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Thurrock Coalition - Projects and Reports

Thurrock Coalition - Thurrock-Specific Projects and Reports

Thurrock Coalition - Empowering Equipment Event - February 2017

In partnership with the Thurrock Autism Action Group, Thurrock Coalition ran a launch event of our new Assistive Equipment Hire Service, that showcased accessible technology for people on the Autistic Spectrum in Thurrock.

Summary & Background
In late 2014 the government announced the Autism Innovation (Capital) Funding scheme. This provided £18,500 for local authorities across the country. All local authorities were able to apply for funding to make community areas more autism-friendly. The £18,500 grant could be used to buy electronic equipment such as iPads to improve services for people with autism, or used to refurbish quiet rooms. Local authorities had to set out their plans on how to spend the funds.

The Thurrock Autism Action Group (Partnership Board) decided to carry out a survey to determine what types of equipment people would like to have available locally, and then to set up and run an equipment loan service in 2 areas of the borough (Beacon Hill and Thurrock Centre for Independent Living [TCIL]), providing the equipment on loan. A range of equipment has been identified and purchased, with premises and storage agreed at Thurrock Centre for Independent Living.

Where we are now
•    We have established an Autism Action Group (AAG) (Partnership Board)
•    We have a Thurrock Autism Strategy, last consulted upon in 2014
•    Having consulted on and considered how best to utilise the Autism Innovation (Capital) Funding we are establishing an Equipment Hire Service for People with ASD and sought input and feedback on Next Steps at the event.
•    We allocated £5,000 for the refurbishment of community space for use as music activity studio for people with ASD.

Where we want to be
It is envisaged that the as a result of the event, the Equipment Hire Service will benefit from:
•    Wider input and feedback from individuals, family members and carers as to the desired scope and breadth of available equipment for adults with ASD in Thurrock.  
•    Individuals will have a wider understanding and awareness of local groups, support organisations and initiatives in Thurrock.
•    Increased membership (and therefore influence) of the AAG.

Event Audience
The event audience included individuals on the Autistic Spectrum, parents, carers and family members as well as organisational representatives who support, provide advice or information to carers, disabled people or vulnerable adults in Thurrock.

The Event Report is available here

Transforming the Justice System Consultation event

•    Meeting to discuss the Ministry of Justice Proposals to change how Appeals are heard and the composition of Appeal Panels in Welfare Benefit cases – including Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

a)    The Government want to introduce online “Assisted Digital” programme for processing of appeals online through web chat, video chat and telephone rather than in person face to face hearings.

b)    The Government wants to reduce the number of Panel Members at the Tribunal Hearings from 3 (a legally trained member, a health expert and a disability expert) down to just 1 Panel member (a legally trained member) unless required by the circumstances.

•    Feedback was gathered and a response submitted to the Ministry of Justice on 7th November 2016.

The Assisted Digital Submission is available here and the Panel Composition Submission is available here.

Lasting Power of Attorney Information & Awareness event for Professionals.

Event was held on 1st September 2016. It was aimed at Statutory and Third Sector organisations & staff:

To increase Awareness and understanding of LPAs and the LPA Champions Initiative in Thurrock and;

To increase uptake through individual and organisational referrals and signposting to the Champions.

40 delegates attended from: Thurrock Council Customer Finance, Manorcourt Care, Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions, Independent Safeguarding Lead, AM Care, Complex Care & Transitions Team, Thurrock Council ASC, AK Supported Housing, Thurrock Council Local Area Coordinators, Stroke Association, Thurrock CAB, Thurrock Social Care, Hospital Team, Thurrock Centre for Independent Living, PoHwer, Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, Healthwatch Thurrock, BATIAS, Well Homes, Health Facilitation Nurse, LD Service, Thurrock Hospital, Welfare Reform Co-ordinator – Housing, Thurrock Council.

The Event Report is available here

Additional event held in order for TDN Members to engage with and feed views into the Government inquiry on Funding for Adult Social Care, innovation, developments and role of Carers in supporting Adult Social Care. We drafted a formal submission to the Parliamentary Commission enquiry on the issue of ASC Funding.

