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"Health Education England commissioned Great Minds Together to design & deliver a peer education project to support the needs of families, personal assistants and small independent care providers throughout the Covid pandemic, and to provide learning and resources to upskill and reduce the potential for unnecessary admissions for autistic people into hospital.
The project is the first ever Peer Education Programme that treats the family as the workforce and uses an innovative and responsive model to rapidly provide bespoke education to focus on optimal mental health support.
It is vital that the importance of families is acknowledged when recognising the essential role that they play in providing care and support.
The flexibility of the Great Minds Together model of delivery, results in families being educated, guided, and supported to ensure they are armed with essential knowledge and skills to keep their loved ones safe, as well as education to develop strategies that reduce risk of crisis.
Families feel empowered & supported, leading to a reduction in the use of health & care services that are already under pressure throughout the system. The model offers tremendous potential to positively impact on the quality of life, not only of the autistic person but also on their families and carers, and crucially is available flexibly and on demand. " Dr Ashok Roy OBE
Great Minds Together have recently been appointed by the NHS - Health Education England to deliver the first ever Autism Peer Education programme that treats the family as the workforce
Our organisation is made up of a multidisciplinary team.
We have four departments:
As an organisation we pride ourselves on building relationships and sharing good practice, as well as providing opportunities for the parents and carers that we work with. Communication is the most important part of what we do, and the unique and trusted relationships we have with families means we are able to identify worries that can often go undetected by other services. By working together with others, we can ensure there is wide awareness of what is available in the local community to support families in an effective way. The programme adds value to the significant number schools, other community groups and organisations we work with, as well as the young people, support also extends to the family meaning there is a true whole SEND approach for everyone involved.
We have a large focus on social, emotional wellbeing and life skills. Interventions focused on self-confidence to promote aspirations and vocational opportunities for all members of the family. We provide a OPTIONS programme (Opportunities, Pathways & Training Inclusive Of Neurodiversity & SEND) which offers CPD certifications, work-based learning and Growth Mindset to increase opportunities and employability for young people pre- and post-16.
In addition, the programme benefits other members of the local community, as we help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area by early intervention and support for young people at risk of exploitation. Also, it will provide an increase in awareness for professionals on understanding the need behind the behaviours and what should be implemented to support young people that may have experienced trauma or have an unidentified or unmet need. This in turn will help professionals continue their professional development and build positive relationships with the young people and their families, as the family wraparound co-ordinator implements a strength based, solution focussed approach to harness the strengths of each individual. We would like to employ our own educational psychologist to support with this and upskill education and support staff.
Our Non-Executive board of Directors is made up of 16 very knowledgeable members, 100% of which have lived experience of the challenges our organisation is addressing, both in personal and professionals capacities, and as such are able to support our organisation with an informed perspective. We also have an amazing board of young people who inform how we should deliver our support, all of whom also have lived experience.
Great Minds Together FICS (Families in Crisis Support) Division is a not for profit, community interest company providing free mentorship and a free wraparound service from one of our Family Wraparound Co-ordinator's supporting families in need practically, emotionally and helps parents and carers of children with SEND and/or SEMH needs navigate the complex education, housing and social care system. This ensures an integration of services for effective sharing of information and better outcomes for children and young people.
Great Minds Together provides prevention life skills workshops and intervention programs for children and young people with SEND and/or SEMH needs, as well as behaviour support programs for students at risk of exclusion, specific training for professionals in education and social care on a variety of relevant subjects speech and language therapy and training as well as free wraparound support for families in need where their child has SEND and/or SEMH needs.
Our team is made up of a paid multidisciplinary team, trained professional volunteer initiative and university graduate work-based learning scheme to provide professional mentor, training and coaching services to schools and local authorities in a cost effective way to ensure the support of more young people.
All commissioned programs are part of our 'pay it forward' initiative, which ensures that all surplus funds are used to support families in need for free, as well as a variety of parent-led groups and charities that support the empowerment of parents and the mental well-being and employability of young people.
Services we provide:
We are so proud to have been nominated for this award.
We have recently been notified that we are one of 126 organisations to have been shortlisted out of 64,000 nominations! It is so heartwarming to know that you all value our work. Thank you!
CCE & Me is delivered by Adrian Nelson and his team. Adrian is an experienced youth worker with lived experience of exploitation. We are able to provide this programme to schools at a reduced cost with thanks to the Stockport Local Fund.
This 6 week programme covers the following topics: