Coming home with the Home Star

Outcomes Star for homelessness gets a radical overhaul

Over the 20 years since we first started working on an outcomes tool for homelessness, a huge amount has changed in the sector. In response, we’ve undertaken a major review of the Outcomes Star. The resulting Home Star is now published – and it’s a truly person-centred Star for homeless people.

The Outcomes Star, commonly known as the Homelessness Star, was Triangle’s first ever outcomes tool. At its heart from the beginning were the principles of empowerment and collaboration that have informed Triangle’s work ever since. And its structure, with the simple yet engaging Star shape underpinned by a five-stage Journey of Change, has become the basis of the whole constellation of Stars that followed it.

Appropriately enough for a tool with collaboration at its heart, it came about through an initial collaboration with St Mungo’s back in 2002. We worked with St Mungo’s to design an outcomes tool, then developed it in collaboration with the London Housing Foundation and other homelessness charities to publish the Homelessness Star in 2006. It has been a resounding success and is widely used within the sector.

But with close to 50 Stars now published and more than 60 research studies supporting the Star’s validity, we’ve learned a lot since that first Star. We’ve come to know what resonates with service users, how to ensure that the stages in the Journey of Change are absolutely clear, and how to make sure each Star is measuring the things that really matter. It was time to put that learning back into the Homelessness Star.

Time for a rethink

We had updated the Homelessness Star in 2017, but increasingly felt that it needed a more radical overhaul. As a social enterprise, Triangle invests part of the licence fee for Stars in keeping them under review and up to date – and we wanted to make a big investment in our first Star. So in April 2020 we formally kicked the process off with a Round Table of users of the Homelessness Star (see the Reviewing the Star box below).

Three main things drove the rethink. First and foremost, the language needed changing. Our more recent Stars are even more trauma-informed as we have learnt how to word them to avoid triggers or any suggestion of blame – so we wanted to bring that learning into what would be the new Home Star. And while the original Homelessness Star was also person-centred, the thinking on that has moved on and there was more that could be done to eliminate jargon, focus on the service user’s real concerns and put them right at the centre.

Secondly, the sector itself has changed rapidly over recent years. When we first wrote the Homelessness Star, the main clients were single homeless men. Today far more women and families are accessing services, and people often have significantly more complex needs. And with increasing pressures on funding, many homelessness services are offering shorter-term interventions.

Thirdly, the external environment for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness has got tougher. There’s less social housing, the cost of living is sky high, and access to work has become even tougher. It was important to reflect all that more explicitly in the new edition of the Star.

“We’re really proud of the new Home Star,” says Triangle director Sara Burns. “It was our first flagship Star, and we wanted to make it as good and relevant and accessible as it could possibly be. So we’re delighted at the way it’s being received. We’ve had feedback that it’s ‘bang up to date’, with the language being particularly good. And perhaps most importantly, it’s person-centred to its very core.”

The new Home Star

At a glance: what’s changed in the Home Star 

  • There’s trauma-informed language throughout – for example: “You don’t have the help you need or are not ready to engage with it. Perhaps it doesn’t work for you or it’s hard to trust it”.
  • The Star works for women and families and for people with complex needs.
  • There are explicit references to external factors that are beyond the control of the service and of the service user.
  • The former “Motivation and responsibility” area has become “Trust and hope” and is completely different.
  • The old “Offending” area has been reworked as “Safety and crime”, focusing much more on homeless people being victims of crime.
  • The “Alcohol and drugs” area now recognises that drinking or taking drugs can be a coping strategy.
  • The “Meaningful use of time” scale has become “How I spend my time” and focuses more on what is meaningful for the service user.
  • There are more accessible materials, including Flashcards for people with limited English or who struggle with forms.

Reviewing the Star: the process

Gathering feedback
– Continuous input over many years through our trainers and implementing leads
Meeting with MEAM and others
Workshop organised by Brighton Women’s Centre
Round Table in April 2020
Wide call for feedback

Testing successive drafts

– Drafts sent for feedback in April and Nov 2021
Workshop with Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) in Dec 2021
Final version Jan 2022
Launch webinar Mar 2022
New Star available April 2022

A major collaboration: organisations contributing to the review

How to start with the new Star

For new Star users, the process is simple – get in touch with Triangle (details below), get a licence and some training and you can start using the Home Star straightaway.

