Web Review: www.supportactionnet.org.uk




I must confess I like the idea of websites aimed to help organisations help others, writes Graham Hopkins. It is recognition  of that’s how things happen. And Lemos & Crane (research and analysts on social policy centring on race equality, homelessness and neighbourhood renewal) are at it again.

Support Action Net is (so it says on the label) “a resource designed to support organisations to meet the social and emotional needs and aspirations of homeless and vulnerable people”. It was set up with assistance from Bridge House Trust and Thames Reach Bondway in collaboration with agencies supporting vulnerable people in London. 

It sets out to help you plan, “deliver” (I do find that word irritating: I don’t mind my post being delivered but not my care package, thanks) and commission support services. This means, in essence, that it’s a great big fat quality assurance exercise.

Which is not to say that it’s a bad thing. It’s just, inevitably, marinated in overdone QA-speak: so we tread on “service user pathways”.

It suggests “valuing and validating the perceptions and aspirations of service users” as they define them: which you can bet your bottom dollar (or currency of choice) won’t involve the use of any QA-speak.

To be fair, the site does drizzle more user-friendly language over its main dishes.

I did like the “stop and consider” approach and that it has sample paperwork (which would make a CSCI inspector weep with joy to behold, and which you can steal at will) and that it showcases – through case studies – how others are doing things.

So, the QA-speak gripe aside, oh and the unnecessarily tiny font used, this easy-to-use, colour-coded, efficient filing-system of a website has its heart in the right place.

As must anything that declares: “Homeless and vulnerable people have aspirations like everyone else, not just needs. We all want to feel proud of ourselves, to have someone to love and to have family and friends around us”.

And it’s a heart that beats soundly enough.

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