Read All About It – Client-lead newsletter – Anchor St Clements Court
Name of the organisation: Anchor St Clements Court
Clients research and develop the content of the newsletter contributing stories, poems, quizzes and information about internal and external activities and events.
Who was involved?
Clients and scheme manager
Anchor produces a newsletter for each of their older persons’ schemes. Traditionally there was a low take up of the newsletters at Clements Court with client actively electing not to have a copy. The scheme manager asked clients individually and in a meeting what publications clients enjoyed reading and what was wrong with the newsletter. Clients felt that the newsletter was a ‘vehicle’ for the Anchor to provide organisational information often reinforcing ‘rules’. When asked the clients shared enjoyed reading articles about ‘days gone by’ and ‘real life’ stories, keeping their brains active with quizzes and finding out about recent events and forthcoming activities as well as what was happening in their local community. The scheme manager uses individual support meeting and client meetings to obtain contributions from all clients in the scheme including those who do not participate in organised activities. There are regular features for example the quiz and information about external activities that particular clients take on. The take up of the newsletter is now universal with clients asking for copies to ‘read with their morning cuppa’.
The new approach started in January 2010 as a mean of communicating about some planned maintenance work. The content was discussed with clients at monthly coffee meetings and individually and it has gone from strength to strength.
What evidence do you have that this resulted in improved outcomes for individuals using services?
- Clients are more informed about internal and external activities through reading the newsletter.
- The newsletter enables clients to learn more about each other and brings clients together by establishing interests that can be shared.
- Clients enjoy contributing to the newsletter it improves self esteem and confidence seeing their contribution in print
How this resulted in improved outcomes for the service itself?
- Client voice has been improved through contributing to the newsletter improving service delivery.
- Client engagement has improved especially amongst those clients who do not participate in the planned activities.
What challenges did the organisation face? How were these resolved?
Clients were very reluctant to form a committee as there had been some negative experiences in the past, so they have elected to take a collective approach to the newsletter and also running activities. Clients meet once a month and offer and take up duties, for example, arranging venues and taxi transport for Sunday Luncheon trips out. They also arrange fundraising events for local and national charities.
Are there any resources you are able to share?
Contact person: Shirley Duker
Phone: 01323 638 045