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Special Needs Service users have their say

23 April 2012

Adults who use day centres run by the Special Needs Service in Jersey have been asked for their opinions about what they would like day centres to offer in the future.

Just over 60 adults aged between 18 and 65 use the day centre which is based at Le Geyt Centre at Five Oaks, and recently, clients and their families were asked what they thought about the services so that in the future, they can benefit from the types of activities on offer they would like to see more of.

Team Leader at Le Geyt Centre, Fiona McLaughlin, said that the Special Needs Service was keen to move with the times, and give clients and their families a say in what they liked and what could be improved about the services on offer.

More opportunities and bases

"It was a very important exercise, and we were very pleased to get the views of our service users" said Fiona. "Day services are becoming more modern, and we want to know what clients want. We are moving away from the old model of adult training centres, and in particular, we would very much like to offer more opportunities and bases for our clients in the community. What would make a real difference is a base in town, as being based at Five Oaks does give us some challenges around transport. We are very fortunate as we use the space at St Helier Methodist Centre and Gorey Youth Club free of charge, as well as Fort Regent, but having a permanent base in town would make a huge difference to us. It’s important we try to adopt a space which already exists, rather than creating a new one, as we want the people who use our services to be part of the community which already exists."

Example of excellence across the British Isles

The consultation with the service users was undertaken by the staff at Le Geyt centre with advice and guidance from the Scottish based company Heartfelt.

Fiona added "We were very keen that this consultation was thorough and we used Heartfelt to ensure that this was the case. The service users have made a genuine contribution to the process, and we have listened to their views, as well as those of their families and carers. In the future, we want day services to be an example of excellence across the British Isles."

Because the majority of individuals who received respite from Day Services have communication challenges, to find out how individuals would design their own day activity experiences, the usual methods such as questionnaires and surveys were not appropriate.  This meant that more creative visual and picture based means were used.  Wall charts were produced by the individuals, which are artworks in their own right, but they also serve as a constant and powerful reminder about what the Day Services is all about, which is person-centered planning.  


The consultation found that clients said the following things worked well:

• staff who are friendly and who care
• the chance to move to smaller bases across the Island
• having the chance to do the same things as everyone else
• a range of staff and having enough of them
• feeling safe and being healthy
• being with friends and having the opportunity to make new ones
• achieving things
• going out
• being listened to

What could be improved:

• more variety
• better transport with more options
• too much noise
• everyone being together too much
• staff/people assuming things about me
• want to go to places more often
• not having enough say in things
• the building at Le Geyt

What could be ideas for the future from clients:

• more flexible transport
• smaller groups
• using smaller bases around Jersey
• more flexibility about when to attend the service
• more fun activities which we can invite people to



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