Why are we doing this?
How we help each other matters. Some help - what we call ‘good help’ - supports people to feel hopeful, identify their own purpose and confidently take action. Other help - which we call ‘bad help’ - does the opposite, undermining people's confidence, sense of purpose and independence.
Repeated experiences of ‘bad help’ can contribute to serious issues, such as homelessness or addiction, but also chronic and subtle effects which make activities, such as parenting and healthy eating, much harder, and sometimes impossible. In addition to the personal and social costs involved, there are the significant financial costs of ‘bad help’. For every person trapped by ‘bad help’, who believes that they cannot find work or maintain a healthier lifestyle, there are also avoidable ongoing costs. When ‘bad help’ affects millions of people, as we believe it does, the financial costs are huge.
Although ‘good help’ is well evidenced and core to how many organisations support people to improve their lives; it is absent from many mainstream services and social programmes.
This project hopes to make ‘good help’ a core element of how mainstream services and social programmes are delivered.
What are we doing?
If ‘good help’ is going to become a mainstream way of delivering services and social programmes, those of us inspired by this agenda need to come together. We want to bring people together to better understand how to configure our systems to support ‘good help’. This must include people who have directly experienced ‘good help’ – or been let down by ‘bad help’ – so that they can help us understand what really works.
We have launched the Good Help Award to discover more examples of ‘good help’ projects that are already happening across the country. The Good Help Award rewards an organisation or team that demonstrates they are helping people to find their sense of purpose and develop their confidence to take action to transform their lives, rather than focusing on fixing a problem for them.
This publication reflects just a fraction of those pioneering ‘good help’ around the country. Now, we want to find out:
- Who and where are the other ‘good help’ pioneers?
- Which sectors have the most developed ‘good help’ practices? And where is ‘good help’ most in need of development?
- What are the blockages to scaling ‘good help’ within and across sectors, and in different locations?
- How can we create the right conditions for ‘good help’ to become mainstream practice in all sectors and throughout the UK?
In 2018 we hope to be working with people from across the UK to answer some of the questions above as well as improve practice. We hope that this activity will be rooted in the specific projects, places and passions of the people in the field. If you would like to be part of this community, run an event or become involved in any other way, please register your interest here.