Small Things

Small Things is a project created by NI to support Northcott.

We aim to increase Supported Living customers’ opportunities for choice in their day-to-day life by encouraging support workers to focus on small moments that can provide opportunities for meaningful interactions.

We put customers at the centre of the project, acknowledging individuality. We refused to attempt a large scale solution; instead  we intentionally designed and customised the project for each home.

Speech therapy university students are placed in a Northcott home to work with support staff. Together they identify opportunities where customers can exercise more choice.

“Small Things created an almost unconscious, but lasting change in the team’s attitude towards individual communication and choice.  I asked a nurse “how do you know if Anthony likes that spot on the veranda?” and the response was “because I can tell by the way he moves his head towards the sunlight and smiles, that is his way of making a choice” said Maree, a coordinator in one of Northcott’s homes.

“What may seem like small, insignificant changes, are signs of huge potential for the individuals we support. Small Things has helped the team recognise that, and empowered them to support individuals to embrace their right to have a real choice in what they want.”

Eight Northcott houses have benefited from the Small Things project with some ground-breaking results.