Actio and the future commissioning of All In
The Actio Consortium consists of Energize Shropshire Telford and Wrekin (STW), Shropshire Parent and Carer Council (PACC) and Ignition CIC. Together we have been working with Shropshire Council, providers, and families to explore what could be done differently to improve the overall offer and increase the range of All In opportunities avalaible. Actio have now been commissioned by Shropshire Council to manage the All In Short Breaks activity programme on their behalf, following an extensive research period where we asked what could change, what barriers do families face in accessing All In activities, and what could be improved. This importantly secures the future of All In until March 2024.
The Actio Consortium and Shropshire Council are co-funders in the All In activity programme. We will be responsible for managing and commissioning the activities and services that make up the All In activity programme from 1st April 2021 until 31st March 2024. As a consortium, we aim to deliver a joined-up programme of quality activity and support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families, building a sense of community and achievement. Actio is responsible for commissioning, promoting, and monitoring All In activities and will work with children and young people, and their families, to ensure the programme responds positively to feedback and comment.
PACC are extremely pleased to be part of the Actio Consortium and to have secured the funding for All In for a three year period. We firmly belive the All In programme should provide our children and young people with opportunities to develop new skills, make friends, and work towards their identified outcomes. We are excited about the opportunity a consortium approach offers to broadening the All In offer. All partners within the consortium bring different skills with Energize STW being well connected in the local sports community and well placed to support providers to develop their training and sustainability, Ignition CIC providing support to develop the arts opportunities and continued research, and PACC providing engagement with families and participation opportunities.
What does this mean for families?
PACC has always been a part of the commissiong process for All In short breaks provision, but this new way of working will mean we have greater influence over the offer available in the future and the ongoing management and support available. Until April 2021 provision will stay the same as it is now and will still be managed by Shropshire Council. Beween now and March 2021 Actio will be undertaking a tender process to put in place the provision for April 2021 to March 2022.
Shropshire Council will continue to manage the All In membership, but to allow us all to work well together we have asked they update the information they gather to provide improved details about a families need to access All In, helping Actio to better understand how to help families make the most of opportunities. With this information an 'activity passport' will be developed for each member to use as a way of sharing vital information about how best to support their child or young person and to help reduce repetition of information sharing across activities. To do this effectively, Shropshire Council also need to update the GDPR consent part of families membership which requires a renewal of registration.
Why is this necessary?
Throughout our research we visited activities, spoke to families directly, and surveyed the wider SEND community to understand why families may not be using the All In activities currently. Overwhemingly we heard from families the lack of variety in activities, insufficent awareness of SEND of some staff at activities, and the geographical spread were key factors in why they would not engage with the offer as it currently stands. Families told us they would like to see more arts based activities, such as dance and theatre sessions, as well as more locations across the county hosting opportunities.
This new approach to commissioning the All In programme means as a consortium we can attract additional funding to increase the range of activities available. We can develop a more supportive and engaged provider network to ensure activites are hosted by staff and volunteers who have the appropriate skills and knowledge. And we can develop a community around All In to enrich the programme and offer families a greater connection to each other as well as provide opportunities for families to inform and influence the future of the programme.
We have already secured additional funding from a Partnership Investment Programme with Arts Connect to develop the Arts offer further across the All In programme, and are seeking additional resources to support providers to develop and enhance their offers as they are commissioned.
What comes next?
PACC will continue to work within the Actio Consortium to develop next years offer, which you can read about on the Actio website. The Actio Consortium will be sharing more information about the commissioned opportunities in the spring.
Shropshire Council will be asking families to renew their membership, which you can do by completing the form posted to you or visiting the Local Offer All In pages. We would advise families to contact the Family Information Service on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01743 254400 if you need any support to do this.
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