The Formal Submission was sent to the Parliamentary Committee, and will be available online once the Full Report is published. More information is available here.

Disability Access Day 2016

Thurrock Diversity Network Limited decided to get involved on Disabled Access Day 2016. The annual initiative is aimed at all disabled people, their families, friends and carers. It is all about showcasing accessible venues and facilities across the U.K, increasing inclusion and participation of Disabled people in society. More information is available at: www.disabledaccessday.com

Thurrock Diversity Network Limited arranged 2 site visits to the Thameside Theatre, as a way of finding out about the accessibility of the venue, its facilities for Disabled people. We then compiled our findings in a useful Guide. The Guide covers:  Exterior: Entrance & Car Park, Foyer and Reception, Internal Lifts, Ramps and Staircases, Accessible Toilet Facilities, Assistive Technology, Support and Performance Accessibility

The Guide has been sent to the Thameside Theatre, who have made available and publicises the information contained therein.

The Guide is available here

Consultation Event on the Future of Job Centre Plus - April 2016

An event to inform the submission of evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into the future of Jobcentre Plus (JCP). Looking at:

(i) The likely effects of the planned changes on claimants, including on the quality of services offered to them and the implications in relation to digital inclusion.

(ii) The potential implications for JCP, including in relation to JCP’s capability to provide new, tailored services for particular groups of people, including people with mental health conditions.

(iii) Opportunities afforded by coordination with other local services, including the NHS and schools.

(iv) The extent to which reforms will require cultural change within JCP, and the DWP’s capability successfully to foster this change.
(v) The opportunities and challenges for JCP presented by greater devolution of employment services to regional and national governments.

The Report is available here

Thurrock Health & Wellbeing Strategy Goals Events (ongoing 2015/2016)

These events are being held throughout 2016 at the Disability Partnership Board and Older Peoples' Parliament looking at progress to date and input on each Goal in the Strategy.

More information about the Strategy & Goals is available here

Consultation event on Personal Independence Payment - January 2016

Looking at how the Department for Work & Pensions takes account of aids and appliances for daily living, looking at, asessing and discussing the suggested options for reform.

The Submission & Report is available here

Action on Advocacy Engagement Events

The “Action on Advocacy” Workshops were held in October and November 2015. These were a series of interactive workshops held across Thurrock, in Grays and Belhus and online to ensure that the widest number of people have an input into the shaping of an Advocacy Service, of what it will comprise in Thurrock and what it will mean for the people who need to access it.

This was achieved by ascertaining the community viewpoint of what people want to see in an Advocacy Service in Thurrock, determining what is provided now. Where the gap(s) are, and what people want to see in an Advocacy Service from June 2016 onwards. From experience, we know that the most effective way of gathering and distilling input, views and feedback is through public engagement workshops in community venues. The Report is available here.

Consultation on Changes to Adult social Care Services in Thurrock

In Thurrock, Adult Social Care Service needs to save £500,000 this financial year, and more next year. The Council wants to maintain services as far as possible for the people who need them now and in the future. So it is taking action to reduce costs, and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services.

The proposals here affect 4 main areas of social care services:

1. Day Care for older people and the Carers’ Service
2. Charges for adult social care services
3. Equipment and adaptations costing less than £50
4. The provision of Extra Care Housing

The Consultation will run from 14th September until 7th December

You can Have Your Say on the proposals by visiting the Thurrock Council Consultation Portal:


We ran an initial scoping and engagement exercise looking at the in- year savings proposals that Thurrock Council are recommending around reductions in Day Care, Extra Care, Carers’ Services and Equipment. Details of which are available here

The full Thurrock Coalition Report detailing the consultation feedback and the impact of the proposed changes is available here

An Executive Summary report is available here

"The Care Act Unpacked" Events - February to April 2015

Between October 2014 and January 2015, the Thurrock Council Care Act 2014 Working Group, agreed, in co-production with Thurrock Coalition, to develop a Communications Plan to engage with people who use services, their families and carers, to emphasise and publicise the new legislation, the main changes, differences and it’s practical implications for everyone.

