Our Approach and The Project's Uniqueness
We've been asked how we differ from other information services our there. Here's our response.
The unique qualities of this project are:
- It’s Comprehensive – we are not restricting the project to a particular theme (e.g. health, environment, social) or user group (e.g. children, older people) or locality. We are also not excluding any sector that provides help and support – so it will encompass informal & voluntary projects, charities, public sector and commercial providers.
e.g. you should be able to find a range of options / providers / services for dementia care in an area, listing informal support groups, charity support options, and businesses that can provide help to people with dementia and their families/carers.
- It’s Holistic – the project will treat people as complete individuals with complex lives and needs. We aim to be able to signpost to related services if they’re available, not just deal with an individual (a) on their own or (b) as a single-issue person.
e.g. carers often need lots of different support, respite care, personal support, have financial and housing needs, mobility issues, and more. They should be able to see how to access any or all of these aspects in one joined-up place.
- It’s Devolved – we want the participants and organisations in the project to have control over their own information and to push the administration and communication to the lowest grass roots we can. The project will help facilitate organic, word of mouth referrals and recommendations and encourage people to contribute at whatever level they can.
e.g a small youth club or allotment association or ramblers group can add their own listings and events to the site, and maintain their own content and communications. This will enable them to keep in closer touch with other things that are happening, and be more personally in control of their own presentation to the community.
- It’s Independent – we aim to make the project self-sustaining and independent of any sector or organisation. This allows us to respond in a fast, pragmatic and flexible way to the needs that arise.
e.g if an organisation or group wants help through additional site functionality, we can quickly evaluate this and deploy new services and opportunities as they’re needed. We can also quickly bring in or recommend other support from within or outside the county as it’s needed. We may also be able to focus collective endeavour to arrange and support joint projects with other agencies.
- It’s Pragmatic – the long experience of working in the sector means that we know that “good enough” is often more than good enough, and that perfection is never achievable. We will take a sensible course in developing the project, building in “bite-sized” chunks as each aspect of the project is identified, defined and delivered. Some aspects may require collaboration or special funding, others will happen organically. We also recognise that times, resources, interests and needs change over time. What we envisage on day one will be need to be responsive to change as time goes by, and systems developed at the start may not be needed for the full duration of the project. We’re lifelong learners and will continually seek to improve and develop services and solutions as opportunities allow.
e.g. we don’t intend to duplicate effort if we can help it, or re-invent the wheel, therefore we’ll be alert to opportunities to partner with other services or agencies to provide the services we have in mind, and use our common sense to make the most of our effort by amplifying (and integrating where possible) the work of others. We don’t want to step on peoples’ toes!
- It's ambitious!
We know that this is a big target, but we have experience of working with large projects and rapidly changing data and communications, plus we believe the scale of the need demands a big response.