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Bringing Support Brokerage into Social Prescribing

In this blog, we share a reflection from Glen, who is a former Social Prescriber and Occupational Therapy Assistant, and an Independent Support Broker at Team Imagineer.

Glen completed the Support Brokerage training and accreditation with Imagineer and later joined our Associate team. In this blog, he explains how he is using some of the skills, knowledge and approaches he has developed to empower and enable the people he works alongside.

The first thing I did [in preparation for providing Support Brokerage] was drop all the service provider jargon.
I adapted the process to better suit the gentleman’s need i.e. we didn’t get bogged down with all the paperwork side of things.

On arriving at the gentleman’s house, I could sense the family were a bit worried and tense about reaching out for some help and they were not sure about what this might entail for the gentleman they care about. They explained that the last experience they had was shortly after their mum had passed away and this was quite a traumatic experience for them, which only added to the sadness they were already feeling. Especially when it was suggested he would be better off living elsewhere.

This would have meant that the gentleman was taken away from the place where he feels safe and where he receives the love and support he needs, from his family who are very important to him.
I offered reassurance to the family and explained the purpose of me working with the gentleman, was to get to know him as an individual and to find out what he wants from his life. We even sat in a way that everyone in the room could see that any notes I was taking were in their own words.
We did a bit of ‘meandering’ with the conversation, and we spent quite a bit of time talking about the gentleman’s interests which include going to the pub for a pint, a game of pool and watching the football. The meandering part of the conversation was what allowed us to really make that connection, and you could feel the mutual trust beginning to be established.

The family appeared both surprised and excited that this bloke from service provider land was actually listening and was feeding back that
they were understood. They were amazed that someone from one of the service providers which had been failing them for so many years didn’t come with into their home with any form of agenda, other than making sure the person they care about, leads the best life they can and in the way that they choose.

He is an older gentleman now, but in his younger years he had attended day services and was very active in his local community, however due to his increasing anxiety he found he could no longer attend. It appears that this is when he fell through the cracks and went off the radar from receiving of any form of support.
It was only when sadly his mother passed away a few years ago, after a visit to the GP that anyone in service provider land noticed he might
need a bit of help. It is sad that it has taken decades for the family to get the right help and even now they are still waiting for a social care eligibility assessment!
But I think we might have cracked it! I came away buzzing!
It already looks like we are going to have a really positive outcome and have some fun whilst working together along the way.

For the next meet up we have chosen to go and check out a social group who meet in the local pub of an evening. We might even get in a
game of pool in and maybe watch some football.
From the meeting we have also gathered enough supporting evidence to give the local council a bit of a nudge for the social care assessment. Not bad considering I was only with him for an hour or so.
I am so glad I did the support brokerage training and got rid of the reins service provider land has been slowly imposing on me. The jargon, the processes and words spoken by others can slowly creep into your mindset and without even realising you can start losing perspective and
have forgotten why you chose to come into this profession.
However, since doing the support brokerage training with Imagineer I feel like I have gone back to my core beliefs and I am starting again with a fresh approach.

Glen is applying his new skills and approaches from the Support Brokerage training to empower individuals and families to get good support and lead lives that make sense.

If you’re interested in the Support Brokerage training offered by Imagineer, visit: https://www.imagineer.org.uk/support-brokerage-training/

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