Improving the wellbeing of families of children and young people with autism in Bromley

We helped staff, carers and parents work together to improve the wellbeing of families of children and young people with autism in Bromley with a 100 day challenge.

One Bromley
June 2019 - December 2019
Innovation sprints, facilitation, workshop design, storytelling, advice and support

What we were asked to do:

One Bromley, a partnership of health and care services and the voluntary sector in the London Borough of Bromley reached out to us as they wanted to co-produce an action plan with parents and carers of children and young people living with autism.

We were asked to bring parents and staff together to have a conversation about how support and services for autistic children and young people and their families could be improved.

What we did:

We suggested creating something action based straight away, so Bromley could move beyond talking to real time improvements. Our approach was to begin rapid testing changes together with staff, parents and carers over 100 days.

We began with a discovery workshop for anybody in Bromley working with or looking after children and young people with autism including parents, carers, the voluntary sector, Council and local Clinical Commissioning Group staff and schools. The aim was to understand what wasn’t working and whether there was potential to co-design solutions to some of these issues using a rapid testing process.

Over 50 people came along to the discovery workshop. They talked about areas of concern, boiled these down to four categories and picked one to focus on together over the next 100 days. A regular group then met with us every two weeks to get real about what matters, generate solutions and test them out together.

We used power levelling exercises, storytelling, milestone celebrations and a design process during these meetings to help the group collaborate as equals with a diversity of opinions and perspectives and to make things happen together.

What happened:

By coming together over these 100 days parents, carers and providers developed a new relationship and way of working with each other, sharing ideas generation, decision-making and taking action.

People started doing things quickly once they realised the ability to make changes was in their hands. The group made changes and created new ways to support families of children and young people with autism during the scheduled sessions and outside of them, with connections and opportunities sprouting up everywhere. These are just some of the things they did:

  • Designed a training and development programme about autism using immersive theatre that could work for everyone from CEOs and organisations to bus drivers and teachers.
  • Brought Sunflower Lanyards to local Tescos and shopping centres which children and young people can wear to let staff in certain facilities know they might appreciate support or extra flexibility.
  • Created a parents’ leaflet, based on their own recommendations for other parents – a guide to surviving outside the home and links to other services, rights and useful information and facts.
  • Made a film, documenting what was and what wasn’t working filled with their own stories and about the 100-day challenge itself.
  • One of the parents created a parent peer support group in her local pub and immediate post-diagnosis peer groups and schools peer groups were set up.
  • A Headteacher who attended the group organised for their next schools conference to be all about autism.

The relationships and shifted mindsets live on in Bromley beyond the 100-day challenge with the community and providers still working together. Bromley One want to recreate this rapid testing process every year, focusing on different areas in health and social care to co-design and co-produce improvements quickly together.

“I’ve been very frustrated over the last few years in wanting things to change and not knowing what to do. It’s been amazing being part of something that really is making changes and what a great group of people you all are.” Parent participant


Download the full case study of this project below.

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