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Celebrating People not Labels: The Power of ‘Person We Support’ over ‘Service User’

At Seco Support, we’re all about creating connections that matter. And it starts with the words we use. Have you ever thought about how language can shape our perception of the world? We certainly have, which is why we’ve chosen to use the term ‘person we support’ instead of the more common ‘service user’.

1. Seeing the Person, Not Just the Role

Think about it – when we say ‘person we support’, we’re highlighting the individual behind the need for support. It’s a simple shift that makes a big difference. ‘Service user’, on the other hand, puts the emphasis on the service itself, almost like the person is secondary. But we know that every person has a story, dreams, and quirks that make them unique. So, why not put that front and centre?

2. Building a Supportive Inclusive Community

At Seco Support, inclusivity is more than just a buzzword; it’s a core value that shapes our approach. By referring to those we assist as ‘person we support,’ we create a sense of belonging. This term extends a warm invitation to be part of a supportive community rather than simply engaging in a transactional relationship. ‘Service user,’ however, might inadvertently create a sense of detachment, emphasizing the service more than the person it serves.

3. Making Choices Together

You know how they say, “Two heads are better than one”? It’s all about collaboration. We’re not here to dictate what someone should do; we’re here to listen, understand, and figure things out together. But ‘service user’ kind of makes it seem like one side has all the answers, while the other just follows along. It might imply a hierarchical structure, where the caregiver possesses the knowledge and the person being supported merely receives instructions.

4. Your Goals, Your Way

Ever heard of the phrase ‘person-centred care’? It’s tailoring support to fit the person, not the other way around. When we talk about ‘person we support’, we’re saying loud and clear that your goals matter. We’re here to help you achieve what matters to you, not just what’s on a checklist. ‘Service user’ might miss the mark on that personal touch, making it seem like everyone gets the same treatment – which is definitely not the case with Seco Support.

It’s not just a change in words; it’s a shift in perspective. This seemingly small linguistic change speaks volumes about our dedication to viewing each individual as a unique person with dreams, aspirations, and the right to lead a fulfilling life. It’s not just what we say, it’s how we say it.

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