For organisations already using the Homelessness Star, switching is free for all licence holders, and there’s guidance on the Triangle website on how to do it with minimum disruption. There’s also support for licensed trainers. However it’s important to realise that the new Home Star is significantly different from the Star it replaces. The data won’t match (for example, the “Trust and hope” area is entirely different from the old “Motivation and responsibility”, so there needs to be a period of adjustment.

“There will be an interruption in the continuity of detailed data when switching over, and you will need to update your internal policy and other documentation mentioning the Star,” says Sara Burns. “But we’re confident that the effort of switching is well worth it.”

Next steps

The Outcomes Star as a management information tool

The Outcomes Star is well established as a tool for supporting effective keywork and demonstrating achievements. Here, 'Triangle's Research Analyst, Dr Anna Good, discusses a third benefit, the opportunity for internal learning. This new briefing describes how Star data can be used to improve service delivery.

Learning from Star data at all levels of the organisation

Over three-quarters of Outcomes Star users in our client survey said Star data reports were ‘useful for learning how their service was ‘doing’ and ‘helpful in managing or developing the ‘service’. Indeed, Star data can provide meaningful management information at all levels, from a service manager reviewing a single ‘worker’s caseload to a senior management team reviewing data aggregated across services. 

Alongside other data (e.g. satisfaction surveys, output and process data), Star data reports, such as those available from our upgraded Star Online System, allow organisations to ask increasingly focused questions about what is happening with the people they support.

Managers can gain essential insights by looking at differences in starting points and change across outcome areas, client groups, and service settings.  Because these insights are likely to be greatest when compared against prior expectations, Triangle has produced resources to support ‘Star data ‘forecasting’.

Learning from Initial Star readings

The distribution of first Star readings provides a valuable overview of people’s needs coming into the service. Star readings can be compared against expectations to ensure that service users are entering the service appropriately and are offered suitable interventions.

An excellent example of the use of first readings is in Staffordshire County Council, where they look at start readings to see if the families are at the right level of service. In our interview with the Commissioning Manager at the time, she told us that “if we have families in our Family Intervention service that have readings of five, I look a bit deeper to see if we’re really using our resources correctly”.

Learning from change in Star readings

Movement in Star readings for each outcome area also provides an opportunity to learn where things are going well and when further exploration of service delivery may be warranted. 

For example, if one service shows different outcomes to another service, this is a starting point for further investigation:

  • Is there other evidence that one service facilitates better outcomes than another?
  • Are there reasons why one service might be supporting people better than another?
  • Is the service user profile different in the different services?
  • Is practice significantly different in that service, and might there be lessons for other services?

A more in-depth analysis of the movement from each Journey of Change stage is also possible, offering more significant potential for learning than typical numerical outcome scales. Managers can explore which stage transitions are happening frequently and where there may be blockages to making other transitions. For example, a service may be very good at helping service users to begin accepting help but struggle more with moving them towards greater self-reliance, limiting the progress currently being made. Specific changes to service delivery might then need to be developed.

*****

Please download our new briefing, ‘The Outcomes Star as a management information tool for more detail on how Star data reports can be used to improve service delivery. If you would like more information or support about the use of Star data, please get in touch with us at info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44 (0) 207 272 8765.

New dates: Introductory Star Online sessions for managers and practitioners

Session 1: A practitioners guide to the Star Online

  • Wednesday 16th March 2022 at 14:00
    Register in advance on Zoom here.  
  • Tuesday 19th April 2022 at 11:00
    Register in advance on Zoom here. 

Session 2: Introduction to Star Online Reporting Dashboards. 

  • Wednesday 9th March 2022 at 14:00
    Register in advance on Zoom here.
  • Monday 25th April 2022 at 12:00
    Register in advance on Zoom here

Suitable for managers, or other staff interested in learning how to create charts, using the dashboard to support data-driven reports.

The session will cover key functions, filters and how to create charts to support reports, funding bids. Participants will learn how to illustrate progress made by service users and and evidence how the Stars are being used across the service.

Need to know more?

Contact us or your Implementation Lead for more information.

Mapping the Integration Star onto the Home Office Indicators of Integration framework

The Home Office’s Indicators of Integration framework was developed in collaboration with academics, migrant organisations, the voluntary sector, local and national governments, and migrants themselves in order to provide a common language for ‘understanding, planning, monitoring and measuring integration’.

