Planning Live – What’s it all about?

04 March 2015

Over the past few months, I’ve talked about how we have launched our Personalisation Guide internally, so that our regions can continue on their personalisation journey at the local level. I’ve also talked about the preparation we’ve done to ensure the skills and resources are available to make this real.

Beyond all of this preparation there are a number of stages on the journey. ‘Planning Live’, shown in our Journey diagram below as ‘plan’ – is one of those.


Once you know what a person’s allocation of money is, ‘Planning Live’ it is a planning event that brings all the people who are important to a person together, to listen to what is important to them and discuss a range of life and support options.

It culminates in a set of outcomes that the person wants to fulfil in the coming year and a template for a ‘perfect week’ on which to base the planning of the person’s support.

The event brings everyone who lives and shares support together into one place, each with their own support circle made up of family, friends and supporters. This produces a great environment for learning and sharing and the days end up being very engaging, and at times fun.

Not only do people come up with a person-centred plan for their life and support, but they all have their own allocation of money for support. This is essential for when they begin to plan what support they need to make the changes they wish for in life.

Planning live is not a professional’s event, it is not stuffy, or too formal. It is facilitated in a way that puts people we support and their families first, and stimulates ambitious and helpful ideas.

One of my colleagues, Paul, recently facilitated a Planning Live event with a group of people we support and their circles of support. In listening to his experience of the event, it highlighted what things are important to make an event like this go well:

- People! Those we support and their circle of support – the event was an equal partnership with families, managers and support staff, all working together to make it a success and to get the desired outcome for people we support. When a group of people come together and find a common purpose they can become very resourceful, more so than when working as independent forces in someone’s life.

– Great facilitation – the facilitators’ role is to provide structure and flow to the event, as well as setting the right tone. At the same time however, facilitators will need to be flexible to deal with the times when things don’t go quite as planned. Upholding person-centred principles is the number one priority for the facilitator. Paul and another colleague facilitated the event. Someone we support was late arriving, so the rest of the group sat around watching Oklahoma – a favourite film that someone we support had brought along and everyone else was able to enjoy, rather that sitting around waiting, or the person arriving late feeling left out.

– Creativity – people we support had things at hand to make them feel at home – their drawing materials, music and headphones, their favourite film.

- They worked hard and had fun in equal measure, in the right atmosphere, with food and refreshments and a good space to work and record information in.

So, why do all of these things matter?

To get the most out of Planning Live, thinking and preparing for the day carefully will make it a success:

  • It opens up a creative space for people to think about their life and support in a comfortable and reassuring environment
  • People let us know how they want to spend their money
  • People get the chance to think about community connections and non-paid support
  • It is a good way to use information people have developed in My Support Plan
  • It creates person-centred objectives for support teams to follow.

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