Council Officers were then assigned specific topic areas, based upon interest and specialism. The topics covered the key elements and changes under the new legislation, including:

o    Information and Advice

o    Promoting Wellbeing, Prevention, Delay, Reducing the need for care and support

o    Assessment and Eligibility

o    Advocacy

o    Carers’ rights

o    Funding and Finance

In order to implement the Communications Plan, Thurrock Council engaged Thurrock Coalition to facilitate a series of workshops aimed at People who use Services, of all impairment types, Older people, Carers, parents, family members, relatives and, people not yet disabled.

The “Care Act Unpacked” Workshops were a series of information workshops held across Thurrock, in Tilbury, South Ockendon and Grays to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of the Care Act 2014..

The new Care Act 2014 is the biggest reform to the social care system in the UK since the NHS was created 66 years ago. The Care Act simplifies all the other laws and tries to make it clear exactly what care people can expect.

The Report & Recommendations are available here.

"Health, Wealth & Your Money: Carers Rights Day", 28th November 2014

The Thurrock Coalition - Health, Wealth & Your Money - Event Report and Recommendations - December 2014 is now available to download here.

The event was facilitated by Thurrock Coalition, the ULO for Thurrock in partnership with CARIADS (to coincide with Carers Rights Day 2014),
The key aims of the event were to:
• Empower Carers & disabled people through information, advice, guidance and support.

• Raise awareness and provide information and advice to Carers, Disabled people, family members, older people on issues of health, wealth and your money, helping people to make their money go further, looking into and discussing issues such as financial safety, trading standards, safeguarding, lasting power of attorney, credit unions, welfare reform, welfare benefits, rights, entitlements, income maximisation and how people can mitigate cumulative impact of welfare reform.

Note: The Presentations for each Speaker can be found at the end of the Report. In Microsoft Word - Double-Left click on each presentation to open it

"Think Autism" Strategy Workshop 26th September 2014

Think Autism is the Government’s new strategy for improving the lives of adults with autism in England, and was published on 2 April 2014. It is an update to the first Adult Autism Strategy, Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives, which was published in 2010. It is relevant to England only (the devolved administrations have their own strategies).

Think Autism does not replace the original Adult Strategy but builds on the themes and recommendations put forward by the 2010 Strategy because these remain the building blocks for creating better services and support for adults with autism

Council Officers and Commissioners at Thurrock Council recognise that the current draft Autism Strategy in Thurrock needs to be updated to reflect the changes and recommendations contained within Think Autism and to more accurately reflect the needs of people with autism and their families, to recognise issues, anxieties and questions and plan accordingly.

The workshop provided a valuable opportunity to explore the Thurrock specific issues, to identify relevant Actions and Priorities and to link these to the Think Autism Outcomes. We will also be facilitating a new User and Carer-Led Autism Monitoring Action Group to oversee progress and implementation of the Strategy.

The event report and recommendations are available here

Thurrock Coalition Independent Living Event - 26th June 2014

The Thurrock Coalition Independent Living Event was the result of 3 months planning, consultation and co-ordination between individuals and groups throughout the Coalition networks across Thurrock. The event planning was spearheaded and co-ordinated by Thurrock Coalition with support from the Coalition partners, namely Thurrock Centre for Independent Living (TCIL), Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions (TLS), Thurrock Mind and Thurrock Diversity Network (TDN).

The event itself comprised of 23 stallholders and attracted over 160 individuals, representatives, groups, organisations and companies on the day and provided an excellent opportunity for awareness raising, information sharing and networking for all attendees. It is hoped that such links will strengthen the foundations of the sector and provide a basis for similar public events in the future.

The purpose of the event was to provide a platform for Advice, information and guidance for disabled people, older people and carers, living in Thurrock. In particular to showcase the range of information, support services, products, ideas and innovation that is available to support independent living in the borough.

The Event Report is available here

Thurrock Coalition and Healthwatch Thurrock - Care Quality in Thurrock - Consultation on the Care Quality Commission’s Proposals for a new approach to inspecting Social Care Services 
Thurrock Coalition and Healthwatch Thurrock were invited by Service Managers at Thurrock Council to run several consultation events around the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) proposals for a new approach to inspecting Social Care Services. To this end, we ran 3 workshop style opportunities for people and organisations/providers to have their say and input into the consultation.  The “Care Quality in Thurrock” event was held in order engage Citizens of Thurrock, people who use services, service providers (from residential care, extra care domiciliary care and supported living settings) along with Third Sector groups in order to explore, discuss and emphasise the important factors, evidence, information and lived experience indicators that should inform any new CQC inspection criteria.

