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Radical Help: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us and Revolutionise the Welfare State
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Radical Help: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us and Revolutionise the Welfare State

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  12 reviews

How should we live: how should we care for one another; grow our capabilities to work, to learn, to love and fully realise our potential? This exciting and ambitious book shows how we can re-design the welfare state for this century.

The welfare state was revolutionary: it lifted thousands out of poverty, provided decent homes, good education and security. But it is out of

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Virago
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Sam Dodge
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring work that chronicles Ms. Cottam’s experiments in redesigning social services to be more horizontal, social, and build capacities, particularly relationships. The theories underlying her work are Aristotelian eudaimonia or human flourishing particularly as it is worked out by Martha Nussbaum. What at first seems like a weakness turned into the most rewarding part: none of the experiments have replaced the existing system. But the honest discussions about the difficulty in changing an ...more
John Wade
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous book. A must read for anyone remotely interested in strengths based working.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cottam eloquently dismantles the existing suite of services for their inefficiency: they simply do not work as well as they should. She advocates a more person-centred approach in which listening lay at its heart. Instead of analysis, referring and re-referring, perhaps the power relationship between social worker and their 'cases', for example, should be upended. That is to say, let's give a voice to the voiceless. The research supports this, Cottam says, but it's success is not guaranteed by ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
#RadicalHelp by Hilary Cottam (3.5/5) was gifted to me for Christmas by my boss due to my interests in social justice and modernising government.

Hilary explains the history and demise of the Great British welfare system, humanising it’s failures with stories of the detrimental real-life impact it’s had on people’s lives. Inspired by these lives, Hilary showcases a suite of people-centred ideas that could replace the current juggernaut of a service.

It is at that very point that she kept losing
Thomas Harte
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A truly visionary book. Over and over again we deal with the same problems in the same way and expect different results. We are path dependent creatures but this book plots a different way. At its heart is the idea of collaboration and relationships and how we need to move from a system that manages needs to one that promotes possibility and capability. This is a revolutionary book that questions the modus operandi of current welfare provision and points to a new direction. I would highly ...more
Julie Hudson
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant book. Maybe a bit ideological in places but would love to hope and wish that things could change so that we have a bottom-up approach to the welfare state rather than top-down. I feel like starting a revolution and I have already has changed my mind set and approach to dealing with the public in the library by taking more time to stop and chat and make relationships to start to make a difference.
Who knows where this might lead, with the right sort of political backing this
Andrew Whalan
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An eye-opening read : first how the mass-production transaction-oriented command and control welfare state model works against itself and those it’s meant to care for & second : how small projects with the objective of creating capability (much like adult learning) can make a difference: in current costs, utilising existing resources and ensuring better futures for participants and helpers. This book completely changed my viewpoint.
Morven P
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Changing mindsets

Although a Challenge to help those realise the potential to use different strategies, it is demonstrated in this book and the projects it founded that by taking the human approach and listening to those who are in need is the way forward. A very well, documented and evidenced piece of work that will I hope be the foundation for more of the same around the country. Thank you Hilary Cottom, for imparting your story, and learning so that other s can.
Vimla Appadoo
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fills me with hope

As a service designer this books has shone a light on the benefits of design in the public space and the magic that can happen when we listen.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
its okay
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I'd had my eye on for ages after the senior leadership at the council I used to work at were all asked to read it as part of some training they were doing. Cottam is a social entrepreneur and service designer who has worked all over the world - but her work in the UK is the focus ofRadical Help. Cottam argues for a re-focusing on social services on relationships and individuals, and uses several examples from the work her company Particple, where she worked with 'difficult' ...more
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“the role of relationships in sustaining change seems absurdly obvious, and yet relationships are never designed into any of our solutions. Our health services are designed around the lone individual. The doctor sees the patient. In fact, at my local doctor’s surgery – ironically, in Peckham, close to the site of the great experiment – if I show up with another family member I am reprimanded and told to make another appointment.” 0 likes
“Relationships were allowed no place in the welfare state because they were thought at best not to matter and at worst to be a hindrance to social progress. But Beveridge realised he had made a mistake and now, when our human connections determine the social, emotional and economic outcomes of our lives, this omission matters more than ever. But in the intervening decades a reform process that has centred on management and control has further limited the possibility of human connection within existing systems. Today the welfare state concentrates on the efficient delivery of inputs and outcomes, trapping us in the cultures and mechanisms of transaction and limiting human connection.” 0 likes
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