The History of The Group

Beginnings

The Good Life Group began in 2003, as a follow up to the ‘What’s a Good Life’ research project, which had taken place in 1999.

The members of the group are people with a learning disability who want to make life better for people with a learning disabilities. Although the group is based in West Dunbartonshire, they want to make life better for people all over Scotland.

Our first major project was the Shadow PIP (Partnership in Practice) Agreement. We read the West Dunbartonshire Council’s proposal for the PIP, and we said to ourselves ‘Wait a minute! Why are the Council telling us what to do? Why don’t we make our own Shadow Pip, with our own recommendations on services? After all, we are the people who know best what makes good services, because we are the people who use them. We are The Voice of Experience!’

The Group formed a number of sub-groups, who carried out research into:

Health
Housing
Education
Employment
Leisure

Each sub-group interviewed service providers and service users in those areas, and then reported its findings back to the main group. That took about a year. Then we produced our own Shadow version of the PIP, with our recommendations on how to make services better.

Andy, Angela and Dawn deliver training on Health
Andy, Angela and Dawn deliver training on Health

We then devised a drama presentation to launch our PIP, and performed it at the launch day in the Denny Theatre, Dumbarton in front of an invited audience of service users and providers.

Many of our recommendations were put into the official West Dunbartonshire PIP.

We updated the findings in 2008, when the West Dunbartonshire PIP was being reviewed.

Training

Sally and David deliver training on Adult Support & Protection
Sally and David deliver training on Adult Support & Protection

The group then began to offer training courses to service providers, to help their staff provide a better service to people with learning disabilities, and we have run many courses over the years for organisations like Health Centres, Hospitals, Councils and Education providers.

COSLA Award

Receiving the COSLA Award
Receiving the COSLA Award

In 2010, we were delighted to achieve the top honour in the COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) Excellence Awards, when we won the Chair’s Award for Excellence. The Awards celebrate the very best in Scottish local government, rewarding the most innovative and passionate developments and recognising projects that demonstrate excellent service delivery to communities. It was a wonderful acknowledgement of the value of our work.

DVD

Jackie Baillie MSP at the DVD Launch
Jackie Baillie MSP at the DVD Launch

In 2009, we made a DVD to promote the work of the group and get the message out about what we do. You’ll see extracts from the DVD throughout the site, but if you’d like a copy of the full DVD, please contact Sally Swadel (details on Contacts page).

 

 

Showing off the new DVD
Showing off the new DVD