The Report and Recommendations are available here

Thurrock Council - Fairness in Thurrock Overview & Scrutiny Review

Thurrock Council has recently established an Overview and Scrutiny review into Fairness in Thurrock. The panel will aim to identify whether Thurrock would benefit from a fairness commission, or an alternative, to better build on the work already being undertaken in the Borough to deliver the best possible outcomes for local people - particularly those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged and who may experience discrimination, including people with protected characteristics.

In order to inform this work the panel has arranged a stakeholder workshop to seek the views of key community partners. This will be held on:

30 January 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Committee Rooms 2 and 3,
Civic Offices, New Road, Grays

This will provide an opportunity to outline the review’s work to date, and to seek input into key questions including:

  • If there was one thing you could change in Thurrock to make the Borough 'fairer' what would it be?
  • Do you feel people living across Thurrock have fair access to services and fair access to opportunities?
  • Are there any areas where you believe individuals living and working in Thurrock need extra support?

The panel would be pleased to receive any key strategies, programmes of work, evidence or data sets prior to the workshop that can be reflected the Panel's final report.

To this end, Thurrock Coalition compiled a work stream report and also collated feedback via Thurrock Diversity Network, aimed at addressing the questions detailed above. The Report is available here

Assessments Ahead! "You Said, We Did" Report & Recommendations

The “Assessments Ahead! – You Said, We Did” Follow Up Event was held in order to engage Citizens of Thurrock, carers and families and Council Officers to discuss the steps taken and progress made by Thurrock Council’s Adult Social Care Directorate, in Co-production with Thurrock Coalition since the original event held in December 2012.
The You Said, We Did format provided an opportunity for participants to find out how their views and input have influenced Adult Social Care Practice, The Customer Journey, the Customer Charter and associated Service Standards over the last 12 months. The report and recommendations can be found here.

Safety Solutions - Personal Social Services Survey (PSS) Workshop Event
The “Safety Solutions” Event was held in order to engage Citizens of Thurrock, carers and families and Council Officers to discuss the results of the Personal Social Services (PSS) annual survey – specifically in relation to how safe people who use Adult Social Care feel in Thurrock.
The format of the event was based around small breakout groups – each of which was asked to think about ”feeling safe in Thurrock”, to address the following issues and to feedback to the main group:
Who makes me feel less safe?
What makes me feel less safe?
Why do I feel less safe?
Where and when do I feel less safe?
The groups were then asked to discuss what could be done to improve feelings of safety in the borough. 

The report and recommendations can be found here.

Building Positive Futures: Making the Case for Timely Intervention
In relation to the Thurrock Council "Building Positive Futures" programme, Thurrock Council Adult Social Care commissioned a qualitative review of individuals known to Adult Social Care, through a combination of desktop analysis and qualitative interviews with the individuals, their families and carers concerned. This enabled an holistic analysis, examining information on episodes of poor health and well-being.  The review worked backwards from a crisis point to identify likely causal factors and pre-existing conditions. Costs arising to the health and social care economy as a result of the crisis were also identified.
The aim of the project is to test the following proposition:

More timely (and lower cost) interventions would prevent or delay the need for more intensive (and higher cost) care and support services.

It is envisaged that the information generated from the research will inform the understanding, knowledge and future development of the Adult Social Care “Building Positive Futures” policy-making process, practical application and implementation in Thurrock. The report will be available shortly.

Thurrock Peer Challenge

Thurrock Coalition has been invited to play a key role in informing the upcoming Thurrock Council Adult Social Care Peer Challenge. To this end, Thurrock Coalition designed, developed and facilitated a number of “Pre Challenge” Focus Groups throughout September 2013 in order to engage Citizens of Thurrock, people who use services, parents, families and voluntary sector colleagues to explore and discuss Thurrock Council’s progress in terms of the Transformation agenda and the "Building Positive Futures" programme in a solution-focused manner. The report is available here.

