Super User

Super User

One of the projects that was taken on by Luke (SIC Co-ordinator) and Hannah (Under-grad volunteer) was to develop the 'Have a Voice' video project. Service users were asked how they feel about their past and future and their opinions on mental health provision and working with Avondalecare. These are the results.

(NB - These videos are unlisted on and so can only be viewed with the correct link or viewed on

Paul interviews Hannah about the project she is undertaking.

Hannah interviews Tim about his experiences.


Hannah interviews Les Jeffs (Manager @ Avondalecare).


Hannah interviews Susan about her thoughts.


Avondalecare believe very strongly that engaging in stimulating social activities is a very important part of life for everyone.

For those coping with mental health problems, regular positive and enjoyable social activities can be a great help in the recovery process. Sadly one of the common effects of poor mental health can be social isolation and loneliness. To help combat this unfair situation Avondalecare have developed the Social Inclusion Centre, located in a central part of Westgate-on-sea and close to public transport links.

The Social Inclusion Centre gives our clients opportunities to learn new skills, play sports, develop their creative talents and engage with a wider social network than just Avondalecare staff. It can be a place for people to meet and relax, listen to music and have a cup of coffee or it can be the meeting point for arranging a number of other activities. Some of the activities arranged through the SIC include:

  • Regular sporting activities (e.g. football, gym, badminton, golf, walking)
  • Creative classes (art, photography, music lessons)
  • A walking club
  • BBQ’s
  • A gardening club
  • Day trips (London, Theatre, Cinema)
  • Service user led discussion forum
  • Adult Education Classes

Avondalecare (Kent) is based in Westgate in Thanet and provides services across East and West Kent.

Where We are

25 Roxburgh Rd, Westgate, CT8 8RX

test paper photoThe quality of the service Avondalecare provides relies very heavily upon the quality of the people who work for us.

Working in the social care field is not like many other areas of employment, it requires special skills and personal qualities such as compassion, patience and open-mindedness.

Therefore Avondalecare do not employ just anyone looking for a job; we select our staff from a wide range of backgrounds and choose people primarily for their people skills, compassion and enthusiasm for making a difference in people’s lives.

Our senior management team have extensive experience in the social care field and include a senior social worker, a Registered Mental Health Nurse and managers with degrees in Health and Social Care. Collectively the management team has over fifty years experience in social care and mental health. They understand the need for and are committed to providing a genuinely practical, quality service that can be of real benefit.

Our staff are supported to start a life long learning process whilst working for Avondalecare and this means that staff are encouraged to complete suitable NVQ or Diploma qualifications with local colleges and/or the Open University.

Everyone who works for Avondalecare is expected to fully participate in an ongoing process of training and self-education. We aim for all our staff to achieve a minimum standard within a year which includes:

  • Food Hygiene
  • Health & Safety
  • Fire Safety Awareness
  • Risk Assessment
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Dementia
  • Basic Emergency Aid
  • Manual Handling
  • Infection Control
  • Coping with Aggression in the Workplace
  • Care and Administration of Medicines
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Death, Dying & Bereavement
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Equality, Diversity & Equal Opportunities
  • Common Induction Standards
  • Stroke Awareness
  • Mental Health Matters
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes

In harmony with our recovery focused ethos, all staff are fully familiar with the principles of the Solution Focused Approach. This means they are trained to help and encourage clients to find their own solutions and increase their independence.

As well as a full programme of education during the induction process all of our staff, including managers, regularly participate in regular in-house training presented by staff which has so far covered topics such as:

  • Mental Health Law
  • NICE guidelines for mental health
  • Recovery
  • Recovery Star Planning
  • Solution Focused Approaches
  • Lone Working
  • Medication
  • EPSE
  • ASD issues
  • Promoting Independence
  • Depression
  • Reflective Practice
  • Exercise and Mental Health

Mental Health

mental healthOur experience has shown that the stability of an individual’s mental health can best be improved if we first take the time to develop a trusting, professional relationship between themselves and us. Through this working relationship we are able to help individuals see the benefit in small, gradual and lasting changes which include:

  • An increased awareness of their personal mental health issues together with self-education
  • An increased engagement with mental health professionals
  • Improved medication compliance together with the developing of progressive relationships with medical staff in order to devise medication regimes which support best outcomes
  • A decrease in the use of street drugs and improvement of individuals understanding of their potential impact upon mental health
  • Reduction in hospital admissions

Physical Health

physical healthMany people in the process of recovering from a spell of poor mental health can neglect their physical health. Poor physical health can also become a stressor and trigger towards poor mental health. Avondalecare therefore try to help individuals maintain good physical health by:

  • Helping service users to improve their engagement with medical staff, acting as an advocate where required.
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle through arranging enjoyable physical activity at the Social Inclusion Centre such as gym, football, badminton, bowling and walking.
  • Help individuals register with all health professionals and facilitate regular checkups and any ancillary medical intervention.
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyles through one to one contact and helping individuals improve in their own self-education regarding healthy lifestyles
  • Facilitation of KCA support services for service users with addictions which affect physical health.

Emotional Health

emotional healthWe believe that emotional stability is essential to developing long term good mental health. Accepting past trauma and developing positive, healthy relationships takes time and new skills may have to be learned. Avondalecare works to help this process through:

  • Providing one to one support from qualified staff in response to perceived need.
  • Training all staff in SFA (Solution Focused Approaches) so that we can actively encourage service users to develop their own solutions to their problems.
  • Promoting helpful family engagement. By spending one to one time with clients we can encourage positive attitudes towards family where appropriate and help improve communication skills and respect through the example of our own professional relationship.
  • Providing access to helpful therapies of an individual’s choosing such as counselling, reflexology and therapeutic massage.


financeAvondalecare believes that financial stress leads to poorer mental health and so also provides:

  • Advice and support on budgeting through one to one support.
  • Facilitation of advice from CAB.
  • Support to claim all necessary benefits Support with ESA assessments.
  • Act as advocate where required e.g. in dealing with the bank and benefit tribunals.
  • Small interest free loans to purchase necessary items to prevent extreme hardship.

