Welcome to LivesthroughFriends
An Update (April 2015) - We've been very busy!
I'm afraid that we've let real life get in the way of updating our website over recent months - but I guess that this is really positive because we've been upto our necks in helping professionals engage in strengths-based practice, in helping people gain or regain both control and responsibility for their own lives, and in assisting them to recognise their gifts and competences and to move from dependence on commodified services towards a reciprocal interdependence with others where services serve their proper purpose.
To pick out some "headlines":
* we've continued to work closely with Monmouthshire County Council as this inspirational local authority works doggedly and joyfully towards a real and lasting 'partnership' with its fortunate citizens. Inter-alia we've worked on Transitions, 'My Life My Day' development and implementation, introducing strengths-based practice with social work teams, and begun a review of self-advocacy arrangements in harness with Hijinx Theatre Company.
*We're working closely with The Partnership Board and Joint Commissioners in Gloucestershire, utilising the LivesthroughFriends Practice Framework, to demonstrate better and more sustainable ways to reverse the "Winterbourne View" narrative that sticks to so many folk who acquire very challenging reputations,
* We've worked with long-term professional friends and associates to get Best Buddies UK off the ground and even appeared on Eggheads to publicise the cause. 'Best Butties' is ready to roll in the Forest of Dean!
*And our international work continues with Bob and Colin traveling to Athens in May to work with family led organisations once again - this time re. building sustained relationship networks tailored to Greek life.
So that's just a taste. We'll try to be more attentive in future!
Chilling NCIA Report on the plight of the marketized voluntary sector
NCIA's independent report on the decline and fall of true voluntarism in profit-obsessed Britain makes depressing reading. Get the full report from www.independentaction.net or click here
Best Buddies UK draws its first breathe in Stroud on June 25th
Facilitated by LtF, people from across England and Wales who are passionate about ensuring that we all enjoy frienship and reciprocal relationships came together in Stroud to meet with Kai Troll, from Best Buddies International, to explore the feasibility of establishing a Best Buddies inspired national organisation in the UK. Suffice it to say that they soon decided to take the plunge and Best Buddies UK was born.
Friendship - Developing Best Buddies in the UK
Everybody who knows anything about LivesthroughFriends is aware that we are almost obsessively committed to the principle that no-one should be alone and the most powerful thing that we can do for each other is to ensure that we all have the belonging that comes from loving, caring and social capital rich relationships. So we're really excited about the opportunity to work with Best Buddies International to make this outcome real and fulfilling for lots more disabled folk in the UK. Do you want to be part of this initiative to develop a vibrant development force for friendship? Could you be part of establishing a high profile national development group? We'd love to hear from you!
To know more about Best Buddies go to www.bestbuddies.org
Regulation - The Unintentional Destruction of Intentional Communities
In this important discussion paper the authors examine the case of the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) - an intentional community which seeks to bring disabled and non-disabled people together in a community of equals. They argue that the regulatory system has effectively ignored the culture and values of this community and instead asserted a set of values which assume that care can be commodified, bought and sold, and controlled like a manufactured product.
Read the report at www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/authors/bob-rhodes/regulation.html or click below
THE GREEN BOOK - Caring for Each Other Sustainably
Written by Bob Rhodes, with emotive contributions from Colin Campbell and Ken Davies, it explores the crisis in care in the UK through the media of stories, questions, opinions, poems, rhymes and songs. It strives to get beyond reason - to make you laugh and cry. Describing the book, Richard Davis writes: We are at many crossroads, we need above all to change the way we think. As Ackoff said, we won’t make progress by doing the wrong things righter. This book is a challenge to current thinking but neither is it a prescription for the warm and woolly. The consequences would be a better society and a cheaper one. Do you want to be strong and different or weak and similar?
Much More to Life than Services is available in ebook format - from all the usual on-line sources.
You could download it now at
Have you read Much More to Life than Services?
by Bob Rhodes, LivesthroughFriends Co-Director, Much More to Life than Services was published in 2010:
Much More to Life than Services...asks our social care professionals to use their skills, resources and knowledge to help people to come together and "visualise, plan and implement their own support". The book is a means to an end, a brilliant and sharp reminder to bring about a culture change for the better.
Martin Simon (Chief Executive - Time Banking UK).
You can purchase a copy of Much More To Life Than Services through PayPal using the BUY NOW button below.
Our goals are simple but challenging:
- To contribute to the evolution of the personalisation thrust and the restoring of power in respect of social welfare to individuals, families and communities
- To demonstrate the necessity and viability of a wide diversity of initiatives to not only support people to successfully self-direct but also, and as importantly, to effect a culture change in favour of self-reliance and reciprocity
- Through local action
- To raise grassroots awareness of the opportunities on offer and support people and organisations to grasp them
- To constructively criticise initiatives that unnecessarily retain power and control in the hands of public bureaucracies
- To contribute to the emergence of a movement of people who believe that there‘s more to life than services.