In my last blog I spoke about how empowerment is a running theme in this podcast. In part one of my interview with Andy Kerr, Chief Executive of Sense Scotland, we very briefly touched on stories of empowerment, and the things that Sense Scotland have done for their service users.
In this episode we delve right into empowerment, and Andy shares some of his stories about how Sense Scotland empower individuals, the cost of doing so, and how getting service users to a place of empowerment can quite quickly come undone when the services people use to become empowered are moved to another provider in an attempt at cost cutting. We discuss the frustration of this, and how austerity is making local authorities look much more closely at these kinds of “head and heart” decisions which quite often dramatically change the quality of care.
That’s not to say that this episode is all doom and gloom – Andy clearly feels very passionately about his job and the work of Sense Scotland. We discuss potential ways forward for local authorities which can both save money and retain high qualities of care. Be it with local authorities having more trust in what a service provider can do, and how they can (and often do) reduce the cost of care over time through empowerment; or by working in partnership with local authorities and other service providers to minimise these issues.
We also touch upon the way social enterprise can weather the storm of privatisation, and how we need to be much more forthright about our advocacy of social enterprise, otherwise we might end up getting squeezed out of the market because of our values, or because we don’t have the money – a scenario which is already being played out in England.
This is a fascinating interview, and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed conducting it.