The latest version published in 2019, identifies 14 domains of integration with which to design, implement and measure the success of interventions. The framework suggests outcome indicators for each domain, for example the percentage of people in paid work and other ‘hard’ outcome measures. These measures are valuable but do not assess distance travelled towards the outcomes at an individual or cohort level.

 

The Refugee Council recognised the need for a version of the Outcomes Star, a keywork and outcomes measurement tool, that was aligned with the Indicators of Integration framework, gathering relevant distance-travelled outcomes data and also supporting engagement and good practice in services. In 2019, they approached Triangle, which led to the co-creation of the Integration Star for use with refugees needing support to integrate into and build a life in their new country. The co-creation included Refugee Council services and workers, Community Refugee Organisations, and refugees.

 

The domains identified in the Indicators of Integration framework were used as a basis for a literature review informing the first workshop in the development of the Integration Star. Later in the development process, the domains were mapped against the Integration Star outcome areas. The aim was to create a good fit between the framework and the Star, while at the same time as creating a user-friendly and empowering tool with accessible language and a manageable number of outcome areas to support conversations between workers and refugees. This pragmatic approach means that there is not an exact one-to-one mapping between framework domains and Star outcome areas, as shown in the table below:

****

To find out more, get in touch on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44(0) 207 272 8765. The above is also available as a pdf download.

Outcomes Star training pricing increase

Triangle, like many organisations, needed to make a sudden shift into Remote Training Delivery (RTD) at the outset of the pandemic in March 2021. Our training team did a fantastic job of rising to the challenge, adopting new digital learning strategies to swiftly produce an online version of the core Star training course by May 2020. We have been delighted with the success of all our Remote Training Delivery.

We have found many organisations have welcomed the ease of online training, as well as cutting of travel costs for geographically dispersed teams.

“The trainer was excellent at executing the delivery, and I will be adopting some of her techniques within remote delivery”—Outcomes Star client.

We have been able to maintain the price of our training at the same level since 2013 and have now permanently changed our training delivery model to offer a choice of face-to-face training and remote training for our Outcomes Star clients. We are incredibly proud of our dual training services and have decided to introduce a price increase to reflect the expertise and work that goes into providing such a high standard of learning.

Our new training prices will start from the 1st November 2021. Please note, all previous quotes, verbal or written, will be honoured until January 2022.

We look forward to training you soon, face-to-face or remotely and to demonstrating how well the Stars measure service user progression, highlight areas of service delivery improvements and illustrate social impact. #Enablinghelp.

Find more information about training courses, pricing and booking here: Star training courses.

Mental Health Awareness Day 10th Oct 2021

To mark World Mental Health Day 2021, Triangle has spoken to two Outcomes Stars Licensed Trainers from Alternative Futures Group to get under the bonnet of life as a Licensed Trainer in Mental Health.

Anthony Szuminski

Learning Partner

I view the Outcomes Stars as a compass, that guides the people we support in a holistic way and empowers them to gain awareness of which important areas of their lives they can improve upon. Which is ultimately is why we are here.

What is your role?
I am trainer/ facilitator working for a charitable organisation called Alternative Futures Group. Our organisation provides support to people who have a range of conditions, learning disabilities, mental health issues, dementia, epilepsy and physical disabilities.

Which Star do you deliver training in?
We use the Recovery Star  in our treatment recovery centres and community houses to support people with Mental Health conditions. As well as Outcomes Stars training, I also facilitate a wide range of other training, such as understanding learning disabilities, first aid, organisational inductions.

What do you most like about being a Licensed Trainer 
What I appreciate most about being a Licensed Trainer is that we are helping to train and support our staff to use a tool (Outcomes Star TM), based upon a proactive and proven approach which fits well with our charity’s ethos.

How does the Star benefit your work and support your service users? 
Our charity believes that understanding people’s unique needs and exploring how best to support them should be rooted in fact and evidence as this is what ultimately leads to better outcomes. The Outcomes Stars are rooted in these beliefs as well, making them a great fit for our charity.

I view the Outcomes Stars as a compass, that guides the people we support in a holistic way and empowers them to gain awareness of which important areas of their lives they can improve upon.  Which is ultimately is why we are here.

The Star is a great tool as it guides our staff to ask the right questions to be able to have meaningful conversations with people about their lives as a whole.  This uncovers the areas people need most help with, in a flexible, consistent and trauma-informed way. The Star data collected also helps to inform and improve our service delivery support.  As well as evidencing the range of support we have provided for people.

