The Ask Tool Kit.

We often think that we want or need something, but in reality it is something else that we want. A great example of this is of a drug and alcohol service that I know of.

The service had a very dingy reception, dark, dank, very cold and uninviting. It had a little hatch for you to speak with the receptionist and a door, unlocked by buzzer, leading through to the service area.

None of those using the service liked it and only attended when they had to.

The service provider wanted to know why people didn’t engage with their service and what they could do to increase the take-up rate for the service. When they asked their customers the answer was a chair, a chair to sit on in reception so that they didn’t have to stand.

When the service dug a little deeper they realised that it wasn’t the chair that people wanted, but rather it was what the chair symbolised, comfort, warmth, inviting, relaxing and reassurance to name but a few.

The service took the bold decision to develop an open plan reception with comfortable chairs, magazines, refreshments and volunteers to support people through a process.

The great news is that the service now has to ask people to leave when the service closes. Long gone are the days when hardly anyone turned up and that those that did, didn’t want to be there.

Being able to work out what you want, and what that will give you, is important if we want to have positive things and changes in our lives.

What is the Ask Tool Kit?

The Ask Tool Kit is there to help you work out what it is that you want. It highlights all the benefits of receiving what it is that you want and will also help you to ask for it appropriately.

When to use it

The Tool Kit can be used in conjunction with the Charter. You can use it when you know what you want, or even when you are not sure what you want. You can use it when you need to ask for something of either yourself, a group, an organisation or an official body.

Who is it for

It is for all those with any lived experience of multiple disadvantage who want to engage with the commissioners and providers of services. It is also for any individual, group or organisation wishing to “ask” for something either of themselves or another individual, group or organisation.

It can be used by commissioners and services to assist in engaging with their customers and involving them in the designing and delivering of services to maximise positive outcomes.

What the Ask Tool Kit is NOT

The tool kit is NOT an answer to all of your problems or the answer to all of your dreams. It is however, a tool kit that when used will support you to work out what you really want and then will help to increase your chances of getting it.

How to use the Ask Tool Kit

There is a worksheet that is available to download to help you. By answering all of the questions to the best of your ability, the more you will “connect” with your ask, increasing the chances of success. The worksheet can be completed by an individual, with the help of a supporter worker and even in a group setting.

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