Whose Shoes? Supporting Dementia through co-production

Friday 21 November 2014

Marion Brown, an Area Manager with The Richmond Fellowship Scotland recently attended a masterclass for Whose Shoes? - a game based approach to co-production and supporting individuals with dementia. Here she writes about her experience.

Gill Phillips the creator of the Whose Shoes? Co-production game was in Glasgow in October 2014 to run a masterclass in using the Whose Shoes? approach to co-production.  Gill developed the game which offers a flexible new tool to support individuals or communities through the transformation  journey and co-produce local/personal solutions that work. There are two versions of the game which can be used – An electronic version and a board game version.

I was invited by Yvonne Stewart, Director of Dementia Scotland Consultancy and Training. (yvonnestewart@dscat), who had organised the event, to be interviewed by Michelle Drumm (michelle.drumm@iriss.org.uk) from IRISS (Institute of Research in Social Services), for an IRISSFM episode about Whose Shoes?

I did not know anything about the tool and thought it was a wonderful way to engage people. The experience of playing the game to co-produce solutions did make it real.

At the masterclass I had the opportunity to play and experience the board game version, which is like monopoly with shoes! Gill has developed over 200 real life scenarios to encourage you to challenge attitudes and assumptions about the different perspectives and work together for excellence in health and social care.

Ken Howard co-facilitated the masterclass and gave a presentation on his journey living with dementia.  Ken refers to himself as a ‘hairy biker’ he travels the country on his motorbike telling his story of living well with dementia. Ken’s story is about his life after diagnosis. = That Ken is still Ken.

Yvonne had organised the masterclass as she had been involved in training staff on co-production and had found that many found the language and resources that had been developed around co-production were often difficult to understand/use and therefore felt that Whose Shoes? offered a down to earth approach which would enable health and social care staff to fully involve people who use services in a meaningful way when developing and co-designing new services.  In order to do this everyone would have to have an understanding of what it is like from the other stakeholder perspective.

“It has never been so timely to remind policy makers, commissioners and the front line staff in Health and Social care organisations that each individual is a precious human being. Whose shoes? Goes a step beyond raising awareness; it engages people emotionally as well as intellectually.  Gill Phillips work makes a huge difference; I want professionals everywhere to have a chance to walk in my shoes.” Kate Swaffer, International speaker and dementia advocate living with dementia.

To listen to the IRISSFM episode click here http://irissfm.iriss.org.uk/episode/105

To find out more about Whose Shoes? Gill's website is http://nutshellcomms.co.uk

You can follow Gill, Yvonne and Ken on Twitter @Whoseshoes @Dementiascot @KenHowarduk

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