How does it feel to be a licensed trainer?
I find the Recovery Star  can truly reflect what an individual’s support needs are, if completed properly, the difference it can make to people’s lives is what inspires me. It’s also very interesting being a Licensed Trainer.  The people I train in how to use the Star, often have fantastic insight into the wide range of life experiences people have which is fascinating.

I deliver ‘Introducing the Star’ training, two mornings a week (3.5 hours) remotely and this is working very well for our organisation. My recently completed certificate of online facilitation accreditation (COLF) has also helped improve my online delivery and raise the standard of all remote training at AFG.

Any trainer tips to share?
I would highly recommend recording yourself if you can get permission when doing a session. You will see many things you may not be aware of, such as your pace, tone of voice and clarity. All of which can be improved upon, doing this has worked for me.   

Simon Porter

Learning Partner – Mental Health Division

The Star benefits our work... being able to clearly demonstrate progress and change for our patients, as well as create action plans that are meaningful is greatly valued.

What do you do/role?
I am a Learning Partner for Alternative Futures Group.  We are a social care charity with around 2000 employees covering the whole of the Northwest of England. Training in the olden days (how we now refer to pre -March 2020) meant a lot of travelling around, but today I will be at my desk in my home office, delivering virtual training.

Which Star do you deliver training in?
Our charity mainly provides support for people with learning disabilities and people with mental illnesses.  We use the Recovery Star  to support people’s recovery journey deliver our mental health services in 6 independent hospitals. 

What do you most like about being an LT? 
I have only recently completed the accreditation to become a Licensed Trainer and it was really enjoyable. I am very lucky as I work as part of a very supportive team. I am looking forward to co-delivering with my colleague Anthony, so that I can try out my new knowledge, with support.

How does the Star benefit your work and support your service users? 
Being able to clearly demonstrate progress and change for our patients, as well as create action plans that are meaningful is greatly valued. We’ve had lots of positive feedback from both the staff and the people we support since we launched the Recovery Star  in our hospitals.  

Any top training tips? 
We have recently undergone a Certificate of Online Facilitation, which has really opened our eyes to the differences between face to face and online delivery. A tip about online delivery is that learners need to be encouraged to contribute every three to five minutes, as what worked in a classroom, will not necessarily work online. It helps keep the learner engaged which has always been the key to effective training. 

Together we are pushing for a cultural change towards openness and honesty surrounding mental health and that can only be a boost for everyone. Thanks for reading.

 

****

The Recovery Star is the Outcomes Star for mental health and well-being. Other Stars developed specifically for use with organisations working in the mental health sector include: My Mind Star (for use with young people) as well as the Recovery Star Secure, Preparation Star and the Parent and Baby Star. Stars developed with other sectors also include an area focussing on mental health.

For more information on how to become a Licensed Trainer and/or the other training needed for using the Outcomes Star, or for any information about how the Stars could support your organisation please contact Triangle.

CPD Session: The Outcomes Star™ and the Care Act 2014

In this session, Implementation Lead Rox Faulks will discuss how the Outcomes Stars supports alignment with the requirements of the Care Act 2014 concerning Well-being assessment and outcomes planning. This briefing will help you decide if the session will be of value to you.

Licensed Trainer CPD Session Tuesday 12th October 2021. 2 pm – 3 pm GMT

Briefing: The Outcomes Star™ and the Care Act 2014 with Outcomes Star Implementation Lead Rox Faulks

To sign up for this session, Register here

Does the Care Act 2014 apply to you?

The Care Act 2014 (the Act) is UK Legislation; however, due to Social Care being a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Act generally* only applies in England. With this in mind: If your Outcomes Star Licensed Trainer role does not relate to service provision or commissioning within England, then this session will not be directly relevant to you.

 

What is the Care Act 2014?

The Act came into effect in April 2015, supported by the Care and Support (Assessment) Regulations 2014. It is primarily for adults in need of care and support and their adult carers.**

 

The Care Act 2014 created a primary statutory responsibility on Local Authorities to promote individual Well-being and put people at the centre of their care and support. The Act defines well-being under nine areas and sets out 10 Wellbeing Eligibility Outcomes against which the Local Authority must assess need and apply the National Eligibility Criteria. It is to this core element of the Act that this CPD session relates.  The Act’s scope also includes Safeguarding Adults arrangements, the provision of Information and Advice to citizens, Commissioning for sustainability and diversity of the Care & Support market and integrative partnership working.

 

Is this session relevant to me and those I train?

