Don’t take our word for it!  These are comments from people who have used the Clear Needs New Ideas tool, from a wide range of backgrounds including people with learning disabilities, people with substance misuse problems, BME community groups and support providers.

Service providers and care workers

We learnt new things about our service users and what was important to them – especially about their need for achievement and pride.  This enables them to feed activities into their daily planning that will contribute to meeting these needs.  And talking broadly about higher needs was good too – it is easy to focus on doing and forget about broader aspiration and fulfilment.

 Brilliant for review of support plans and setting goals.

 Helps carers to think about their own needs rather than just the person they care for.

Ideal to use at the pre assessment stage for support packages.  Also family members can express how they feel about their potential part in a circle of support and their own needs too.

Most service providers would benefit from the Clear Needs – New Ideas.  It would help them to build more person-centred approaches. It encourages you to ‘look outside the box’ at what your needs are and how to meet them.

I realised I had needs that are not being met and probably would not have been aware of this without using the Clear Needs – New Ideas tool.

Using this tool gives you protected time to reflect on what your own needs are in a way that also you helps you to find creative solutions.

I think anyone would benefit from using the tool – it’s about life steering/taking control/ taking responsibility/ understanding the situation.

It makes you think and unpick situations and circumstances. Because the people we work with have limited capacity it would be hard to use Clear Needs-New Ideas as it is but I can use some of the aspects of it when helping them.

Really enjoyed seeing how this worked and think it makes a great motivational tool – would definitely use it with clients.

They understood the meaning even when they did not understand the specific words.  They were able, with support, to identify what they needed.  They contributed significantly to generating ideas.  The ideas were small, very practical steps such as learning how to make cups of tea and how to use a pressure cooker and were thus very do-able.  The service users took action after the session to implement some of the ideas and they were very appreciative of what they had done and the support they had in doing it.  There would be benefits for them in using the tool frequently to keep identifying the next step to take.

I personally gained some focus and momentum from doing the Clear Needs – New Ideas. More importantly for me, (the way my mind functions, being dyslexic) the process helped me enormously to put my thoughts in order and have a clear way forward.  It was also enlightening for me, as hard as it was, as I realised that actually there are no valid reason why I can’t go to the gym! Finding excuses is the easy part. Now I am back from my holiday, I’m signing up for gym membership!

We all need to be motivated and encouraged regardless of our ‘status’ or services being received, so I think the whole process is transferable to any client group.  I would love to see the Youth services use this as it generates discussion within peer groups and can help in peer support networking.

All attendees (and I include myself) found it very interesting and a useful way to highlight the true needs of individuals.  One partially sighted member said to me she found it “inspirational”.

It got me looking and thinking about the bigger picture.

It made me think clearly about needs.

I’m more focused on what I need to change.  I will make the effort to move forward. I am now going to try and be more structured, to take realistic steps towards a long term goal.

It is surprising how it really does get in there.

It’s a stunning piece of work.

Very user friendly.

I have never thought in this way before.

Using (the needs) cards as discussion points for topics in group work would also be useful.

That was one of the best tools I ever picked up – I still use it.

As women we always think of others – our husbands, our family. I have never thought about me before – that I have needs.


Service users

I liked it.

It was interesting.

It makes you think.

It was good.

It made me happy.

I feel better – I got it out – I was listened to.