3. Are we deciding for service users?
We can’t and shouldn’t make assumptions about what people need or want. Different people will want different things at different times. In our capitalist system, the primary means of ascribing value for labour is money. For some, they might want to be paid in cash or by bank transfer, others might prefer vouchers for a specific retailer so as to not affect their benefits, some may want time credits, and others might want access to books, training, food or clothes, or other resources that could benefit them.
It is much harder to build meaningful relationships if we don’t know the people we’re working with, and commit to supporting them how they want to be supported. Consider giving people a menu of options as a starting point, but make the choice truly theirs: ask what they need or want in order to participate.
This post was informed by the discussion at the #CoproMondays members’ event held online on 15th November 2021. Our #CoproMonday sessions are fluid discussions with members, prompted by a series of questions or thoughts, where participants contribute their experience and knowledge, and learn from one another. Recordings are available if you’re a member or champion and you would like to catch up on the session content (email email@example.com). Our thanks to all those who participated.