Complex systems can be managed if those involved have a shared ambition and are clear on what good outcomes look like.
Bradford has been in the news last week thanks to the BBC’s ‘We Are Bradford’ project – held to ‘celebrate the great things about [Bradford] which aren’t always part of the news’. The BBC takeover was visible throughout the town centre with stands in the Broadway shopping centre and reporters filming in many different parts of the city.
The IMPOWER team working in Bradford was caught up in the excitement – not just because they spotted some of their favourite Look North presenters, but also because the project inspired a number of conversations about Bradford’s strengths and what makes the UK’s demographically youngest city (and one of the most diverse districts in the UK) such an inspiring place to be involved with.
One of the answers our team agreed on is that We Are Bradford is about recognising the unique strengths of a local community – which is something that Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s adult social care department is already well aware of. They have been embracing a neighbourhood-based approach to social work for some time, and working alongside the council’s staff you get a real sense of their pride in (and ambition for) the city and each of the towns and villages that make up the district.
Their approach recognises that social care can add most value when it links people to support that is available in their neighbourhood. Encouraging staff to be visible in their local area, and to work to connect residents to community resources, can improve people’s quality of life and support them to remain independent for longer. Getting that right requires committed staff who are proud of their community and can see what each individual can contribute. Fortunately Bradford has such staff, and we’re proud to be working alongside them as part of our own contribution to the City of Bradford and the wider District.