AutonoMe Impact Report

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Impact Report Virtual support for independence and employability

Co-created in partnership with:

AutonoMe | Impact Report

Message from the Founder Message from

the Founder

In July 2020, we set out on the Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator (SCDIA) Virtual Support Project; a collaborative programme to help people with learning disabilities live more independently, particularly after the Covid pandemic. This was done by building on our existing service; AutonoMe at Home; to develop and implement a virtual support service that guides people through information and learning materials to address their employability and better manage their mental health and wellbeing. We are grateful to our collaboration partners: London Borough of Barking


& Dagenham, West Sussex County Council, Telford

Through this project we tested the idea that vulnerable

& Wrekin Council, Cambridgeshire County Council,

people can use virtual support as a learning platform and

Peterborough City Council, and Haringey Council for

if that is possible; the SCDIA partnership could identify and

their vast expertise, input and enthusiasm throughout

create content that would enable learners to gain skills

the project as well as the wider SCDIA support and

for living and working independently with the benefit of

facilitation from CC2i, LGA, NHS Digital and the IPC.

positively impacting mental health and wellbeing.

AutonoMe | Impact Report

AutonoMe | Impact Report

The Project exceeded all but one of its Key Performance Indicators which is a fantastic achievement but if I were to choose the one I am most proud about; it is that all- 100%- of the learners demonstrated the ability to follow instructional content delivered through the AutonoMe app in line with their co- produced outcomes plan to


Learners were able to learn through virtual support

improve their skills and knowledge. Virtual support works. This accessible, effective platform opens up a vast range of new opportunities for people; anything that can be broken down into discrete steps and filmed can be created and delivered directly to learners. We are excited by the possibilities and will continue coproducing content to meet learners’ needs and aspirations. This impact report details the need we aimed to address as a


Learners gained skills for independence

partnership, the service we developed, the impact we created and the key lessons we learned along the way.



William Britton

Learner’s parents increased their own aspirations for their learner

Founder, CEO AutonoMe

AutonoMe | Impact Report


AutonoMe | Impact Report

Background According to The Mental Health Foundation, there are 1.5 million people living with a learning disability in the UK, all of whom will have experienced significant adjustments to their lives as a result of social distancing regulations. Vulnerable individuals may be experiencing feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety that councils, partners and the wider community will need to support them to manage, and which may prevent them from continuing to achieve their expected outcomes. Additionally – prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – the national


of individuals with learning disabilities as their main health condition

were in employment prior to the COVID-19 outbreak

view confirms that less than a quarter (17%) of individuals with learning disabilities as their main health condition were in employment (Briefing Paper to Parliament, No 7540 Jan 2020) and just 6% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work (NHS Digital, 2018).


of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work 4

AutonoMe | Impact Report

AutonoMe | Impact Report

The Office of National Statistic’s bulletin; Disability, well- being and loneliness, UK: 2019 reports that:

Disabled people’s

average ratings are lower than those for non-disabled people for happiness, worthwhile and life satisfaction measures.

Disabled people whose impairments affect them more severely have

poorer well-being ratings than disabled people whose impairments affect them less severely.

The proportion of disabled people


who report feeling lonely “often or always” is

almost 4x that of non-disabled people


with the greatest disparity for young adults, aged 16 to 24 years old

Disabled people with a mental impairment as a main health problem have the

poorest well-being ratings.

Average anxiety ratings are higher for disabled people at

4.27 out of 10 compared with

2.66 out of 10

for non-disabled people.

It is clear that difficulties with mental health and wellbeing are more prevalent in people with disabilities. This is most certainly exacerbated by reduced access to opportunities that would improve their mental health and well- being; one of which would be employment.

AutonoMe | Impact Report


SCDIA Virtual Support Partnership facilitated by CC2i brought

In January 2021, the AutonoMe at Work service began with an

AutonoMe together with six local authority partners to develop

assessment of aspirations, knowledge and attitudes towards

and test the idea that vulnerable people can use virtual support

employment as well as an assessment of learners’ confidence,

to gain skills for independence in the home and employment

motivation, resilience and anxiety which was closely followed

as well as support positive mental health and wellbeing.

by the release of new co- produced employability content for learners to practice. As with AutonoMe at Home content,

36 learners completed the project. From September 2020;

learners self- assessed their independence with each skill which

learners used AutonoMe at Home to develop independent

forms the backbone of the data we analyse and report. In

living skills in the home and from January 2021 used AutonoMe

addition to this feedback, learner and other stakeholder views

at Work to develop their employability. Whilst learners

were sought informally throughout the project by the dedicated

practiced skills for independent living through AutonoMe at

Development Coordinator (DC) and more formally in the end of

Home; the additional features and content required for the

project surveys which took place March 2021.

