We officially launched our Alumni Project in April with the appointment of David Hollingsworth as our Lived Experience & Engagement Lead, and we haven’t stood still since.
Engaging with our alumni
Our Alumni engagement started by reaching out to over 400 ex-service users asking if they would like to sign up for our brand-new Alumni newsletter. The newsletter will feature news, updates, alumni activities and campaigns, and events they may be interested in.
Since April, 45 of our alumni have taken part in internal and external activities in order to ensure the voice of lived experience sits at the heart of what we do, but equally making sure we have a platform externally to raise awareness and influence change.
Involvement from the alumni included the development of and involvement in recruitment panels and assessment centres for Gordon Moody staff, ranging from Support Workers and Therapists to the Affected Other Service Development Lead and Men’s Residential Treatment Manager. They also were part of the consultation and ongoing co-production of the Affected Others service, as well as providing feedback on all aspects of the customer journey – which will be used to make improvements across the whole journey.
A selection of alumni attended regional lived experience events to help Gordon Moody raise awareness of our residential treatment options, our accessibility, and how recovery is possible. They also attended industry events to raise awareness of their journey to Gordon Moody and the support they received and also to help inform on safer gambling and prevention of harm activities.
Supporting those in pre-treatment
Our alumni now attend our pre-treatment groups and help those waiting to come into treatment to overcome the internal barriers that can prevent people moving forward into treatment by sharing their experiences and offering support. Some of the alumni are now also attending sessions in our treatment centres as part of the treatment programme. They deliver Q&A sessions and are able to catch up with the people they supported in pre-treatment.
We have engaged with other lived experience groups and bodies to ensure that we are connecting with activity happening across the sector, in addition to ensuring we are current and trailblazing in our approach. We have been commended for our approach to engagement and true co-production, along with the level of involvement with lived experience internally.
In order to foster a true coproduction approach, we are currently engaging our alumni to coproduce the formation of a steering group. We are further ensuring that all services and demographics are represented as best we can within this group by offering a range of engagement methods and platforms. This will ensure that people that wouldn’t normally engage in group sessions get the opportunity to shape the future of the steering group, in order to avoid it only being shaped by people who are likely to go on to be members.
If you have received treatment from Gordon Moody and haven’t already signed up for the Alumni Newsletter, please email Dave Hollingsworth and he will send you further details.