Co-operative Social Care Development Steering Group : draft terms of reference


Terms of Reference

Outline Draft for consultation


1. Context

·        Social care needs and expectations are increasing, whilst resources are finite.

·        The citizen experience of social care is often disempowering and isolating.

·        Social care work is often low status and under-valued.

·        The solution will not be found in more money, or bureaucracy, or competition.

·        Co-operative models of citizen self-help and community-building hold out real hope for transformative, sustainable development, particularly in tandem with the development of a Welsh model of Citizen-Directed Support.

·        Multi-stakeholder co-operative models of organization appear to be particularly suited for the “co-production” of services by recognising the rights and responsibilities of service users, workers and the local community within their governance arrangements.

·        There is growing government and citizen support for the exploration and development of such co-operative methods, informed by practical international experience and learning.

·        There are long-term obstacles to co-operative development on a wide-spread scale, not least in addressing the culture gap between co-operative and individualistic societal values.

·        Consequently, there is a need for long-term strategic leadership that will address issues ranging from practical service development to the shaping of public policy.


2. Overall Purpose

To promote social care innovation in Wales based on co-operative values and methods of working, with particular but not exclusive emphasis on user-controlled delivery models.This purpose will be interpreted and informed by the collaborative contributions of:


·        Citizens (particularly social care service users and family carers)

·        The co-operative movement

·        The voluntary and community sector

·        The social care profession

·        Local and Welsh government and related agencies

·        The National Assembly Cross-Party Co-operatives and Mutuals Group


3.  Aims

3.1.     To bring together representatives of the key stakeholder constituencies (as 2 above) with a view to achieving:


·        Co-ordination and synergy of activities

·        Cross-fertilisation of ideas and learning experiences

·        Best use of all available developmental resources, including access to appropriate and timely expertise and support


3.2.     To encourage and support the sustainable development of local co-operatives which either:


·        provide social care services


·        provide related services (such as general “well-being” services) which prevent or reduce the need for social care services


3.3.     To encourage and support the “co-operatisation” of existing social care provider organisations (such as third sector agencies who wish to embrace a democratic, co-operative ethos).


3.4.     To encourage and support a strategic programme of co-operative education, aimed at:


·        Citizens, communities  and relevant networks

·        Purchasers and providers of social care (and related services)

·        Legislators and policy-makers for social care (and related services)

·        All political parties and civil society forums seeking to create a better Wales


3.5.    To encourage the creation and implementation of legislation, policies and guidance for social care (and related services) which foster the development of services and systems based on co-operative values and principles.


3.6.     To continue to learn from relevant international developments in co-operation and social care (for example, Quebec, Northern Italy and the Basque Country).


3.7.     To contribute to the promotion of co-operative action in all areas of social, educational and economic life, on the basis that such action, on a sufficient scale, helps to create stronger communities with greater levels of reciprocity and citizen well-being.


Drafted by David Smith, Wales Progressive Co-operators and Adrian Roper, Cartrefi Cymru

Hilda Smith: a tribute by the Chair of the S Wales Area Committee, the Co-operative, 9 April 2013

As I’m sure you are all aware - with the death of Hilda Smith last month at the great age of 94 - Co-operation has lost a great advocate and worker. Hilda was a former member of this Committee and in such circumstances members would normally take the opportunity of a Committee meeting to pay tributes.

Our circumstances on this occasion are rather different as we have Hilda’s son David as one of our current members.

David has intimated to me that he has been very touched and moved by all the letters and cards of sympathy he has received from Co-operative colleagues expressing sadness at Hilda’s passing and for the wonderful contributions she has made.

He does not feel that he could emotionally cope with a series of tributes this evening and in these circumstances what I propose to do, as Chair, is to make a SINGLE tribute on behalf of us all, followed by a period of silence during which we can all privately reflect on Hilda as a person and a co-operator.

I have known Hilda for getting on for 20 years –not as long as some on this Committee have known her – but still a long time. When she joined the South Wales Committee of the Co-operative Group, I think in 2009, she must have been by a long stretch, its oldest “new” member, although she had been a member of many co-op committees before.

She was very active in what can now be seen as a golden age of Co-operation in the 1930’s and was particularly engaged in the campaigning illustrated in the wonderful films of the London Co-operative Society, with themes of Internationalism, Education Pacifism and Feminism. We have to remember, Hilda was not all that far behind the Pankhurst’s and she was born just after the ending of the First World War.

As many of us know, Hilda was completely passionate about what she believed in and was always a strong advocate for the same.  She was always a master of her brief and fastidious in studying her papers and making reasoned and detailed contributions.

She had a powerful intellect but was still very interested in making practical observations about what a store should stock, what services it should give to the customers/ members and how they could be engaged at shop level.

I remember her observing back in the early days of Recession, that the support work of the Co-operative Group, through such things as the Community Divided Fund would become far more vital, as Public Expenditure Cuts bite and she is being proven right.

To think when she arrived in South Wales in 1986, she did not come for a rest, because at the age of 76, she set about with vigour in a whole new co-operative and mutual scene.

 She was instrumental in establishing the Newport University of the Third Age, The Wales Food Alliance- together with David – which had a number of collaborations with the Group. She was a member of the WG Older Persons Advisory Committee and made a considerable contribution to policy formulation. Of late she has been engaged in modelling social enterprises to deliver home care.

I last saw Hilda at the Members meeting last year at St Fagan’s, when the meeting was somewhat hijacked by Disability Rights Protesters.  I will remember her contribution for a very long time. She was not prepared to sit idly by but rose to make an impassioned speech about how Co-operatives had been at the forefront of protecting and promoting the rights of the disabled for getting on for 100 years.

David, Hilda was highly principled, creative, dynamic not just a thinker and dreamer about the Co-operative Commonwealth but who has actually contributed to help make it happen over 60 or 70 years.

We are all the better for knowing her and she has left you with much to live up to!

Brian Rees

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