AutonoMe at Work were co- produced with the partners.


Results 7

AutonoMe | Impact Report

Impact 100% Learners demonstrated the ability to learn through virtual support

Learners can use virtual support to access content support their goals and aspirations. This is an extremely promising and important result; it opens up a vast range of opportunity for people who have historically been underrepresented in public life- communities, the workplace, education and had limited opportunities to learn beyond formal

“ I feel a marked improvement with

my understanding, abilities and confidence - when I applied for the college course they said I displayed a noticeable improvement from when I did my Level 1 course.

Learner, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

education. Access to learning is valuable to the individual and society as a whole. The Government’s Office for Science estimates that the savings created by accessible learning are shares across a range of sectors – 49% of these savings were realised by the local authority; 34% went to the Department for Work and Pensions and 11% went to the National Health Service.

independently and I like watching the videos to show me how to do more.

Learner, West Sussex

Methodology The AutonoMe database records how learners are using the app – their ability to navigate, practice and self-assess their abilities through virtual support; this information was verified by learners and their support through survey questionnaires.


“ I’ve been able to live more

£Social 200 ,000 Value Created

AutonoMe | Impact Report

83% Learners gained skills for independence Ask any group of people what’s important to each of them, what they want from life; it’s a safe bet that many would say independence. It’s commonly listed as a core value and for good reason. Independence is about living the lives we choose for ourselves; being the central decision- maker for what happens in our lives and having opportunities to access the things we want out of life. We all want this out of life and vulnerable people are no different. Everyone on this project was in receipt of some form of support; most receive paid support. This support is exclusively provided by another person at a pre- arranged time. Developing independent living skills through AutonoMe meant that learners were able to choose to do things for themselves whenever they want. Additionally, learners told us they valued being able to do something for others, to give something back to the people important to them. The impact of having more choice and control over their daily lives and being able.

“ I feel really good about being able to get

involved with the cooking. It makes me feel a lot more independent and useful rather than [my partner] doing all of the meals. I feel like I’m making great progress and really enjoy the videos available.

Learner, Telford & Wrekin

“ She has improved massively she has come

on in leaps and bounds with her confidence and abilities. She can cook and we’ll be looking for her own accommodation AutonoMe has been so useful.

Support Worker, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

£Social 325 ,000 Value Created

Methodology Each time a learner practices a skill they self-assess their level of comprehension; self-assessments are measured against their initial baseline assessment.


AutonoMe | Impact Report


skills; required to gain and maintain employment. Everyone has

94% Learners increase their skill and

access opportunities to do so. Providing an effective method of

to learn these skills and behaviours but not everyone can easily

understanding of employment

Understanding the world of w ork is vital to realising its’ benefits; the social, health and of course financial benefits of employment. A clear link between employment and the things a person may want out of life is fundamental to motivating people to commit to seek and maintain employment. “Why would I choose work over free time?” Is the central question that needs to be answered. Explaining the value; having an income, having responsibilities and a sense of purpose, contributing to your community, meeting new people and developing a social network; motivates people to take steps towards employment. Whatever the role; there are a core set of skills; transferable

support that can be easily accessed anytime gives vulnerable people who are under- represented in the workplace access to opportunities they may have previously been excluded from. Being prepared for the challenges of job seeking; it’s normal to apply for lots of jobs before you are successful, most people get nervous in interviews; understanding what opportunities are available to them; it might be difficult to work in an airport if the nearest one is 30 miles away; ensures prospective employees have the best chance of success.

“ I feel more confident with work and

understanding things in general. My confidence has improved and I have now applied for a Level 2 in Health and Social Care college course at both PRC and City college.

Learner, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

Methodology Each time a learner practices a skill they self-assess their level of ability; self-assessments are monitored and verified by a third party regularly.


