Mother of 2 adult sons with autism, Rachel has been a national speaker on ‘working in partnership with families’ for 15 years and has worked in a voluntary and paid capacity locally, regionally and nationally for many National organisations, LAs, the DOH, NDTi, CQC, Norah Fry Research Centre. Most recently for NHS England as a CTR reviewer for the National Transforming care programme.
Rachel has worked tirelessly to get a life-long holistic approach to the support from birth to old age. Her vision being that the school years should be a ‘personalised investment’ and preparation for adult life, where person centred planning drives the outcomes and brings all service delivery and parental input together in harmony.
Rachel is passionate about self-directed support; believing this means choice and control over your services whether they are commissioned for you, or you buy them using a personal budget. To this end she has designed and developed a practical online self-assessment tool for individuals and families that will give them the confidence to have the right conversations with their LA/CCG. The 247grid is an innovative alternative to the service led Resource Allocation System.
Rachel is a voluntarily champion for People & Places a safe, moderated community social network for vulnerable adults where members are encouraged to share and exchange skills, activities and pool personal budgets. She set Get2getherClub in 2010/11 to enable vulnerable adults to identify their interests, learning needs and employment aspirations. The club then approached a local mainstream provider to put on an event course accessible to all in the community, so scarce funding is targeted and everyone can benefit from it.
Rachel wants this community networking to evolve into a Time bank scheme locally, where a skill (supported by a PA if necessary) is exchanged for community time credits. These credits can then be used to exchange for cost free voluntary support that offers a further alternative to Social Care funded support - especially for those that fall outside of service criteria. She has successfully reduced her sons' personal budget by £18,000 over 5 years.
Rachel is always looking for partners to take these small successes locally, to other areas.