I am delighted to be part of the OPAAL bid for the Silver Dreams Flagship Fund. My organisation, Helen Sanderson Associates (H.S.A) are one of the strategic partners, and our focus and contribution is on co-production and evaluation methods particularly on the advocacy relationship with older people. We are excited that OPAAL and Macmillan can see the potential of person-centred practices with older people affected by cancer. We will be co-producing a range of practical tools, based on person-centred practices. You can see examples of how people with cancer are already using person-centred practices at http://www.thinkaboutyourlife.org
If the bid is successful, it will mean that we can co-develop a range of practical tools, building from a one-page profile. This bid is unique as it will extend the use of one-page profiles to both older people affected by cancer, and to the volunteers who support them.
A one-page profile is a summary description about what people appreciate about the person, what is important to them, from their perspective, and what support they want and need.
For an older person it is a way to clearly communicate who they are, what matters to them and what the volunteer, medical staff, family and friends can do to support them well. The older person can use this at medical appointments, as a way of quickly communicating about the best way to help them.
For the volunteer, a one-page profile is a way to quickly communicate what they are good at, what their interests and hobbies are, and how to support them in their role as a volunteer. It means that volunteer organisers can know exactly how to support each volunteer, and can think with them about the best use of their time, skills and interests.
This is just one example of the potential difference that this bid could make if it is successful. One-page profiles and person-centred practices will enable older people affected by cancer to both help themselves and negotiate the support that they need. Volunteers also benefit by knowing the best way to support the older person, and getting exactly the support that they need from the organisation. This is why we are so delighted to be part of the bid.
You can read more about the difference that one-page profiles are making in older peoples lives at http://www.onepageprofiles.wordpress.com