Being the pit-stop team to your driver

Creating Ally roles

Alonso_Renault_Pitstop_Chinese_GP_2008-300x200One of the goals of InCharge is to grow what I have called an ‘independent ally role’.

We often hear the word ‘ally’ when talking about nations but I’m more interested in its everyday feeling or use.  An Ally is a person who stands with us, who is beside us during a big task or effort.

The need for this role has been brewing in me for many years through my family experience and through observing those individuals and families ‘doing it themselves’ as they self-direct their services and those doing it in conjunction with small, helpful, user-governed organisations and partnerships. I have seen how many people are carrying out wonderful visions for their lives but how difficult this is to sustain over time. In my work in services I have experienced how difficult it is to really drill down on the things that matter to get sustained results – things that matter like friendships, genuine community inclusion, work and moving into a home of your own.

I’ve been engaged for some-time in an ally role as part of a wonderful partnership with Supported Living NetworkI spoke about this role and why it works at a recent event about the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Check out some other fine examples in Australia and internationally.

HomesWest in Brisbane.

Belonging Matters in Victoria.

Deohaeko Support Network in Ontario.

The Circles Initiative in South Australia.

It’s a role that allows people to get on with the job of living their lives, imagining possibilities for themselves, setting directions and vision, but it is also one that can take on a lot of the ‘doing work’ that this entails. It’s perhaps the difference between being both the race car driver and the pit stop team. Many people appear to be both. An Ally can be a key player in a pit-stop team. They might even build a team.

The role takes up the gaps with imagining, thinking and doing which people with disability and their families naturally experience. And they experience it for no other reason than life can be crazy-busy, or because sometimes you simply have to focus on other people or things.

It is also an independent role, by which I mean that it is not owned by government or a non-government service provider, but is completely accountable to people themselves.

At InCharge our goal is to expand this role and make it possible for more people to find and develop their own Ally.

We’ll be showing how this role works in action. Start by checking-out our Ally Project.

Tell us what you think of this idea.

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