Social Contact

social contactAvondalecare believes that helping a person towards improved mental health requires and understanding of both medical and social factors. Social stability is linked to healthy finances, healthy emotions, and better mental health. We promote improved social stability through:

  • Our Social Inclusion Centre - facilitating positive interdependent peer support networks and arranging enjoyable social activities such as sports, classes and day trips.
  • Promoting confidence to engage in community based activities.
  • Tutoring of service users through one to one contact on ways to improve their current relationships.
  • Show through example and positive peer pressure how to behave in a way that can promote healthy and positive relationships.
  • Helping individuals engage with the wider community e.g. support to go to college and arranging volunteer jobs.
  • Healthy Environment

    healthy environmentPoor mental health is linked to poor housing and we believe that living in a more socially cohesive environment decreases stressors and triggers to poor mental health. We also believe that giving individuals a choice over whether they want to share or have their own flat can be of great benefit. Therefore Avondalecare seeks, wherever possible, to improve the social environment of our clients.

    Over a number of years we have developed good working relationships with local housing providers to enable us to give clients the option of living in their own privately rented accommodation.

    We work hard with clients to help them maintain their tenancies and the healthfulness of their accommodation as we believe this is important to a person’s sense of place and stability.

Practical, effective, recovery focused support.

Avondalecare provides a practical, responsive support service throughout East Kent to individuals and families who are dealing with the challenge of living with a mental health condition. We are committed to delivering a genuinely person centred service that will be of real benefit to our clients.

See more videos

Some of the key things we provide include:

  • One to one support from qualified staff.
  • Professional and practical support to address any issues inhibiting an individual's recovery (e.g. financial, emotional, social and psychological issues)
  • Help for clients to obtain and maintain their own private accommodation.
  • A social club that regularly arranges sporting activities, art and photography classes, social events, day trips etc.
  • Emergency support in the evenings and weekends via a dedicated phone line.

At Avondalecare we fully believe in a recovery focused approach and work hard to help individuals obtain and maintain all the skills and support they require to live as successfully and independently as possible.

We have extensive experience working with some of the most challenging situations that mental health problems can cause. To Avondalecare everyone is an individual and no one is dismissed as “too difficult” on the basis of past events. We strive hard to build mutually respectful, trusting relationships with our clients so that we are better able to help them towards gaining increased stability and control over their lives.

If you would like to learn more about what we do please see How can we help?


Avondalecare has been developing an online support plan portal called ECCO with Adam Hamer & Holly Carr of Ecco Solutions since late 2011. Adam has a MSc from Sheffield University in Programming and Internet Security. The project has been developed out of our shared experience within health and social care and programming.

What does it do?

The system allows Avondalecare Ltd to evidence client outcomes as they are achieved. The outcomes are split into the following areas:

  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Emotional Health
  • Social Contact
  • Living Skills
  • Accommodation
  • Finances

Every time contact is made with a service user something is achieved, even if it is only the continuing development of ‘trust and rapport’. Each contact report, is assigned as evidence of meeting or attempting to meet any of the predefined pre-agreed goals within the support plan. If you like to know what all the possible outcomes are that can be chosen to form a support plan, please speak to us.

As well as evidencing outcomes it allows Avondalecare to become paperless; the client’s entire file is kept online for access by themselves and those they allow access. The system also includes a risk management system, calendar and automated referral system.

But what about Confidentiality and Security?

Information is kept on the most secure servers in the UK. These are the same ones that the NHS uses to maintain their online patient databases. For more information about confidentiality and what Internet security is used to protect information please speak to us, or find for information at the end of this article.

Are predefined outcomes ‘person centered’?

It may sound as if ‘predefined’ outcomes are a bit restrictive and not person centered, but the outcomes have been written in such a way as to allow a large degree of latitude in how the outcomes are achieved. The outcomes have been written in such a way in order for them to be universal in their need to be achieved. Here are just a few examples of 180+ goals that have been identified: Outcome/Goal:

  • For Support worker and Service User to met to build rapport and trust.
  • To be registered with a GP.
  • To regularly meet with friends/ peers to develop interdependence and peer support networks.
  • To identify a long held desire which until now has not been realised due to the obstacle of poor health.
  • For the service user to identify, attend and benefit from community activities without support.
  • Recognise that social opportunities exist and maybe beneficial to improving confidence.

The two concepts that make this predefined outcomes person centered are therefore:

1. The service user can choose which outcomes they want to achieve.

2. Although the end goal may be somewhat prescriptive, how the goal is achieved is not.

Where did the outcomes come from?

The outcomes have been written by our staff and service users and have been developed from MHPF (Mental Health Providers Forum) and Triangle’s Recovery Star. In consultation with staff and service users we have developed the outcomes based on attempted and achieved ‘real world’ outcomes and goals. We used the ‘Recovery Star’ as our starting point and developed the outcomes to fit into the Recovery Star’s underlying model of change

FileDescriptionFile sizeLast modified
Download this file (Ecco solutions ltd background.docx)ECCO Solutions - The company ECCO Solutions - A description of the company 44 Kb 16/06/12 07:15
Download this file (Ecco solutions software.docx)ECCO - The Software A Description of the ECCO software 43 Kb 16/06/12 07:15
Download this file (What is ECCO-colour.docx)What is ECCO? A 2 page description of the online support planning tool 317 Kb 16/06/12 07:01



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