Do we make a difference?
The Tuart Place survey conducted between May and July, was mailed out in hard copy with a prepaid return envelope to 654 participants. It resulted in 86 survey forms being returned by participants, with feedback being overwhelmingly positive.
The questions related to how participants felt about themselves and their abilities, since using the Tuart Place services – i.e. did they feel more confident, more at ease, more able to communicate with others, more socially connected, more able to find/ask for information and support and more able to make changes in life. There was an average of over 88% agreement with these statements with comments including, “It’s completely changed my outlook”. “I would not be alive today if it was not for the direct support of Tuart Place”. “I do feel at ease and have less hassle in my life”. “Communication skills have improved now that Tuart Place has been involved with making me feel confident in myself”. “Helps me not to isolate”. “Having more skills on the computer now, I find it easier to find more information if and when I need it”. “Asking for help and support now is not a shameful or scary thing any more, Tuart Place staff and volunteers have supported me at all times”.
When asked what the best thing about Tuart Place was, the overwhelming majority of responses included comments on the friendliness and support, with common themes being a welcoming, warm, informal environment; a safe and caring connection with friendly and supportive staff; a sense of family and belonging; catching up with old friends; and meeting people with similar experiences. “I have found it a really great place, everyone makes you feel welcome, just like family”. ”Friendly and informal, non-threatening, non-clinical/institution like”. Tuart Place’s range of services such as group activities, counselling and advocacy, as well as its core role as a source of information through newsletters and other means was also widely appreciated. “Support group meetings are great”. “All the advice and communication”. “The newsletters are great”.
When asked for suggestion for changes, two thirds of respondents indicated that ‘no changes’ were required to the service. “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” “Please don’t change anything, Tuart Place is just the best”. Suggestions included having more representation/service in the greater metropolitan and country areas and offering a full-time (5 day) service. THANK you so much, love you all”.
(A copy of the survey data is available here).