What is the Charter for Equality and Change?
What is the Charter
The Charter is an easy to sign up to document that enables and encourages genuine dialogue between people who experience Severe and Multiple Disadvantage and the service that they need, want or use.
The Charter helps to ensure that customers of services are fully engaged with in the way that they, as customers, require to fully benefit from the services that they receive and therefore maximise their opportunity to lead a fulfilled life.
It is a designed to help develop and maintain meaningful relationships and communication between all the parties involved in the support of those with multiple disadvantages.
Who is it for
The Charter is for all those with any lived experience of multiple disadvantage who are engaging with, or wanting to engage with, the commissioners and providers of the services they are, or want, to receive.
It is for commissioners and services who wish to ensure that they are engaging with their client groups and involving them in the designing and delivering of services in order to maximise positive outcomes.
Those who are concerned about the vulnerable and most marginalised in society who wish to support the charter by signing up to it principles.
What the Charter is NOT
It is not a tool for individuals to exploit opportunities for personal gain. It is not for authorities or organisations to exploit individuals or client groups. It is not a tool for commissioners or providers of services to use to ensure that they can “tick boxes” and therefore improve their funding opportunities.
Why have a Charter?
Expert Link carried out research, that included over 4700 responses, to find out from those who have experienced or are currently experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage what they would want and expect and how this can be supported by a national organisation set up to represent them. The research also looked at the challenges that any new organisation might face in setting out to fulfil the requests from people who experience severe and multiple disadvantage.
Three key asks that came out of the research. Firstly, people wanted to be involved in the decisions about their lives; secondly they wanted to be able to ask for what they wanted; thirdly they wanted to be able to share their experiences and knowledge. The Charter for Equality and Change fulfils the first of those needs.
The Principles of the Charter
1. Equality: Everyone has the right to have their voice heard and listened to.
2. Respect: Everyone has the right to have themselves and their views respected.
3. Non-judgemental: Everyone has the right to be heard and seen without judgement.
4. Inclusivity: The commissioning, designing, and delivery of services is an “inclusive” process and the responsibility of all stakeholders.
5. Fairness: Support is given in an agreed way that is proportionate to need and focuses on aspirations.
6. Solution focused: Systems, and stakeholders within the systems, should recognise and listen to need and look both internally and externally for solutions that respond to that need.
7. Change: That the systems and stakeholders within the systems are open to change whilst at the same time recognising the challenges that change brings.
8. Impact: Stakeholders are clear about the impact that they can and do have and use this as a basis for continuous improvement.
Thanks for signing up to our Charter, and although we will never probably know, signing today could potentially save someone’s life in the future, so please spread the word and encourage others to sign-up too.