This is an exciting time to join with BIHR, as we are exploring new ways of continuing our engagement with the people we support. This includes individuals, families and carers who receive (or should receive) support from public services, local community and advocacy groups trying to ensure that support is accessed, and the staff and leaders providing and developing those public services. 

We know that our engagement with you can sometimes be limited to short talks, training sessions or programmes. These are brilliant, and often leave people inspired to want to use human rights to challenge and change things in their lives and work. We want to harness that passion and look at ways we can continue to engage with people and support and sustain that passion for change through human rights. 

From 2020 we will be looking to develop our engagement through a communities of practice model. 

What is a community of practice? 

  • It IS a group of people who share a common passion, experience of an issue(s), concern or profession, who want to learn how to address it better through interacting with each other.  
  • It IS NOT a working group or task force, or a staff network.  

What issues are we focused on? 

  • We are focused on people's everyday access to public services, such as health, care, social work support, housing and education. 
  • This could cover issues such as safeguarding, the use of restraint and seclusion, supporting independent living, deprivation of liberty in a home or hospital, enabling people to have relationships when they are receiving care and support.
  • We are NOT providing a legal advice forum. Our communities of practice will focus on how people are using human rights to challenge and change local and national decisions, policies, etc. It is not a place for legal advice. However, increased ways of working with the legal community may be something that develops from this work. If you need legal advice, you can find more information about where to get help from here

Who is this aimed at?  

The issues we are focused on cut across a range of identities and needs. This could include (but is not limited to):

  • people with learning disabilities and/or difficulties,
  • autistic people,
  • people affected by dementia, 
  • people with mental health issues,
  • people who have experienced abuse or neglect,
  • people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientation, belief systems or other statuses (or a combination of these).

Our communities of practice are focused on engaging and supporting 5 different groups (although people may fall into more than one group, e.g. a staff member in a hospital may have a family member deprived of their liberty in a care home):

  1. People themselves, who are affected by the above issues
  2. Family members, carers and similar supporters
  3. Advocates, including self-advocates, and other community support groups
  4. Staff within services, including frontline staff, policy personnel and managers
  5. Leaders and commissioners

How will this work?

Well that is THE BIG QUESTION! Because BIHR works across the whole of the UK, we will start by looking at ways to develop communities of practice using online forums, and we will get people's input as we develop. 

However, this work is currently this work is unfunded. As a very small charity we have to think very hard about how to resource communities of practice. The most important factor right now is for us to find out how much support there is for this new approach, so that we can show funders why it is important to support these activities. This is where you come in...

What you can do:

You can complete this form.

This is a contact form which gives us permission to add you to our "Communities of Practice" email list. This means we can contact you to ask you about whether you think an online communities of practice model is a good idea, and the kinds of things you would like to see develop. This is important, without joining the email list and opting in to us emailing you we cannot contact you. 

The form will also ask some questions about you, so that we can have a better understanding of who wants to be involved with the communities of practice and how we can make them successful. The personal information you provide to us will be treated as confidential, and we will not share any personally identifying information without permission. You can view our privacy policy here

Equality and Diversity

We would like to ask you to share some equality and diversity data with us, so we can understand who we are reaching, and who we are not reaching. This is on a separate form, which you can find here:

Equality and Diversity Form

This is because we don’t want to hold your personal data with your equality and diversity data. Your equality data will be completely anonymous.

Thank you, we hope to continue our engagement with you, and look forward to further developing our communities of practice model.