Meet Our Staff: James Gibbs – Personalisation & Brokerage Coordinator

James GibbsHello everybody!

My name is James Gibbs, I’m a Scorpio who loves photography, cycling and travelling.

I recently came home from two years travelling abroad, and I have been working for Creative Support since November 2012. I’m still very new to the organisation, but in the short time I’ve been here I’ve felt incredibly welcome and really enjoyed my work.

I work as a Personalisation & Brokerage Coordinator (try saying that 3 times without getting tongue-tied), and have been supporting Creative Support to develop its brokerage service for people using personalised funding to manage their own care and support. But through speaking with staff and people who use our services, I’ve come to find that the ways in which this can and does happen are not something that everybody knows about. And as for brokerage, forget about it!

So I thought I would take a little time to talk about some of these things. I feel it is important that everybody knows about them, as not only are they going to become more and more important, but I have also seen the amazing benefits they can bring to people’s lives. They give people the opportunity and choice to manage and develop their own wellbeing. Helping people to do this is what Creative Support is all about, and one of the reasons I applied for my job in the first place.

Don’t worry, I’ll break you in gently. We can talk about brokerage a little later, but let’s start by talking about something we should all be familiar with – Personalisation.

It’s something that is at the heart of what Creative Support does, and one of the reasons I was so keen to work for them. As an organisation Creative Support has always prided itself on using person-centred approaches – working with people and supporting them to achieve the goals that matter to them. We put the individual at the centre of everything we do, focus on people’s strengths and empower them to exercise choice and control in their lives.

I’m sure, whether you’re a service user or a staff member, you will have some experience of personalisation within Creative Support – I’d love to hear about it!

But it wasn’t always like this. I discovered a really interesting resource yesterday about the history of personalisation, and just how impersonalised our society used to be.

It shows we have come a long way. From institutions to community care, from people being told what’s best for them to deciding for themselves. And the idea that people should have some choice and control over who supports them and how they are supported, and the management of their care, makes perfect sense to me.

by James Gibbs




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