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Case Studies6

‘Force 4 Change’ is a very lively group of people with disabilities who use social care services in Leicestershire.

In February 2012, on a snowy Saturday afternoon, we held an innovative Whose Shoes?® workshop with this ‘user-led’ organisation. We were joined by several social care professionals who had all volunteered to come along to participate, listen and learn.


Through the amazing graphics of Anna Geyer, New Possibilities, we used TLAP’s ‘Making It Real’ as a framework for collecting the issues raised and empowering the group to hold further discussions with the council and other interested parties.


Frankie Hine-Hughes from Governance International helps ensure no important issues are missed.

What happened

Attendees were asked: “What is it like In Your Shoes?”

  • What is it like to be someone who uses services or a carer?
  • What is it like to be a manager, a social worker, a commissioner or a care provider?
  • What are the real opportunities and challenges?
  • How can we all work more effectively together?

The room buzzed as the lively group used Whose Shoes? to help them tease through the key issues of personalisation – what is really working well and what more needs to happen to “make it real” for people who need support with social care and health needs?


It was a very informal, enjoyable and well received event. We thank the members of Force 4 Change sincerely for allowing us to film at the session. We only took a few minutes of video as we were all too busy with the discussions! At the end of the event, we managed to do an impromptu interview with Karen Kidd, chair of the group.

Indeed, as you will see, it was “snatched” as Karen’s taxi was waiting, but the eloquence comes through in the palpable fact that these issues are the lived experience of real people and the response comes from the heart…

Karen tells us that she suddenly appreciated what it can be like to be a social worker, sometimes “caught between a rock and a hard place,” trying to do their best for the person using services while also meeting the requirements of managers. This is a great example of how Whose Shoes? works, as it is through increased empathy and understanding about all roles that people work better together for positive change.

Interestingly, Leicestershire have recently signed up for “Making It Real”…

Hopefully the new electronic version of Whose Shoes?®, aligned to the themes and ‘I’ statements of ‘Making It Real’ will help everyone continue to make progress with their personalisation journey..,

What is happening… and what still needs to happen to “make it (personalisation) real” for these individuals and other people with care and support needs in Leicestershire?

The images used on the website page backgrounds are based on graphic records
produced in real time during 'Whose Shoes®' events by New Possibilities Ltd.

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