This session will be of relevance to you if you or your Licensed Outcomes Star Practitioners that are

  • Connected to the Local Authority arrangements for the assessment of care and support needs of Adults or Carers (in England) against the Wellbeing Outcomes and the Eligibility Criteria of the Act
  • Or connected to the review of those care and support needs
  • Or expected to report on your provision’s impact outcomes directly correlating to the Wellbeing Outcomes and the Eligibility Criteria of the Act. More broadly, this session may be of value to you if you or your Licensed Outcomes Star Practitioners are.
  • Working with people who may have care and support needs that require assessment by the Local Authority under the Care Act 2014.
    • For example, you/your Licensed Star Practitioners support service users (adults or carers) within your services who you sometimes help to access an assessment of needs, intending to get more help and support in place for them. Perhaps by making a referral to the Local Authority or being present at assessments of need or reviews.

 

How will this session be of value to me?

This session will allow you to build confidence, ideas and understanding about

  • how the Outcomes Stars reflect the principles and values of the Care Act
  • how Outcomes Star outcome areas can map to the Wellbeing Outcomes and Eligibility Criteria of the Act
  • how your use of the Outcomes Star can integrate with your Care Act assessment and review processes
  • how your use of the Outcomes Star enables your Licensed Outcomes Star Practitioners to be objective advocates when referring for or supporting within, assessment of needs under the Care Act 2014. As with all our Licensed Trainer CPD sessions
  • you will have an opportunity to connect with others who have a shared interest in this topic area
  • the session will fuel ongoing conversation between us about how we can support you in this topic area moving forwards through information, resources and networking.

Ready to sign up for this session?

Register here

****

Links to more information:

SCIE have recently updated their information and resources on the Act at www.scie.org.uk/care-act-2014. Watch their short introduction video here: https://youtu.be/l-yeoMMKIto

The Local Government Association website has a wealth of articles and resources at https://www.local.gov.uk/search/all/care%2Bact, including a guidance document precisely for Providers, which you can view here Guidance_on_the_impact_of_the_Care_Act.pdf (local.gov.uk)

*You can find out more about the UK Territorial extent and application at Care Act 2014 – Explanatory Notes (legislation.gov.uk)

** “The Care Act is mainly for adults in need of care and support, and their adult carers. There are some provisions for the transition of children in need of care and support, parent carers of children in need of care and support, and young carers. However, the main provisions for these groups (before transition) are in the Children and Families Act 2014.”
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/getting-care-and-support/care-act-faq

More client sessions: Introduction to Star Online reporting and basic features for practitioners

Want to know how to create charts, and data driven reports to support funding and measure your impact? Or are you new to the Star Online system and would you like to have a quick run through of the system?

What will the sessions cover?

The reporting session is a quick demonstration of the reporting dashboard and capabilitiees of the Star Online – the session will also give participants a quick introduction on key functions, filters and how to create charts to support reports, funding bids, and clearly illustrate progress made by service users and also how the Stars are being used across the service.

The Practitioners Guide session is an introductory orientation session for all new Star Online users and is a more indepth demonstration of the system, key features and best practice.

Who is it for?

The reporting session is designed to support managers and other staff who use the Star Online. The practitioners session is suitable for all practitioners, managers or other staff who will need to use the Star Online system, or those who are already using it but would like a refresher.

When is it?

Practitioners guide

Tuesday 21st September 2021 @ 10:00, register in advance here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/7016305812914/WN_CvWwVy1bSZ2MIWO6unV9YA

Wednesday 3rd November 2021 @ 14:00, register in advance here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/3316305814954/WN_Hu4mVflBTqap8-yDLmEOIw

 

Reporting on the Star Online demo

Tuesday 14th September 2021 @ 10:00.  Register in advance here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6516293703058/WN_HJ_MGmVbRZa0QkghHWLdeg

Monday 25th October 2021 @ 14:00. Register in advance here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/5616305814118/WN_whe5AoHOQfShPackKuKBoQ

 

Need to know more?

Contact us or your Implementation Lead for more information.

The Star Online reporting dashboard: an introduction

Want to know how to create charts, and data driven reports to support funding and measure your impact?
What will it cover?

This short session is an introduction to the main reports dashboards available on the Star Online. It will cover key functions including filters, engagements and how to create instant and engaging report charts to support funding bids, reports and clearly illustrate progress made by service users and also how the Stars are being used across the service.

Who is it for?

