A commissioner’s guide to developing and sustaining local user-led organisations

What do I do next? Scenario 1: There is a group of committed individuals or a ULO in the very early stages of development


Meets all ULO design criteria? No
Governance arrangements in place? No
Management committee? No

Funding and business-readiness

Established for how long? Typically less than 6 months
Permanent staff? No
Infrastructure in place (e.g. IT, HR, finance, own premises)? No
Business plan in place? No
Funding arrangements? No or little funding
Provides more than one service? No
Provides services in more than one area? No

User engagement

Covers all impairment groups? No (but possible)
Members? No - typically a group of committed individuals
Effective mechanisms for engaging service users? Yes - but on a micro scale
Networking? No relationships with other ULOs, BME / LGBT / carers / older people / civil society organisations or wider than social care

Essential actions to move to next stop on the 'ULO journey'

  • support individuals – through providing meeting spaces and their travel / PA costs – to meet and explore their ideas
  • provide administrative support to set up more formal governance arrangements
  • provide pump-priming to enable dedicated staff to take forward key strands of work
  • ensure your approach is based on flexibility and open dialogue so that the emerging ULO suits local circumstances