Involving the people we support is a very important part of how Outward works. We want people who use our services to tell us what they want and to check on how well we are doing. We encourage and train them to do this.
We are always looking at improving the way customers are involved, both in terms of their own support and in how Outward works as a whole. This is because we believe this is the best way to enable people to live the lives they choose with the support they need.
If you would like to know more about how customer involvement at Outward works, please contact the Involvement Team on 020 8980 7101.
Outward has a Customer Committee that looks at all areas of our work, including governance and business planning. The Committee works directly with managers and the Board that governs Outward.
The Committee has worked to produce a Customer Charter that says how Outward will involve the people who use its services. Learn more about the Charter by watching the video on this page.
The Customer Committee also runs regular focus groups, enabling customers to tell the Committee and managers what is important to them.
We also hold a Customer Conference every year, allowing people we support to tell us how they want things to be done. We then let customers know how these recommendations have been put into practice.
Checking how well we do things
We involve people in looking at the quality of our services. Some of the people we support have been trained and employed as Quality Checkers and they work to inspect and audit all of our services.
We have a programme of ‘mystery shopping’ whereby our customers test out the quality of our office-based services.
We have also trained customers as Property Inspectors. They work alongside our housing staff to inspect our properties and make sure they are safe and well-maintained.
Getting the right people to work for Outward
Our customers are involved in interviewing the staff that work at Outward. The people we support interview their own support workers and also office-based staff, housing staff, managers and trustees. This makes sure we get people with the right attitude to work alongside our customers so they can live the lives they want.
And it doesn’t stop with interviews. Our customers help to design and deliver the training that Outward staff receive when they start working for us. Customers also have a bigger say in how staff performance is assessed, providing their own feedback during staff probation periods and annual reviews.
Community and social activities
Outward helps customers to be more involved in their local communities and to organise their own social and leisure activities. For example, there is a music group run and funded by customers, as well as a theatre group, whose performances reflect the real issues concerning customers. Another initiative is our award-winning Volunteer Club, enabling people we support to volunteer in their local communities and work together with local groups.