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


In this section:

Where can I get further advice?

$For further support and advice on developing and sustaining ULOs, contact the Strengthening User-Led Organisations programme at the Office for Disability Issues or on its Facebook page. This programme includes a dedicated £3m funding stream to support ULOs. 

A full overview of ULOs, covering definitions, the number of ULOs, what ULOs do, the value they add, and evidence sources is available here.

Useful websites

Useful resources

National Skills Academy ULOs resource

East Sussex User-led organisations support pack

The 'User-led organisations support pack' is designed to help voluntary and community organisations to put people who use services and carers at the centre of what they do. Evidence suggests that the more an organisation is led and owned by the people that use it, the more likely it is that it will deliver services that are useful and wanted and which help people to achieve their goals in life -a principle that underpins personalisation.

Funded by the Department of Health and produced by East Sussex Disability Association and East Sussex Adult Social Care, in partnership with a team of service user and carer experts, the support pack contains useful tips, templates and advice on how to make your organisation genuinely user led. To download the pack, visit East Sussex County Council.

Support, Advocacy and Brokerage projects: how resources can be transferred from traditional care management systems to user-led support, advocacy and brokerage.

This report is the final one from a demonstration project carried out for the Office for Disability Issues to explore the provision of parts of the care management process by ULOs. The findings showed that the ULOs were able to successfully deliver support planning and brokerage to a wide range of people who use services. Support planning was experienced by people who use services as more ‘human’ when delivered by a ULO than by a LA, with less bureaucracy involved. People whose support plan was facilitated by a ULO were more likely to take their personal budget as a direct payment than those whose support plan was delivered by the LA.

Youtube short videos

The Essex Coalition of Disabled People has produced three videos on developing and strengthening ULOs which you can access using the links below:

The following Department of Health videos are also available via YouTube:

Social Care TV also has a dedicated video on personalisation and user-led organisations

Example study day: commissioning for and with ULOs

As part of the Eastern Region Development Programme, Norfolk County Council commissioned the Essex Coalition of Disabled People together with the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People to deliver a study day for local commissioners. The day’s learning focussed on discussing and sharing good practice, and learning from past barriers and solutions.

Wider resources on co-production