Issue 1 – Connecting People Newsletter

An early Christmas present from the Connecting People Team to you…

Here is Issue 1 of the Connecting People Newsletter. This another way in which the Connecting People team will keep people updated on the work we are doing. It is hoped that this will help the team reach out to even more people and promote further interest in our work.

NewsletterPlease let us know what you think of the newsletter. Issue 2 will be produced in Spring 2013. If you have ideas for things you want to see in this get in touch.

Designing the information for individuals leaflets

Today, Hannah talks a little about one of the other aspects of our work – designing the leaflets that give information to individuals participating in the study.

Advisory group in progress on the Isle of Wight

“When an individual attending an agency or organisation is asked if they would like to take part in the ‘connecting people study’, they will probably not know exactly what this will entail.  To help with this situation, we have been creating a leaflet that gives straight-forward, practical information to these individuals about what they can expect from the intervention and what they will need to do.

We are very aware that the different client groups who will be working through the intervention have very different requirements from this leaflet.  To make sure that we create material that is directly relevant to them, we decided to hold advisory groups with representatives from each client group.  The first of these was in Somerset, where we worked with several individuals who had suffered with mental health problems.  Their feedback on what they would need to know, and how they would want the leaflet structured provided us with a solid knowledge base to start working from.  We created a double sided, a4 leaflet with quotes from individuals who were already a part of the Connecting People Intervention, and clearly written sections about what to expect.  Following their advice, we made the leaflet bright, clean and colourful, and included photos of individuals from agencies working with the intervention.

We took this leaflet to our next advisory group, a group of around 25 individuals on the Isle of Wight who have learning disabilities.  This group wanted a completely different format – rather than a leaflet they wanted a step-by-step ‘map’ of the intervention process.  We used their ideas to create a pictorial map of what to expect.  We then used the comments that they gave about what was most salient to know about the intervention to create a more text-based guide on the reverse of the map.  This is aimed at the worker, to use as a script and run through with the individual to ensure that they understand.

Researchers and participants at the end of the advisory group

These two groups of people have helped us to create truly tailored information sheets for the individuals who will benefit from the intervention – and given us ideas that we would not have considered ourselves.  We are looking forward very much to the advisory group with older adults living with mental health problems, and are intrigued to know how different their suggestions are from the others”

First interviews…

Today, Sharon – one of the researchers on the pilot study – tells us a little about her recent work within the Connecting People team.

Recently, the Systematic Reviews have been written up in draft format, and for the Learning Disabilities population group, we are now shortlisting potential journals we can publish in which is very exciting!

The first of the interviews commenced last month very successfully, four interviews were conducted throughout one day and we would like to thank the agency who recruited participants and aided with the organisation of these first interviews. It was great to complete the first of many interviews, and each participant provided a rich experience for me as an interviewer.

The interviews take around one hour to complete; some of the areas covered in the structured interview are personal contacts, housing and accommodation, education, health. Our target is to carry out these baseline interviews between now and early 2013; and after 12 months, carry out follow-up interviews with the same participants. This will enable us to evaluate the connecting people intervention. We hope to start receiving more and more referrals for participants for the study, and the new information leaflets should help with this.”