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The first issue of the Connecting People Newsletter. This provides information about the Connecting People Team, the work they are doing and particularly the Connecting People Intervention. We hope you enjoy it.


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    Welcome to the first Connecting People Newsletter! The Connecting People Study has been around for two years now. During this time the team has embraced technology to deliver regular blog updates on progress with our research. However, it was felt that a newsletter would be a great new way of reaching out to people and providing updates on the work we are doing and the work we have coming up. Our next issue for example will provide details on the recruitment process for the Study and give feedback from the interviews which have taken place so far.

    With this in mind we hope that you enjoy the December 2012 Connecting People Newsletter.

    If you have any questions or want advice on any of the matters raised here please feel free to contact us.

    We also welcome your feedback on items you would like to see in future issues of the newsletter.

    Contact details for the team can be found on page 7 of the newsletter.

    -The Connecting People Study Team

    Connecting People

    Newsletter December 2012


    The Connecting People Model

    Page 3

    Meet the Connecting People Team...

    Page 2 - 3

    Our Work So Far

    Page 4 - 5

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    Martin Webber is a Reader in Social Work at the University of York and a registered social worker. His research interests are in social inclusion, social capital and mental health social work, with a particular interest in the development and evaluation of interventions that improve social, as well as clinical, outcomes. He is co-editor of Reflective Practice in Mental Health: Advanced Psychosocial Practice with Children, Adolescents and Adults (Jessica Kingsley, 2010, with Jack Nathan) and author of Evidence-based Policy and Practice in Mental Health Social Work (2nd edition, Learning Matters, 2011), both aimed at supporting the professional development of advanced social work practitioners. Martin is Principal Investigator on the Connecting People study and you can find out more about him and his work on his blog.

    Email: Telephone: 01904 321203

    Meredith Newlin, Msc, BS is a Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the University of York and based full time in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at Kings College London. With degrees in child development (University of Minnesota- Twin Cities) and health psychology (University College London and Kings College London), Meredith has previously worked on research projects related to family interventions for youth offenders and the impact of risk perceptions on sexual health behaviour. She also serves on the Board of Directors for an African development organisation. These experiences led to her strong interest in supporting strategic efforts that empower individuals within community-based health and social care. Meredith is involved in the piloting of the intervention, working closely with many of the agencies.

    Email: Telephone: 0207 848 1861

    Sharon Howarth, MSc, BS is a Senior Research Assistant at the School of Health, University of Central Lancashire. She has a background in psychology, with a focus on sport and exercise psychology and is interested in how sport and exercise initiatives can enhance the well-being of individuals and communities. Sharon has conducted a systematic review looking at interventions that promote the social participation and well-being of adults with a learning disability or mental health problem which is due to be published shortly. Sharon is involved with piloting the intervention, facilitating training sessions with different agencies and conducting interviews with new referrals to the agencies.

    Email: Telephone: 01772 895536

    Meet the Team

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    Ian Norris is a Senior Administrative Assistant at the School of Health, University of Central Lancashire. He has a large amount of experience and knowledge in this area having worked in different administrative roles since 2001. The majority of his work has been at Local Government level with posts held at Lancashire County Council and most recently Sheffield City Council. Ians role is to provide administrative support throughout the duration of the Connecting People Study, including managing interview schedules of participants and creating bespoke training materials for the agencies involved to use within their teams.

    Email: Telephone: 01772 895532

    Hannah Reidy is a Research Fellow in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at Kings College London. She has a background in both commercial and psychological research, but most recently worked as a Social Inclusion Worker for a mental health charity. She is currently setting up a group for under 35 year olds with mental health problems that aims to link them back into activities within the mainstream community. These experiences gave her insider knowledge of how the intervention will need to run in order to be maximally effective. She conducted the bulk of the fieldwork for the latter half of original Connecting People project, as well as pulling together all of the findings to form the Practice Guidance document that acts as the manual for the intervention. Email: Telephone: 0207 848 1769

    Meet the Team

    David Morris PhD, BA, CQSW, DASS, FRSA, is Professor of Mental Health, Inclusion and Community in the School of Health, University of Central Lancashire where he is also Director of the Inclusion Institute. He holds a Visiting Academic Associate post in the Health Service and Population Research Department of the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. He was Director of the cross government National Social Inclusion Programme (2004-2009) at the National Institute for Mental Health in England. David has founded and led a number of programmes in the field of inclusion and health equalities and contributes widely both nationally and internationally in a range of advisory and consultative roles to the development of policy and practice on social inclusion such as the new Inclusion Health programme at the Department of Health.

    Email: Telephone: 0207 307 2448

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    In a nutshell

    In a Nut shell

    The model

    The Connecting People Intervention is a way of working that helps users of health and social care services to make new connections beyond these services. Many of its elements can already be found in routine health and social care practice. Its originality lies in utilising individuals strengths to co-produce activities and co-define outcomes. New social connections arise as a by-product of engaging in this process.

    The model depicts the dynamic process of the intervention it is not a traditional linear model of a worker doing and an individual receiving. The aim is to get the green and blue wheels - representing the cycle of discovery for both worker and individual - to turn in tandem. The shared processes in the centre of the model further describe the co-production that lies at the heart of the intervention. Life isnt straightforward, and therefore barriers to new social connections being formed are depicted by wheels turning against the worker and individual they must overcome these in order to be successful.

    The agency underpins the entire intervention process, forming the strong base and community knowledge needed for it to work.

    The pilot study

    It is increasingly important for mental health service users to develop social relationships and engage in their local communities as care provision diversifies. Health and social care workers have some skills in supporting people

    with this, but there is little evidence about which approaches are the most effective or best value for money.

    The Connecting People Intervention Study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research, is a multi-site pilot to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Connecting People Intervention model explained above. We aim to engage the social structures that impose barriers for accessing social capital and develop individual capacity to build relationships. This approach will address social exclusion by challenging the local community to connect with marginalised and stigmatised individuals. We currently have more than 15 sites across England piloting the intervention and aim to recruit 240 participants to the study.

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    What weve done in the last 3 months

    Training Activities

    What others think

    Martin spoke recently to Griff Jones, Social Care Lead and Approved Mental Health Professional in Derby City Council, about his experience with the study. He writes about this here. You can read the full article and many more relevant posts on Martins blog take a look!

    In choosing to participate in the study, I felt that it dovetailed very well with the move towards self-directed support and would help social care colleagues to be able to use a model which would guide and inform their p