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  4. Using Appreciative Inquiry to gather stories of best practice and to improve lives

Using Appreciative Inquiry to gather stories of best practice and to improve lives

Yarrow - Diana Cadogan, Ayaz Nasir and Peter Kemp

Building Futures: stories - from past and present; people's (people supported, families and staff) real and deep involvement - planning for the organisation's future with everyone; and searching out, understanding and building on best practice.

Yarrow logo

Yarrow is 25 years old. Yarrow provides housing and care and support for people with learning disabilities.

Yarrow is building a BIG PLAN. It is called the 'Building Futures' Project.

We had two great launch days, to start the project off. One was for people with learning disabilities and one was for families.

We are talking to lots of people to find out their 'best story' of Yarrow. This way of working is called "Appreciative Inquiry".

We will have a BIG EVENT in the summer to hear people's stories, celebrate and plan for Yarrow's future.

(Pictures from Say It Works)

View Yarrow's PowerPoint presentation (PPT)


Diana Cadogan – Diana has worked in HR and Organisational Development in the public and not for profit sector for over 25 years. In addition Diana is the joint chair of the North West London Skills for Care network which supports the development of the social care workforce in NW London. Diana is leading Yarrow's Building Futures project, which involves using an Appreciative Inquiry model to create a shared vision and plan for Yarrow's future. The process is a highly inclusive one led by a team comprised of tenants, front line staff, family members and managers.

Brian Turley – Brian is a peer mentor for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and sits on  Yarrow's Board of Trustees. He is a member of Yarrow's Building Futures Team and has conducted several "appreciative" interviews with tenants, gathering stories of when Yarrow has been at its best and people's dreams for the future.

Ayaz Nisar – Ayaz is a Yarrow tenant and an active member of Yarrow's Building Futures Team. Ayaz has supported the work of the team both by contributing at workshop days and conducting "appreciative" interviews with tenants and staff.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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