‘Its basic purpose is to enable people to live with as much meaning in their lives as they can. In a way that both combines individual autonomy with warm social interaction.’
Brendan Martin came to community development through a very interesting path. Having worked as a journalist with a particular interest in how privatisation of various industries in the UK was working from the perspective of trade unions, and the actual workers it was effecting, his remit gradually grew outside of the UK and he travelled to over 70 countries looking at similar situations, advising, researching and teaching on how organisations and unions can work, and can self-mobilise.
Eventually his experience with his own parents and care homes in the UK, combined with his expertise in how to run effective organisations where the service providers and service users are equally as autonomous, led him to start Buurtzorg Britain and Ireland – self managing care teams which work with NHS trusts, and which have amazing outcomes both for the staff and for those who are being cared for.
Brendans work, and the work of Buurtzorg, is another incredible example of a different way of working which far exceeds the expectations we have of our current system.
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