The European Social Network (ESN) is involved in the WeDo partnership, a European project which aims to create a lasting and growing transnational partnership of stakeholders committed to the wellbeing and dignity of older people in need of care and assistance. This European project (2010-2012) involves 18 partners from 12 countries and a number of European partners. It is coordinated by AGE Platform Europe and co-financed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

The WeDO project aims to enable all interested parties to discuss and exchange experiences and good practices. The European Partnership Guide will include principles, recommendations, good practices and a methodology to ensure service users’ participation. It is hoped that all partners will set up a national strategy inspired by the principles and remain involved at EU level as a contribution to the European Year 2012 on Active Ageing and solidarity between generations. The EU Partnership will then open up to new countries and partners.

ESN became involved with the project last year and our Policy Director, Stephen Barnett, has attended several partnership meetings. Andrew Lowe, President of Scotland’s Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) attended its most recent EU event in Vienna on 24 April, where he was involved in discussions about the principles and where a number of good practices from Austria were presented. Andrew also participated in a plenary debate on ‘contracting for quality’ in older people’s services at ESN’s European Social Services Conference last summer.

The WeDo partnership website already includes a number of good practice examples and resources for all those committed to wellbeing and dignity for older people in need of care and assistance.