Flexi News from the President

16 June 2013

Hi Everyone

It is with great pleasure that I formally announce the change of Flexi from an Incorporated association to that of a Company limited by Guarantee.

This is one of the strategic keys that we developed at our planning session earlier this year. This plan was developed through consultation with our service users, families,and carers, our staff and members of our community. You can read all about it here Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018.

The Board is very excited about our future and all the fun and achievements it is going to bring to our service users, families and our wonderful Flexi Team. We acknowledge all the efforts that went into the development and we understand the hope and dreams that this plan has for everyone in the community who is seeking a better way of achieving the “Good Life” to which every human being aspires.

Ian Shepherdson

10th February 2012

The Board of Burdekin Flexible Support Services is elected to consider the strategic future of this organisation. Discussions that occur at Board meetings range from our day to day service delivery focus, our asset base, and the political environment in which we work.

Almost three years ago, the Board made some critical decisions to ensure the long term viability of this organisation and to improve the quality of service delivery to the families and individuals whom we serve.

The Board knows that the changes that have been made have been successful beyond our hopes and that Flexi is now not only meeting the needs we identified but is now creating a standard of service second to none.

We are funded completely by the QLD Department of Communities; we have no other source of funding. We have achieved the changes within our budget, remembering that we are only funded to cover 80 % of what it costs us to run the organisation.

With increasing costs across every area of our service the Board has needed to reflect on how to ensure sufficient income generation to cover the 20% shortfall and maintain the levels of service within the organisation that families are now enjoying.

Our Vice President, Maryann Petersen presented our dilemma during the Financial Report at our AGM last year, and after months of considering our options, and discussing the matter, the Board has determined that we will be commencing a co- payment for each hour of service of $2.00 to a maximum for any family of $24 per week.

Please note; this will not apply to housemates in our 24/7 accommodation or our Mental Health Service Users, as they are funded differently.

This is not a unique idea in our community. The Burdekin Community Association introduced a co-payment to their HACC services over 20 years ago. There are many organisations receiving government funding who have co-payments – childcare, medical, psychological services and disability in NQ just to name a few.

In a perfect society, all those in need would have those needs met. However, we are, as a society, experiencing enormous change in the way our governments fund and interact with Non Profit organisations.

It is our responsibility as a Board to be proactive and meet the challenge in a planned and well considered manner.

In the next few weeks you will receive a letter from our CEO, which will outline how we intend to implement this change, which will take place from 1 July 2012. We invite you to discuss in confidence any difficulties you might experience in making these payments with Brenda-Anne and our Service Manager Judith Mandall.

How the Board is planning to meet the future

The Village
One of the decisions the Board has made is to create The Village. This would meet the needs of our service users and families in a way that is not being met now. We have had support for the village from 103 people in this community to move ahead with our planning and that is our intention.
The Village will ensure the safety and security of all of the residents and once the capital is repaid, would ensure that Flexi as an organisation can operate into the future without any dependence on the vagaries of government.
Our CEO, Brenda-Anne is working towards the funding of this project, which is our major long term objective for the organi- sation and we look to the State Government to support this community in achieving our aim.
Programs for School Leavers

Flexi would very much like to develop a Transitional Program: a program to assist those in the last couple of years of school to move smoothly into work or volunteering, and to participate in our Young Adults program.

We have had discussions with Departmental representatives to gain permission to change the coding of some of our funding to enable us to commence the program, and we have already completed a lot of the planning and preparation work.

The Board continues to consider how they will create an environment that ensures Flexi grows strongly into the future, adapting and responding to change and speaking out as a voice for families and individuals who receive our services.

Ian Shepherdson

18th July 2011

I write this sitting drinking my coffee (oops it’s all gone already, better start typing) and thinking of the proceedings of this afternoon.

I am writing this after arriving home from the Flexi Board meeting which followed a meeting big meeting of parents, service users and interested staff members. The meeting of the parents was to discuss The Village project and to inform the Board as to the level of interest from parents and families in the project so the Board could make an informed decision in moving forward with the project.

