Today I spoke at the Guildhall London about Recipes4Success in relation to the ongoing personalisation development projects taking place across homeless organisations in the UK.
Providence Row Service Manager, Emily Bawtree, invited me to join her on the podium to talk about the journey and benefits of delivering a more personalised service to clients at the Dellow Center, London.
I outlined my role as photography peer mentor at the Dellow Center, what that entails, and how I experience the position. I then went on to explain the Recipes4Success project and recent outcomes at the practical level working with clients.
The warm reception and positive response I received is very encouraging both personally and for all involved. We're heading towards an exhibition later in 2015 to showcase some of the recovery centered artwork and ideas.
I'd further like to emphasis a key point about the perception of boundaries in the support environment. In practice the distinction between service user, peer mentor, and staff member, can become blurred as people work together and share tasks. Individuals may sense these formal distinctions as overlapping and this needs to be taken into consideration requiring balance, clarity, team support, and mutual respect from all parties. In early days peer mentoring can be a grey area and personalisation, managed with care and sensitivity, is key to success.
The enthusiasm and help I get from Providence Row staff is tremendous and they're a wonderful team to be working with. Some past projects can be found at DavidHolmes.net and here's a couple of recent videos I've made highlighting work at the Dellow Center.