This chapter was introduced in November 2016.

1. Introduction

An effective day opportunity should provide a varied and stimulating environment which explores and builds on a person’s strengths, is person centred and is solution focused. The purpose of the day opportunity is to support the person to improve their quality of life and actively promote their independence. It should support the person to take as much control over their life as they are able, helping them to maintain their health and to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life.

The person must be at the centre of all decisions made about them and must be supported to direct those decisions where they are able. The day opportunity provider should provide support in such a way that the person feels secure, confident and in control.

2. Outcomes

Effective day opportunities will deliver four essential outcomes. These are that each person accessing support will have:

  • an enhanced sense of self worth;
  • the ability to realise their aspirations;
  • have a fulfilling social life;
  • feel valued as a member of their community.

2.1 Self-worth

A person’s feeling of self-worth is increased by support which enables them to be as self-determining as possible in all day to day matters, and also in the major decisions about how they live their life. Personal choice and autonomy define and express the way people live.

Self worth will be enhanced when the person:

  • is treated with dignity and respect at all times;
  • makes informed decisions;
  • maintains maximum independence;
  • is involved in day to day decisions about the service;
  • knows that they are able to trust the integrity and skill of workers;
  • knows that their confidentiality is protected.

2.2 The ability to realise aspirations

Day opportunities assist people to realise their aspirations by encouraging, motivating and supporting them to pursue long or short term learning, social opportunities or other activities. This may require securing practical assistance needed.

People will be supported to realise their aspirations when:

  • they experience and perform useful and meaningful activities, with whatever assistance is required even though an element of risk may be involved;
  • they have their choices valued and are actively encouraged to identify and express their aspirations no matter what their age or personal circumstances;
  • their strengths and abilities are valued and built upon;
  • they are not discouraged from seeking opportunities because of age, culture or disability;
  • they are assisted appropriately through personal crises.

2.3 Having a fulfilling social life

Everyone has the right to choose how they spend their time and who they wish to socialise with but people who access support often find their social opportunities are restricted due to lack of confidence, inadequate information or restraints imposed by unmet needs. Day opportunities should support people to identify and access other social opportunities within their local community. Support should be given to build confidence so that the person becomes better able to participate in social opportunities without the need for support.

People will be able to enjoy a more fulfilling social life when:

  • they are able to obtain information about social activities which are available in their community;
  • they feel confident about accessing these, with or without support;
  • they are able to form new social relationships with others they encounter;
  • they are supported to manage any risks posed by activities they wish to undertake.

2.4 Feeling valued as a member of the community

Feeling confident and valued within the community is essential for successful independent living. People should have access to and be able to participate in the multitude of resources and social experiences which make up community life. Day opportunities should support each person’s access to and integration in their community by helping them to gain knowledge of the local community and the services available to them including transport. They should support people to voice their opinion about local community issues and advise them how to access further support if no one is listening to them

People will feel more valued as a member of their community when:

  • they have an informed knowledge and understanding of the community and the facilities and services available to them;
  • they are encouraged and supported to actively participate in the community
  • they are able to establish good relationships with their neighbours;
  • they feel safe in their home;
  • hey are given honest, constructive and respectful feedback about any areas of their behaviour which are creating a barrier to integration;
  • they have a voice in the community, and know who can assist them if no one is listening.

3. Day Opportunities

Day opportunities should be provided within a stimulating, positive and varied environment which has structure but which is not bound by routine. A range of activities must be provided which meet the needs of people accessing support, are enjoyable and are directed by their interests.

Time must be spent with people finding out what activities they would like to undertake but the following non-exhaustive list gives examples of the type of activities which may be provided:

  • exercises designed to maintain or improve physical abilities and wellbeing, e.g. seated or other exercise such as Tai Chi;
  • health promotion including health checks, falls screening, and nutritional advice;
  • social interaction, for example group activities / discussions and contact with local groups, charities etc;
  • assisting people to obtain advice, for example security and safety in the home, internet security;
  • hobbies and interests, for example art, craft, internet access, speakers, music, newspapers.

The activities on offer should be purposeful to take account of past history, interests and strengths and should support the maintenance of existing life skills as well as offering the opportunity to learn new skills.

4. Individual Support Planning

Everyone accessing support from day opportunities must have a solution focused individual support plan which sets out the detail about how the day opportunity provider will work towards the outcomes specified in the person’s overall support plan. This plan must be directed by the person as far as they are able and must identify and build upon their strengths and abilities. Everyone should have a one page profile and a range of other person centred support planning tools is available to be used as necessary when developing the support plan.

The plan must also contain basic information which is essential for anyone working with the person to know without having to be told, such as any communication needs or cultural needs.

The plan should follow the positive risk management policy by assessing the risks posed by any activity the person wants to undertake and devising a range of measures to manage the risk and reduce it to an acceptable level. Everyone has the right to take risks and it is not possible to remove risk entirely. People must not be placed at inappropriately high risk but risk must not be cited as a reason to prevent someone from achieving their aspirations. The positive risk management policy gives advice on how to get the balance right.

The individual support plan must be reviewed six weeks after the start of the service and annually thereafter by the person, their keyworker, the day opportunities manager and anyone else the person wants to invite.

The individual support plan should be signed by the person or their representative on their behalf, and a copy given to them in a language and format they can understand.

5. Transport

Hull City Council will support people to be as independent as possible and this includes travelling independently. When support at day opportunities is arranged, it must not be automatically assumed that transport to and from this support will be provided. We will look at every option for helping someone to access support without depending on transport provided by the Council’s passenger transport service, including changing the times or dates upon which support services are provided to enable someone to travel independently or with the support of family or friends. If there is no way that someone could reasonably be expected to travel independently or with the support of family or friends then we will provide assistance with transport. The need for this assistance and the nature of it – whether the person simply needs transportation or whether they need the service of a passenger assistant as well – must be identified during the initial assessment of need. When assessing and planning support, several factors must be considered. These are set out below:

  • people who can travel independently or with the assistance of family or friends will be expected to do so;
  • people who have the potential to travel independently will be provided with ‘travel training’ to enable them to do so;
  • people who have a motability car will be expected to use it to travel to and from support services. If they cannot drive, then the carer who drives for them will be expected to do so. If the carer cannot do so because of commitments such as work or childcare, consideration must be given to changing the time or date of the support service the person needs to travel to. Only when all possibilities have been exhausted will consideration be given to the provision of assistance with transport;
  • people who receive state benefits to assist with mobility and travel will be expected to use them to travel to support services, whether this be by accessing public transport or specialist transport.