 You can download The Village Proposal{filelink=9}  and the Plans here {filelink=10}

All the Board members attending were pleased with the overwhelmingly positive note of the meeting. It was very encouraging and the Board went on to make the decision to negotiate on the purchase of the land on Chippendale St. We will let you all know the outcome soon, but I would be hopeful to see the purchase completed by Christmas.

You will all appreciate the big job ahead for Brenda-Anne and the Board now – to secure funding for the project.

We look forward to all your support and input as we develop this exciting project. We would love to hear from you if you have an interest in being part of the planning advisory group. We also encourage you to express your support in writing to build our case for the funding bodies. Please contact the office if you need help with this.

If you were not in attendance this evening there are booklets that explain the vision available at the office and Brenda-Anne or I will be able to explain any detail of the plan as it stands now.

I would also like to acknowledge the great growth that we have experienced i

n our recent history both financially and most importantly, in quality of service provided.

Thankyou to Brenda-Anne and the Team for the magnificent work being done. I also am pleased to welcome onboard Judith Mandall as our new manager. We as a board are excited with the diligence seen in keeping service delivery as No. 1 focus.

I hope to see you all at the Annual General Meeting in September.

Ian Shepherdson

Feedback on the Planning Day from the President Hi all, Just a quick sum up of our planning day held last Wednesday the 02/03/2011 and a big thank you to all that made it a successful day. The day started out on time at 9am (well nearly) and we started with a welcome and a short sum-up of lastyear’s outcomes.

There is a list of the points available to those that wish to see them (please ask at the office). I then went on to detail the Board’s structure, operations, members, outlooks and goals in general. The day to day operations in our view are very well looked after by our CEO and excellent crew.

By the end of the day this was borne out also by all those that attended; with their glowing reports of our service. The Board has a process in place to audit the organisation in each key Service Standard once a year, which means that the Board looks at an area once every month. As an example, I did I.T and communication last year and will do probably 2 different areas this year. This is to ensure what we are told is happening; is in fact, happening.

Brenda-Anne then talked about the operational side of the service. The development of the Flexi model of service and what this means to our service and its delivery. Brenda-Anne also discussed “Focus on Friendships” and how this is delivered and its outcomes. Other Areas discussed were the appointment of our Team leaders and of permanent staff and why this was important. This created great discussions.

We then broke for Smoko (always important). Upon coming back from our break we looked at what we wanted to achieve in the future. To do this we broke up into 5 groups of about 5 people to discuss each of the following areas: 1) “Looking Inwards” Continued focus on service delivery. 2) “Looking Outwards” Community Engagement/Partnerships. 3) “Looking Forward” Needs Driven Improvements. Each group was made up of Service user’s, Family/Carers, Support Facilitators, Centre team and Board members.

The discussions I was involved in were very constructive. Lunch was then taken & enjoyed as well as the informal discussions. After lunch all the points had been collated and put up on the screen (thanks Leeanne) for us to pull 4 Priorities from for each section. This required rolling several points into one point in most cases. After this was completed we presented & discussed the new “Flexi Philosophy of service” draft. It does reflect the opinions of those in attendance, and is in the process of being passed by Family/Carers and the Board.

The Village was the topic of the day and was enthusiastically discussed by everyone. The discussion included, Where, How, Who and of most interest was When. The “Where” is based on a block of land behind Our Ross St offices but there are a few bridges to cross before we settle. The “How” has lots of parts to it including legal Structure, plans and governance and we are slowly working our way through this part of the puzzle. The “Who” includes too many people and organisations to mention but includes Flexi, Planners, Local Council, funding bodies, Banks etc, but most importantly The Residents of this village. The “When” is an unfolding answer. I was a little optimistic in my thinking last Wednesday. We are hoping that the first sod of dirt would be turned by the end of the year and as we are forever optimists we hope that will be the case. The day ended here (at 3pm) but the work will go on. So thank you all once again to those who made the day a success.

The Centre team are greatleaders and they show it in their every day work, Thank you. To the Families and Carers and the Service Users who took time out of your week to give us the better part of your day – thank you. Also to Lifestyle Facilitators – thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Also, to the Board for their participation, thank you.

Regards Ian Shepherdson

President Burdekin Flexible Support Service