A life not a service

Islington Giving has published the findings of a new consultation with Islington families – ‘A life not a service’. Islington Giving has invested over £500,000 to support opportunities for local families over the last 5 years. We have  funded 17 organisations that have reached over 3,500 local parents and children.

We want to develop and grow our Supporting Families programme over the next 5 years. By learning through doing, grounding our approach in understanding families’ experiences, and identifying where we can help families most, we will ensure that we direct our resources as effectively as possible. Building on all our knowledge gathered over the last 5 years, we  met  a range of parents in different settings and people who work with them  from November 2016 to May 2017.

We found that formal ‘services’ are not always what families want. This was eloquently communicated to us by a carer of a family member living with a learning disability who told us that she wanted ‘a life not a service’ – normal opportunities to go out, socialise and engage in activities just as other families do. This sentiment was echoed by others we spoke to.

Despite the support that is available, much more has to be done. Families are diverse; what works for one family may not work for another. Sometimes support for the whole family can help. Sometimes supporting one family member – child or parent – improves life for the whole family.  We need a varied menu of support and activities to enable families to flourish.

To find out more about how we will respond to these findings, read the report here.