The Personality Disorder Pathway Strategy for the Yorkshire and Humber region: Making Connections and Delivering Community to Community Pathways(2019) was a large scale 18 month project commissioned by NHS England which required a significant focus on those service users and staff who live and work in secure services across the region. Jo and Holly planned and completed a really positive engagement and involvement process which heavily influenced the outcomes of the strategy. They were also instrumental in planning and facilitating a series of engagement and consultation events throughout the duration of the strategy development. Without Jo and Holly’s hard work, knowledge, skills and enthusiasm the strategy project would not have been so comprehensive and informative of all stakeholder views. It was a pleasure to work with them on the project!
Holly and Jo, The Yorkshire And Humber Involvement Leads invited us to come along and graphic facilitate at their annual conference nearly 3 years ago and they have invited us back ever since, we also attend the involvement network meetings on a quarterly basis.
We enjoy coming back each quarter/year to capture all the newest updates from the services that they are involved with and see the changes that are happening for the people involved.It is great to see a group of people all working together to achieve and grow together in a fun and engaging way.
Thank you for having us come along and be a part of the journey with you.
I have been involved with the Network from quite early days and was very pleased to lead on an earlier evaluation project. Over the years I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous meetings of the Network and to visit and meet people at many of the member secure units. The Network goes from strength to strength and I continue to be impressed with its positive impact and attributes, not least of these is the role of Jo and Holly who keep things going and are an effective bridge into the units. The Yorkshire and Humber Network was the inspiration for national developments and remains the leader in creative innovation and systematic support for developments and individuals. Our report on the successes and challenges for the Network emphasised a number of things that still ring true. We particularly celebrated the quality of communication and voice within the meetings. One person we spoke to really stressed the importance of “the talk”. He was so animated by this that we made “It’s the Talk” the title of a paper we wrote that was all about how good forms of talk make for a better democracy and relationships between people. We also noticed how it isn’t always easy to recreate the powerful atmosphere and impact of the Wakefield meetings back in the different secure environments. We stole the title off a Bob Dylan album to make the case for continuing to work hard at “bringing it all back home” so that as many people as possible can get involved and benefit from the work of the Network. This seems to me to be the really important role of the Network – and being part of this is good for everyone involved, service users and staff … and visitors like me!
I’ve known both Jo and Holly for many years and find both them and the Yorkshire & Humber Network that they facilitate a complete inspiration. They were both there when I first attended the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Involvement Strategy Group around 10 years ago – I was still in a secure service myself in another region and just starting my own involvement journey. I was blown away – a room full of service users, staff and commissioners sharing their views and experiences with the aim of improving secure services for everyone; developing CQUINs and other initiatives that really made a difference.
This experience was pivotal in my eventually working with people across the country myself to try to improve involvement in secure services and throughout that time, Jo and Holly have been a complete inspiration and source of support for my work with Recovery and Outcomes. They have continued to ensure that throughout all the services in Yorkshire & Humber as many voices as possible are heard and listened to – be it in developing and monitoring CQUINs through to organising the most amazing Yorkshire & Humber Network Conferences. The Network they facilitate has gone from strength to strength and truly leads the way in involvement in secure services across the country. They are an incredibly creative pair and their work has had enormous influence, not only on me, but on hundreds of others. I’ve learnt so much from them both in the way they and the Network operates and especially in how to make as big an impact as possible.
I’m sure there are even bigger and better things to come for the Yorkshire & Humber Network – the implementation of the Benchmarking Tool, supporting the Network to be a reference group for national initiatives, and the incredibly exciting development of an accessible website. I wish Jo and Holly and the whole Yorkshire & Humber Network the very best for the future. I’m sure there’ll be even greater things to come!