

You can find resources at


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