Broadening the reach of #TLAP13

Since I started freelancing it has been really important to me to work with people who I think are a) doing important stuff, b) have values similar to mine and c) where I feel I can make a contribution and I’ll enjoy doing the work. I’ve spent a small amount of time recently working with the good folk at Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) considering how they can use social media as an engagement tool.

TLAP were interested in how they can use their digital platforms to engage people and ensure that a range of voices are genuinely involved in shaping their work. Earlier this year I wrote this post about Social Media and Citizen Engagement and love or loathe Arnstein’s ladder it’s a useful framework for thinking about engagement. I think it translates nicely to lots of digital behaviour too. Many organisations, and indeed individuals, have a long way to go until they are really usefully using social media at the top of the ladder. TLAP are far higher up that ladder than many organisations. They are a collaborative partnership, incredibly directed by their network of members and core to their operation is the National Co-production Advisory Group – a network of over 20 people with lived experiences of care and support – who support the work of TLAP especially in developing their work programme together.

It is lovely to work with an organisation that genuinely has end recipients within their midst. I think this is a story that TLAP needs to tell more, I think they need to be a little more proud about the way they operate because there aren’t many organisations in social care that can claim to operate this openly or this genuinely in partnership. Anyhow, I digress, in terms of social media as an engagement tool a lot of their current traffic comes from twitter. So starting small they are making an asserted effort to blog and tweet about their one day conference taking place in Birmingham on Wednesday 25 September.

The TLAP National Personalisation in Health and Social Care Conference will see 170 people in the room to share, learn and develop personalisation. I very much hope there will also be many more who are able to engage with the day and shape the discussions virtually. They are using the hashtag #TLAP13 and wherever possible activity on there will be shared with those in the room. The TLAP team will also be capturing the online virtual input from the day.  

Finally, if you wish to know more you can read Sam Bennett’s blog about the conference or a Guardian article written by one of the speakers, Sally Percival, explaining in real life terms why personalisation matters. You can also follow two lists put together by @TLAP1 that share speakers and participants.

Everything about working with TLAP has been a delight so far. They have a very small but exceedingly committed group of staff who have values of equity and access and a belief of better running through their core. I’ve rarely worked with individuals who are more open to feedback or more open to change and in particular working alongside Jaimee Lewis has been a joy. I am really looking forward to hearing from those who are living personalisation on the ground, those who are accessing support, the challenges they face, and those who are working to maintain the momentum of personalisation. There is still a long way to go on the personalisation journey, we are nowhere near making it as mainstream a reality as we’d like, that said I’m a strong believer in all progress being important, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I’m privileged to walk a bit of this journey with TLAP, their small staff team and wider partnership, and have every confidence that #TLAP13 will be a success because everyone is all ears and keen to learn. I very much hope that you’ll join the conversation.

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