This short session is designed to support managers and other staff who use the Star Online.

When is it?

This session will be held online, via Zoom, on September 14, 2021 10:00am (London)

How do I book my place?

If you are a client, manager or interested in knowing more, book your place via Zoom here.

Need to know more?

Contact us or your Implementation Lead for more information.

*****

Please note: this session is not a substitute for official training and will only be relevant to those who are using the Star Online.

The importance of listening

Headshot of Tom Currie against a white wall
Ahead of Samaritans Awareness Day this Saturday, 24th July, Trainer and Implementation Lead Tom Currie reflects on the power of listening and why it is so important in relationships that are committed to supporting change.

Hopefully we all know how important listening is. Really listening. Listening fully to what is being said and what is not. In relationships that are committed to supporting change listening is essential, literally, the essence of the purpose of the relationship is to listen. Yes, the listener may need to speak at some point but, when they do, what they say will be a lot more valuable if it is informed by good listening first. What they say is also much more likely to be heard when spoken to someone who has first experienced being fully heard.

In the almost 200 courses that I have led in using the Outcomes Star, listening is always talked about. Usually brought up by practitioners when talking about effective work with clients. They know how important it is to their work.

The Outcomes Star is a relational tool that supports change in keywork relationships. It helps practitioners and their clients to have better conversations. It does this by helping create a better quality of listening. There are three ways that it does this: by creating permission, by providing frameworks and by opening a space for sharing.

Creating Permission

Each Outcomes Star has between 6 and 10 points. Each point describes an Outcome Area, an aspect of life that contributes to the client fulfilling their potential. This holistic model provides a framework for the conversation between keyworker and client that helps create permission to discuss a range of aspects of life that the client may otherwise not have brought into the conversation. It also helps the keyworker build a fuller, more rounded picture of the client and their life, to go beyond the presenting issue and work to support the whole person.

A practitioner working with a Probation Trust to support prisoners through the gates and help them find accommodation told me that the wide-ranging conversations she had with her clients when discussing Outcome Areas like ‘positive use of time’ and ‘mental health and well-being’ helped her build a fuller understanding of them and their interests. This not only meant that she gained an understanding of what would be right for them but helped her, when finding them a new place to live, to present a better account of them to prospective landlords.

Providing Frameworks

All Outcomes Stars are underpinned by the Journey of Change. The Journey of Change is a model that outlines the stages people go through when making sustainable change in their lives. The attitudes and behaviour at each of the points on each scale are clearly defined. There are five different types of Journey of Change. Being able to create a shared language for where someone is and where they have not yet got to on their journey through life is a useful step in helping them get there.

I was delivering training to two women who set up a charity supporting parents of children who developed a neuro-degenerative disease that is sadly commonly fatal before the child reaches adult hood. They use the Support Stars – for use with parents, children and young people facing serious illness – which we developed in partnership with CLIC Sargent.

When supporting parents through these difficult times, they said the Journey of Change was key to helping parents make sense of what they were going through. It helped them to acknowledge the overwhelming nature of the shock of the diagnosis, to take in their new reality and begin to engage with how they might navigate the challenges they faced. As human beings we need to make sense of the experiences we face and be able to own and author the narratives of our lives – listening plays a key role in enabling us to do that.

A space for Sharing

The Journey of Change is a universal model that resonates with all the people I have shared it with and provides new insights about our own part in the challenges we face. This creates the opportunity for keyworker and client to meet on a more human level and share more honestly about their own experience, moving beyond the usual paradigms of service provider and service user to a space that is more human, more healing and more hopeful.

In my own life, taking time to reflect on where I am in my own journey through the lens of the five stage Journey of Change often provides me with new insights on ways that I am stopping my own progress, whether by not asking for support or hanging on to outdated behaviours that no longer fit with who and where I am. It helps me to listen more deeply to my own truth.

So, for all these reasons, I celebrate the Samaritans Awareness Day as a chance to champion all those who support people to change by offering the generous, supportive, curious and subtle art of listening. Let’s all listen to each other (and ourselves).

*****

Tom is a member of Triangle’s Training Team and provides support to our clients across London and the South East, including 18 London Boroughs, a number of County Council services and a couple of national charities. He lives near Oxford and is a trustee for Spark Inside, an organisation delivering coaching programmes in prisons, where he leads on impact and evaluation.

The Support Stars were developed for use with children and young people who are facing serious illness. The Support Star (Parents) is designed to support their families.