Creative Quarter

A series of case studies exploring the role and effectiveness of the creative arts in supporting positive outcomes for people being supported by social services.

This series also includes Creative Bites (Bite-sized chunks of creativity). We invited 40 people to share their thoughts and ideas to inspire creativity and imagination in the social services.

Let’s luminate

It has taken over 17 hours of train travel for me to be in Glasgow for the day today. Why did I do it? Was it worth it? 

I live in Swansea in South Wales, we have just become part of the Age Friendly Cities network and have been selected as one of four cities to have a peer review of their arts for older people provision. This involves knowledgeable people from around the country coming for the day and asking searching questions to help you improve what you are doing. 

Making tough decisions easier

While everyone wants to believe providing social care is giving service users what they need and ideally want, sometimes limited resources and other factors will mean that social workers may have to look at needing to cut people’s level of support in the name of fairness. Many disabled people fear, but not including myself, that the Independent Living Fund’s transfer to local authority control will result in a major cut of the support they will receive, including the possibility of being put into residential care.

Translating the knowledge embedded in peer stories

Peer support for clients and families of the disability sector is of paramount importance because it has the potential to hasten clients’ outcomes achievement. This is however a complex issue because of the highly specific nature of the help that each person needs.

I tackle this challenge with two ideas – peers and technology.

The idea is to orchestrate the meeting of people and knowledge via a multimedia peer-learning system accessible online and via mobile devices, thus distributing the right learning experience for the right audience, at the right time.

Are you getting your five a day?

It’s possibly the best known of all government health messages. It’s a simple and motivating message to eat healthier; it’s easily remembered and is neither patronising nor preachy; it’s entirely general and somehow deeply personal.

There’s a version for the mind, too - The New Economics Foundation’s ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ (Thompson, Aked, Marks and Cordon, 2008).  

Good Cheap Fast

A few years back I was luck enough to see Hoss Gifford give a short talk at Flash on The Beach (a developer conference held in Brighton).  One of the nuggets  he mentioned was the notion of GOOD CHEAP FAST (you can only choose two). The idea has stuck with me so I created this little graphic to illustrate the idea further.

Good cheap fast


Knowing what you want

It is assumed by most people that the hard part of getting social care is the assessment process, fighting for what you need and then obtaining it in terms of a specific number of hours from a care agency, or having the cash equivalent as a direct payment to employ your own personal assistants, but I would like to suggest that is the easy part. The hard part is actually what you are going to do with the hours you have to make the most of them.

I Can't Do it On My Own

This video highlights the personal perspectives of two individuals using the services of Raise. They offer an insight into how borderline personality disorders can lead to behaviour that may challenge. Raise exclusively employs people with a diagnosed mental health problem, including cleaners, directors and trainers who can inform from their own personal experience.

Imagination and conformity

Josh and Lexy
Josh and Lexy

I recently had the pleasure of spending three weeks in the company of friends, whose family include these two, Josh and Lexy. They are a couple of months off turning three and are non-identical twins.

First bite

There are a whole set of exhortations and expressions which effectively demand the same response from us. From Carpe diem to “seize the time”, we are challenged to take control and make a difference for ourselves and others.