£ 50 ,000 Social Value Created

AutonoMe | Impact Report

Impact 75% Learner’s parents and/or carers will

increase their own aspirations for their learner Having a support network enables people to be more resilient and is key to maintaining good physical and mental health (NCIB 2007). It also means the people around the learner are more likely to actively support them with their goals. At the start of this project, we asked parents and carers about their ambitions for their learner regarding independence and employment. It was not uncommon for their response to be they did most daily living tasks for their learner or that they did not think employment was a realistic option. We asked again at the end of the project and most parents reported that they felt more confident in their learner’s abilities after seeing them practice skills through AutonoMe.

it’s really encouraging “ Itothink see how she’s thrived. I didn’t think she would be able to iron and she can do it independently now (with me supervising). It’s really lovely to see her do things I wouldn’t expect of her.

Support worker, Telford & Wrekin

is making progress - quite a big “ He thing he did was to go to his blood test independently. I would say he is more capable of doing things and I’ve learned he needs to learn for himself.

Parent, Telford & Wrekin

£Social 163 ,000 Value Created

Methodology Learners’ parents and carers were surveyed throughout the project to ascertain their perception of their learner’s abilities.


AutonoMe | Impact Report

Impact 72% Learners improve their confidence, motivation, resilience and anxiety

health create substantial benefits for people and their wider community by reducing demand on health services; mental and physical; social services, police, housing and more.

Positive mental health and wellbeing are vital to fulfilling and healthy lives. This project specifically looked to improve learners’ confidence, motivation, resilience and anxiety as these specific elements were identified by learners, local authority partners and other supportive services as being both important for job seeking and at risk of being negatively impacted by Covid- 19. We set about supporting positive mental health and wellbeing indirectly; by supporting people to make progress and achieve their own goals in the home and towards employment. The direct impact was that learners achieved and gained new skills in the home and a better understand of employment; which in turn improved their confidence,

“I’m feeling a lot less anxious about things now. I’ve signed up to get a dog to get me out of the house more.” Learner, LBBD

motivation, resilience and anxiety. Improving these aspects of mental

Methodology Learners’ mental health and wellbeing was surveyed at multiple points throughout the project.


£Social 450 ,000 Value Created

AutonoMe | Impact Report

27,000 Estimated car miles saved through virtual support and project planning

Sometimes face – to – face is best but we have shown over the last year that it is possible to collaborate with a diverse group of partners and deliver support effectively- virtually. Do so, enabled us to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the service through virtual support. As an organisation, we are now even more confident that AutonoMe can be delivered effectively through a range of engagement methods and have committed to continuing to use virtual meetings where possible.

£ 24 ,000 Social Value Created Social values were taken from established and validated sources listed below; all sources are available in the public domain. Sources: Government Office for Science Report; The Wider Benefits of Adult Learning, 2017- established values for access to learning post-education HACT Social Value Calculator- established and validated values TOMs National Outcomes Framework, HMRC mileage expense rates multiplied by mileage to project and learner meetings

“ I was so impressed with the level of detail and input from all partners on virtual meetings and their commitment to their services, clients and the opportunity VS [virtual support] brings them.” Project Manager, CC2i

Methodology Conservative estimate assuming car-sharing and the use of trains where practical. Mileage calculated based on Google Maps shortest distance.


Key Lessons 14

AutonoMe | Impact Report

Key Lessons Virtual support is effective

the amount of skills a learner practices or the frequency

First and foremost, the key lesson is that virtual support works.

of their practice; the best way to maximise the value of

Every learner on the project demonstrated an ability to learn

AutonoMe is to focus on supporting learner’s to make

through virtual support. It is possible to do things differently,

progress towards and achieve their outcomes.

effectively, safely and in a person- centred way. People with learning disabilities have more choice and better access to opportunities as a result of this project.

Culture change is everyone’s responsibility

Focus on outcomes not outputs: rather than focusing on

Motivation is key: understanding learners’ future goals and aspirations as well as concerns makes it much easier to understand specifically what they will value in terms of outcomes with AutonoMe.

The challenge of virtual support is not with the technology;

Local Authority input is vital

it is with the culture change required across the many people

AutonoMe both enables and requires teams and people to

involved with supporting learners.

change the way they do things. Whilst change is embedded,

Changing routine requires reminders: initially learners and those supporting them need regular contact preferably from multiple sources to introduce something new to their routine.

regular support from all stakeholders including local authority teams improve the likelihood that practicing skills through AutonoMe becomes routine. Local Authorities who discussed AutonoMe regularly with colleagues, external partners and learners were able to increase the usage and achievements of their learners.

