“Good Help” – Helps Us Find and Live Our Sense of Purpose
How we help each other matters. Some help – what we call ‘good help’ – supports people to feel hopeful, identify their own purpose and confidently take action. Other help – which we call ‘bad help’ – does the opposite, undermining people’s confidence, sense of purpose and independence.
- ‘Good help’ is all about helping people to identify and achieve their own sense of purpose. It recognises that when a programme’s purpose is aligned with a person’s purpose both parties are more engaged and motivated to work together to take action.
- ‘Good help’ is focussed on helping people develop their confidence. It recognises that individuals will find different sources more or less helpful at different times and in different contexts.
- ‘Good help’ can support people to create a positive cycle of action that helps them move towards their goals. In time, this can lead to transformational changes in their life circumstances.
Whether people want to find work, improve their health or get the most out of education, ‘good help’ involves understanding what matters to each person. It is about supporting people to build the confidence they need to take action. This kind of work is core to many community and voluntary organisations. Yet despite decades of research and good practice, remains absent from many mainstream services.
The simple truth is that we can not afford to keep providing ‘bad help’. Too much is at stake. Too many people are unnecessarily trapped in negative cycles and lost opportunities perpetuated by ‘bad help’. These negative cycles have acute and obvious consequences, such as homelessness or addiction, but also chronic and subtle effects which erode confidence and mental health, making activities, such as parenting and healthy eating, much harder, and sometimes impossible.