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Staying Local Life History Project

The Staying Local Project explored the lived experiences of people with learning difficulties who remained within their home inner London borough between 1971 and 2007, an era when many others were moved out-of-area to receive services, as were many of the people living at Winterbourne View.

A composite image of a map, a block of flats and some photographs

Through use of mobile interviews, individual life journey maps and co-produced borough maps, the research explored and presented new methodological approaches to support the sharing of life stories. Findings were that staying local was initially due to care provided by families, many of whom built up their own informal networks of support in the locality. Analysis of how crisis periods were locally resolved identified the importance of responsive short break and supported living services, staff who worked across service boundaries and advocated for local support and long-standing relationships between individuals, families and local services.

The rear view of a man sitting in the passenger seat of a car

The aim of the research was to draw upon 'insider accounts' told from the perspective of people with learning difficulties to increase understanding of how staying local had been achieved by some people in inner London. The use of a life history approach enabled the research to begin from a starting point of people who had stayed local, and to look back with people over their lives to see how this had been achieved. Life story methods enabled exploration of how people drew upon a range of informal and formal networks and services to remain in their local borough. Findings are relevant to enabling more people from Inner city areas to remain local.

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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