AutonoMe | Impact Report


Next Steps 16

AutonoMe | Impact Report

Next Steps: Where do we go from here? Follow the completion of the SCDIA project in March 2021; AutonoMe

could move even 1% of those people who want to work closer

at Work has been created and is available to vulnerable people across

to employment £360 million of social value would be created;

the UK. As with our other service; AutonoMe at Home; the service

if all 900,000 who want to work had access to AutonoMe at

will continue to evolve based on our own learning and feedback from

Work a potential £21.3 billion in social value could be realised.

those accessing the service. For more information about AutonoMe at Work please contact: With the announcement of funding and support from Ufi VocTech or 0117 205 0654

Seed Fund 2021 in May 2021, AutonoMe is excited to be able to pursue the next logical step in the employment journey; In- Work Support. AutonoMe is now developing a service designed to support for vulnerable people in work or work related activity that will enable them to gain and sustain their jobs by creating bespoke content related to the specific employment role and environment. There are 1.5 million people living with a learning disability in the UK, fewer than a quarter (17%) of individuals with learning disabilities as their main health condition were in employment and just 6% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority are in paid work (NHS Digital, 2018). This is despite 60% or 900,000 people with learning disabilities wanting to work (Mencap). In more than a decade, these employment numbers have hardly changed. If we

AutonoMe | Impact Report


AutonoMe | Impact Report


Learner from SCDIA AutonoMe at Work Project Mike lives in supported living and attends the local college. He has identified that AutonoMe has reduced his anxiety and increase his confidence to gain new skills. Mike practices skills through AutonoMe by viewing the video in its entirety before attempting the skill. Mike currently prepares himself breakfast

Mike has developed motivation to try new things through AutonoMe. Mike’s self- assessment data showed; and he stated; that he gains further confidence and motivation when he experiences success. Mike told us:

“ I like showing staff what I can do. ”

but aspires to be able to cook himself meals in the evening using the oven and hob. Mike wants to be able to develop his skills so he is in a position to seek employment. Mike has made excellent progress using AutonoMe in a short amount of time. He has gained independence in maintaining a habitable home and meal preparation; going from needing a lot of help to being able to complete complex tasks using just the video. Mike has taken significant steps towards independence using AutonoMe; he has increased his practical abilities as well as his confidence and motivation to try new skills.

“It has increased my confidence to try to learn things.” 18

AutonoMe built on this by supporting Mike to choose skills with both achievable and stretching goals to ensure he experienced success and had opportunities to celebrate his achievement. Mike’s main support told us:

“ AutonoMe has been a great way

to boost Mike’s confidence. When he manages to do something by himself he tells staff about what he has done and seems really proud.

AutonoMe | Impact Report

AutonoMe | Impact Report

Whilst on the AutonoMe at Work project, Mike started a work placement; using the cash register and replenishing stock. Mike thrived with the added responsibility; he told us he gained independence and a sense of self- reliance. It was also clear from Mike’s self-assessment data that he was practicing more skills after starting his placement which seems to indicate that his new responsibilities and accompanying increase in self- reliance has motivated him to practice more skills. Mike’s placement was interrupted by the national lockdown in early 2021 which could have been difficult to manage however Mike was resilient. Being able to access support through AutonoMe at Work helped him maintain his skills and manage his anxiety whilst his work placement was on hold. This support gave him the confidence to try new things and keep trying them. Not only does this demonstrate resilience; but also a high level of emotional intelligence which will help him correctly identify what he needs in the future. AutonoMe supported Mike to recognise his strengths, celebrate his achievements and to remember them when he faces new challenges which might otherwise lead to him feeling overwhelmed. At the end of the project, we asked Mike’s support provider how they

I think there has been a marked improvement with his abilities and future prospects. The [AutonoMe] app seems to have boosted his motivation. It is a great way to support someone and could be a really useful tool to teach other staff members ways to support people in a consistent way. There are other people in the service who would be interested in using the app alongside their support.

found supporting Mike to use AutonoMe at Work.

AutonoMe | Impact Report


AutonoMe | Impact Report

About AutonoMe AutonoMe enables vulnerable adults and young people to increase their independence through instructional videos accessed via a mobile app and provides local authority Children and Adult Social Services with data on service users’ support needs; enabling them to provide more personalised, efficient services. AutonoMe supports service users in a variety of settings including young people transitioning into supported or independent living and adults transitioning from residential settings into move-on or supported accommodation; this can include shared accommodation or individual supported living services.


+44 (0) 117 205 0654

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137 Pastures Ave,

Weston-super-Mare BS22 7SB