Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Taskforce

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Pilot of the month: MCCH Pathways to Inclusion

MCCH’s ACE pilot is based at Chatham, in Kent. It offers an outreach service to people with Autism, Aspergers, learning disabilities or mental health problems, who do not receive support and are isolated from the local community.

A large part of the team’s work is engaging with people who have limited social networks, may be afraid to meet new people, and find being a part of society very difficult. The reasons for their exclusion are varied: strangers can be intimidating; they are likely to be a victim of crime; they don’t know how to use a bus; or they are not sure where to go for help.

The team believe in using community involvement to create safe but varied provision for the client group. Recently, a group of local artists have worked with MCCH and its service users to create an art installation in a large Victorian house. This has enabled people on the margins of society to experience something completely new in a place where they feel secure.

One of the local artists involved has also designed a set of 4 cards which are used to make initial contact with excluded people who may benefit from the ACE project. This is a progressive series, each one to be released a few months apart. The story board picture shows someone’s development from being alone and isolated, to being able to make friends and feel included. 

Postcards are a popular way of helping people identify and engage with a service. We highlight this particular example because of the artistic work which has led to the cards, and also their brilliance at communicating the message that isolation can give way to confidence and inclusion.

More information on MCCH