MY LIFE CHOICE IS ALL ABOUT GENUINE CO-PRODUCTION OR COLLABORATIVE WORKING 

We have years of good experience in the team yet, we also make sure that we keep a sense of freshness in all of our approaches. We essentially have a diverse team of different personalities, too; some people that we support will like lively and bubbly people, others may prefer quiet and calm people around them. Some will like a mixture of both. We do know that the people who support individuals are very important to them and they are the links to that person finding their place, friendships and activities in their community. 
 
The teams have to be able to talk to each other and express where they feel there is a problem in the support process without making others feel defensive. This is very important work with teams and takes considerable time and dedicated, sensitive leadership to develop. 
Our teams work together with the person they support to get to know them and to find out over time what the person is telling us in many different ways what they need. 
 
No one team member becomes someone who exclusively knows someone. We all work together to ensure we are delivering the support consistently. The team pulls on the back-up resources to support them and strengthen their knowledge and approach. 
 
The team is there for them as an individual through both the good and the difficult times and, they are supported and backed up to do this. 
My Life Choice as an organisation relies on excellent back-up and expertise when we need to ask for help. No one has all the answers and our supervision process helps us develop a seamless service. 
 
Team meetings are always about the individual. We use the Reach Standards and a very personalised quality framework approach to look at people’s lives in a holistic way. We have a truly individual approach and not just a name and number. We celebrate every step of the way when someone has achieved what they want to achieve and support the individual when things are not going as well as they hoped. 
 
We use reflective models and practice in our supervision and personal development to encourage our staff to be the best they can. 

JANE BYFORD 

Having worked in the field of mental health services since 1980, Jane is an award wining care professional whose knowledge and experience, accompanied by passion and drive to make a difference, transcends the typical levels of care provision for people with autism and learning disabilities in Essex. 
 
With extensive training and experience in social care and working as a Registered Manager has resulted in ground breaking activity which won awards for innovative management and turned many registered care services into supported living. 
 
Concerned about the excessive number of individuals living in secure units, usually hundreds of miles away from family, Jane has sought a way to achieve the care customers’ aspirations to live an ordinary life in their own community. 
 
Jane says that her entire career has led to the inception of My Life Choice and feels that by enabling her team, showing them gratitude and respect, they too will ensure the care customers achieve their own aspirations. 
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