The charity Diagrama Foundation hosted training sessions as part of an €80,000 project funded by the European Union Erasmus + Programme.
The E-PROFID Project will develop a training package for Care Workers who support people with disabilities, (especially those living in residential centres) while aiming to change public perception of disability. The project was awarded €80,000 from the Erasmus + Programme and is one of the last projects to include representation from the UK following the country’s exit from the European Union.
The charity Diagrama Foundation hosted participants from Groep Ubuntu in Belgium, the University of Salerno in Italy and Fundacion Diagrama in Spain, between 28 November and 2 December. The training focused on Diagrama’s approach to integrating the people they work with into the community and the use of Montessori principles and practices to create environments in which the people being supported are given meaningful roles, routines and activities allowing them do as much for themselves as possible.
David McGuire, Chief Executive, Diagrama Foundation said, “Our event gave everyone the opportunity to gain more insight by participating in activities that put them in the position of someone with a disability. We also introduced them to JJ one of the people Diagrama supports. JJ explained what his paid job and volunteering roles meant to him, and how he takes part in the recruitment of our new staff and supports the team by monitoring health and safety matters. He certainly gave the attendees lots to think about and demonstrated how successful the practices we use at Diagrama can be.”
Helen Dean, Head of Projects and Business Development, Diagrama Foundation said, “‘It was wonderful to welcome partners to the UK and share what we do to support people with disabilities to integrate into the community. We also really enjoyed hearing our partners’ insights and reflections on this, which will help us continue to adapt what we do so that our clients can gain the work and volunteering opportunities that they want in future.”
Project recommendations and details of the ‘Facilitator of Change’ training programme will be announced at an event in Spain in the Spring of 2023.
To find out more about the E-Profid project visit www.diagramafoundation.org.uk/european-projects
Catherine Bodequin, from Groep Ubuntu in Belgium said, “During our stay in Kent we learned a lot. We saw different beautiful community projects such as Bore Place, Duckyl’s Farm and Tablehurst Farm. In terms of inclusion that last one is a real example of the world we all dream of. The next day JJ and his support worker shared their story with us. They told us about his paid job, his participation in the recruitment process of support workers and the warm home they create together. The basis of all of this is the Montessori-method. Next to this, it was also interesting to share ideas with the other participants. Thank you for this shot of inspiration!”
About the European Union Erasmus + Programme
Erasmus Plus is a European Lifelong Learning Programme designed to give access to new skills, experiences, and opportunities to adults of all ages and from all backgrounds. It is mostly known as a Higher Education study option, but Erasmus Plus offers scope for broadening horizons and opening learning opportunities across Europe for adults of all ages, working alongside people from other countries.
About the E-PROFID Participants
UK – The Diagrama Foundation www.diagramafoundation.org.uk
Italy – University of Salerno www.unisa.it
Belgium – Groep Ubuntu, Kortrijk www.groepubuntu.org
Spain – Fundacion Diagrama Psicosocial, Murcia www.fundaciondiagrama.es
About the E-PROFID Project
Diagrama Foundation is leading a two-year Erasmus+ E-PROFID project, working with partner organisations across Europe. The E-PROFID project is built on a foundation of innovation and transfer of good practice with organisations from diverse backgrounds serving different client groups, working together to design tools and methods to change the public’s perception, by promoting ability, rather than accepting disability.
The aim of the E-Profid project is to train Care Workers to develop new ways of supporting people with disabilities, especially those living in residential centres. The project has three main objectives,
- Help change the public’s perception of “Disabilities”, by celebrating “Abilities”
- Develop residents’ “Professional Identity”, celebrating and sharing skills and talent
- Train face to face Care Workers to become “Facilitators of Change” using digital and all other communication skills.
It is hoped that through recognising professional identity and diversity, the E-PROFID project will push social change and prove that even severe disability is not a barrier to fulfilment and social inclusion. Together the contributors will create an innovative ‘Facilitator of Change’, training course, combining elements of communication and empowerment, client care, psychology, marketing, employment training in digital management.
To do this staff need to have skills and confidence to develop and implement programmes and to facilitate change, helping clients to develop their professional identity. Learning lessons from the Covid 19 pandemic (and the way the world is changing), we need staff to have skills and confidence to use digital tools to support this work. So, project activities include 3 sessions of staff training to specifically focus on digital communication and social inclusion techniques.
About Diagrama Foundation
Diagrama Foundation is a Kent based charity that supports vulnerable children, young people, and adults to live their best life.
Diagrama has a Supported Living Service across Bromley, three homes for adults with learning disabilities in Orpington, a 50-bed care home for the elderly with nursing and dementia needs in Essex, and a fostering and adoption service covering the southeast.
- The Supported Living Service, cares for 35 adults with learning disabilities, in nine homes across Bromley helping them to develop skills and confidence to live in their own house either on their own or with others.
- At Cabrini House in Orpington the charity promotes the development of core skills for adults with learning disabilities so that they can lead independent lives integrated within their community.
- The team at their nursing and dementia care home Edensor in Clacton on Sea, support their vulnerable residents to live life to the full.
- Diagrama’s adoption and fostering service cares for children in South London, Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, and Surrey.
Many vulnerable children and adults don’t get the support they need to develop their true potential, but the Diagrama team know that when someone has time and belief invested in them, they come alive, because that investment has made them feel valued and worthy.