Working Together – Community Brokerage Network

The Community Brokerage Network (CBN) works alongside Future Pathways to support people to achieve their outcomes.
CBN was established with support from the Scottish Government, Support
in The Right Direction (SiRD) Fund. They provide independent information and support to help people with social care needs choose how to use the resources available in the best way for them.
Brokers at CBN help people identify what support they require, find out information about the options available, and put a plan in place which meets their needs.
Recently, CBN worked alongside Future Pathways to support a client to develop his literacy skills. Michelle, a CBN Broker, tells us about this experience:

My relationship with Future Pathways works well because they work in a person-centred way, and they give us as a partner the time and flexibility to be person-centred too. This aligns with our ethos at the Community Brokerage Network which is about putting people first.

The client’s Support Coordinator, Mary, put me in contact with Cellfield U.K. Mary explained how trauma can affect people and what could be  triggering for the client. We identified that the time and expense of travelling to attend sessions presented a barrier to the client. 

We took the time to explore several options, but Mary also knew when to step back, and trust our experience and expertise as partners. She did not micro-manage.

We arranged for sessions to take place in the client’s local community, and we adapted the length and structure of the programme according to the client’s needs. 

The client initially felt quite reluctant and low in confidence because of their previous experiences of education, so we took a relaxed, informal approach. The client enjoyed the process and attended every session without prompt. This experience seemed to increase the client’s self-belief and open up future opportunities to learn.

I enjoy working with Future Pathways because we have a respectful, open exchange of ideas. My opinion is listened to. 

We feel comfortable to disagree with one another and discuss options. In my
view, the Support Coordinator role is invaluable. The Support Coordinator connects me with the
client and provides information which allows me to do my job more effectively. Having a link with a Support Coordinator makes my interactions with Future Pathways more human. I have a relationship with Future Pathways – it is more than just a referral process or a box-ticking exercise.

Working alongside Future Pathways has taught me the importance of expressing clear boundaries and expectations with clients and partners.

I have gained more patience by working with Future Pathways. Sometimes, we support people with complex needs, so I have learned that it can take longer to put the right support in place. Finally, working with Future Pathways has enabled me to shift my mindset as a practitioner. Previously, I believed that I knew what support people needed. Now, I learn from survivors what support they feel they need. It’s a shift from ‘fixing’ to acknowledging survivors’ autonomy over their support.

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