On Wednesday 13th March 2019 Birmingham Changing Futures Together held our annual learning event aimed at challenging the stakeholders present and organisations represented to commit to our Systems Change Action Plan which highlight 4 key priorities for the city of Birmingham.
1- Service for people with multiple and complex needs are accessible at the right place, at the right time
2- The people who design and deliver services are reflective of the community they serve, respectful of the value of lived experience and have the skills and empathy to work effectively.
3- Services are committed to long term connection, collaboration and change
4- Birmingham is invested in a forward thinking strategy that addresses, responds to and prevents multiple and complex needs
Throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to listen to key note speakers such as Councillor Sharon Thompson and Jean Templeton’s take on designing out homelessness through an inclusive system, influenced and designed in collaboration with those who the system currently excludes, focussing on prevention strategies and emphasising the value of lived experience at every stage.
“Great passion in the room & lovely to speak to some of the experts by experience. I made the commitment that when it comes to @BhamCityCouncil Housing, we will work with people with lived experience to help shape, design change” @SThompson_JP
Attendees had the choice of 5 workshops in the morning and afternoon from the likes of Maff Potts from @Camerados_org , @MEAMcoalition, workshops by our experts by experience, and work stream related workshops with a focus on Psychologically Informed Environments, InReach OutReach, Multiple and Complex Needs in the workplace, to name a few.
We had true stories of people with lived experience of homelessness, mental ill health, prison or probation and addiction, displayed in BVSCs gallery area for attendees to read and understand the complexities of a persons situation, that might mean that accessing help or support is not always easy.
We encouraged attendees to network and collaborate with us by way of leaving their contact details and sharing good practices or challenges that their organisations face, so that we can work together to changes systems that no longer serve the whole community.
The afternoon was topped off by a moving performance by @GeeseTheatre Company who had worked together with our Experts by Experience to create a fictional drama, with themes of real experiences. The audience were asked to discuss key questions regarding support service provision, what the best practice would be in the characters situation, what their organisations currently have in place to support people in similar situations, in a holistic way, person-centered and trauma informed way. The Experts courageously shared their story amidst the drama, which helped the audience to see that although they had been watching a drama, stories like this exist for many people across the city and it is everyone’s responsibility to provide support in a non-judge-mental way.
It was overall, an excellent day of collaboration, shared learning, re-commitment towards a shared goal and an atmosphere of inspiration.
Following the event, there have been many opportunities where lived experience has been crucial to the design and development of systematic strategies, such as our Experts by Experience taking part in the Housing Redesign Consultations with Birmingham City Council.
It is clear that there is much more to be done across the city with the support of every Birmingham citizen, though it is excellent to see a move in the right direction, towards positive change.