In partnership with ASD Rainbows, we spent a day with parents, carers and children who spoke openly about autism. Personal stories were shared, from first experiences of diagnosis and navigating systems, to the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Groups worked together to suggest what health, social care and wellbeing services should be prioritised for children with autism, in addition to solutions to ensure children can live happy, safe and healthy lives.
Thank you to everyone who took part and shared their stories, and we look forward to continue working with this passionate group.
A range of professionals and people with unique personal stories were able to come together and have their voice heard through poetry, songs, art and drama sketches. The words and images created brought to life the challenges faced by people living with mental health problems, and also suggested what could be done to enhance health and wellbeing in our communities.
Priorities raised on this day will be included in our Population Needs Assessment, and we thank everyone for coming together to help create a better future for people living with mental health problems.
Over 55 people including professionals, and people with physical and sensory impairments, attended a creative event to look at increasing accessibility in health, social care and wellbeing services.
A highlight was bringing together people with lived experiences, innovator Ashley Bale and Perago Wales, who looked at improving digital services. In just over two hours, the group co-designed a prototype that could boost digital accessibility in health & social care.
It was also great to work with people from our deaf community, who built a cardboard wall to show the many barriers faced by deaf people. As part of their activity, the group knocked down the wall, and built steps with suggested solutions to improve services.
By hearing a range of different voices, we were able to identify clear priorities for people with physical disabilities and sensory impairments, and will be including these in our Population Needs Assessment.
We spent the day with elderly people in Merthyr Tydfil to understand what it means to feel isolated, particularly during the pandemic. Through a photography project and songwriting activity, people with lived experiences and professionals were able to openly share how it feels to be both happy and sad, and their own stories of isolation and friendship during the pandemic.
It was clear how important befriending is to people, particularly those who live alone, and we will be highlighting this as a priority for older people in our Population Needs Assessment.
The importance of connections, friendships and social activities were highlighted by the different groups we spoke with, in addition to concerns for people who live alone.
The groups expressed the importance of mental health support for families, particularly carers, and health and social care support for people who are housebound.
We will be including many of the comments shared in our Population Needs Assessment, and are grateful for those who took the time to speak with us.
In partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf Borough Council, we spent the day with unpaid carers to discuss respite services.
Through songwriting and discussion, the group were able to share their personal experiences openly. It was clear that those who attended felt that respite is crucial for both carers and those who are being cared for, and there were suggestions around how health, social care and wellbeing services could be improved to support carers more.
In addition to respite care, priorities highlighted included greater recognition and support for carers; carers assessments and rights and communication and information sharing.
We will be sharing the powerful song that was written, in addition to a more detailed write up of this day soon.
Thank you to all who came along.