Iriss annual Champions event 2014

Report of annual champions event 2014
By Iriss
Published on 10 Dec 2014

Iriss annual champions event took place at New Lanark Mill Hotel on 12th and 13th November 2014. Twenty six champions made their way from as far north as Shetland and as far south as Dumfries and Galloway.

Day one

Imagining the Future

Day one explored how social services might look in the year 2025. Led by Iriss Associate, Robert Rae and using the 'Imagining the Future' scenario planning tool, we learned about four possible future worlds and considered which aspects we wanted to work towards and which we need to take action to avoid.

Imagining the future

Explore the four world scenarios that were discussed on the day.

Leadership challenges

We also took a little time to identify and think about how we might address our leadership challenges. Most people identified challenges within these four areas:

  1. Supporting staff: promoting culture change, motivating staff and ensuring that practitioners feel valued and have their voices heard
  2. Personalisation/SDS: supporting the shift towards a focus on personal outcomes
  3. Students: preparing students for the 'new world'
  4. Strategy: keeping people at the centre, implementing change with reduced capacity and brokering between competing strategic drivers

In the evening

After dinner that evening, we were entertained by poet and mental health activist Jo McFarlane: Edinburgh Jo.

Day two

Day two included sessions on older people, integration and contribution analysis.

'Know this'

We enjoyed some words of wisdom from five champions who each, throughout the day, presented a 90 second 'know this' bite.

know this

Here's what they had to say...

We created a colourful know this summary, which contains inspirational quotes and pictures from the individuals involved.

'A Better Life'

Imogen Blood (Imogen Blood Associates) shared the vision from the 'A Better Life' programme. This work, carried out in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, sets out seven challenges in making life better for older people with high support needs. View the presentation.

The presentation included a number of videos of the older people's choir. Listen and watch Well I ask you, Too old to remember, When the money runs out and A new life, a song about living with dementia.

Integration: Making it happen

Iriss Director Alison Petch led a session on integration, entitled 'Integration: making it happen'. In the presentation she identified six important dimensions in developing an integrated approach. We worked in groups to identify examples of different aspects of integrated working within each area.

Contribution Analysis

Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin (Iriss Associate) shared some of the findings from her work exploring the impact of Iriss using contribution analysis. View her presentation.


The day and the event concluded with some reflection on whether we had achieved the outcomes we identified at the start. The group agreed that the event had provided a useful opportunity for networking and sharing knowledge and resources. Champions felt that they would take away new ideas and in particular, several planned to use learning from the 'Imagining the Future' and 'A Better Life' sessions. For us at Iriss, the two days provided useful insights into the great work that many champions are doing, the considerable challenges they face and the kind of areas where we might be able to offer suppport.