Our Programme Co-ordinator is also a member of the On-site Peer Challenge Team, which will be carrying out the Peer Challenge between 19th-21st November 2013.

Workforce Planning - Observation of Training Project

This work stream follows directly from the co-productive project undertaken by Thurrock Coalition and Thurrock Council to inform, design and develop a Workforce Strategy For Thurrock (see below). After undertaking the project focus groups (September 2011-November 2011) and subsequent follow up event (February 2012) Representatives from both Thurrock Coalition and Thurrock Council respectively wanted to maintain the momentum of good co-production and to ensure that the strategy was implemented and that training “on the ground” accurately reflected the letter and spirit of the Workforce Planning Outcomes.

With this in mind, and to enable Thurrock Council to evidence the impact of the implementation of the identified outcomes, a series of Engagement activities were developed to include:
Observing training –implementation of the strategy between August-October 2012
Small groups/Large groups/Observing and Feedback on training delivery.
This would ensure that:
Thurrock Coalition would be involved and engaged in the completion and early implementation of the Workforce Strategy
The learning from service users can be maximsed
The next phase of the workstream would be a valuable opportunity for Thurrock Coalition, its networks, organisations and individual citizens of Thurrock to help to review and observe the delivery of “In-House” Adult Social Care training and associated modules.

The Report and Recommendations is available here

Sport For You - Action Plan, Event Report & Recommendations May 2013

Thurrock Coalition was invited by Senior Officers at Thurrock Council to look into ways of sustaining the interest and momentum behind the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, focussing upon increasing participation, inclusion and involvement in sports, activities and recreation in Thurrock for individuals of all impairment types.
One of the main issues that needed to be addressed was access to information and awareness of: what sport/activity related opportunities are actually available in Thurrock and how people can be encouraged to get involved within the local area.

The “Sport For You” event was held in order engage Citizens of Thurrock, parents, carers and families and Council Members Officers and Third Sector groups to explore, map and discuss current and potential future provision of Sport and Activity for Disabled people in Thurrock.

The Action Plan developed from the feedback on the day the day is available here
The full event report (with recommendations) is available here

Informing the Thurrock Council Adult Social Care Assessment Practice as part of the "Customer Journey"
Thurrock Coalition was recently asked by Thurrock Council to help to develop social care assessment practice through a thematic-based approach. We looked at what makes an effective and successful assessment conversation between people who use services and social care practitioners.  We ran the event to coincide with International Day of Disabled People 2012. Details can be found here and here

The final report - containing findings and recommendations can be found here

Informing the Autism Strategy for Thurrock

One of our main aims is to consult and engage with residents of Thurrock to help shape and influence Thurrock Council policies and strategies around Adult Social Care. To this end we planned and facilitated an event to gather views from individuals, parents and carers on the current provision of services for people on the Autistic Spectrum living in Thurrock.
The updated report now includes findings, recommendations, conclusions and the collated results of a Thurrock Council online survey and a Thurrock Coalition online survey of current Autism-specific service provision in the borough. The report will be used to directly shape and inform the Thurrock Autism Strategy.
Our report is available here.

Workforce Planning
One of our main aims is to consult and engage with residents of Thurrock to help shape and influence Thurrock Council policies and strategies around Adult Social Care.
Our report (including findings, recommendations and conclusions) is available here.
Detailing the local impact of the Government's welfare reform programme
Using borough-specific statistics from the DWP and ONS we provide detailed analysis of the effects of the welfare reforms upon Thurrock, particularly in terms of socio-economic implications, increased poverty and vulnerability of disabled people, older people, their families and carers. The main report and supplementary are available here and here

Informing a Sensory Strategy for Thurrock
One of our main aims is to consult and engage with residents of Thurrock to help shape and influence Thurrock Council policies and strategies around Adult Social Care.
Our report (including findings, recommendations and conclusions) is available here.

Powerful Partnerships - Partnership Board Scoping event
The recent "Powerful Partnerships" event, held on 8 March looked into the importance of co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration between Adult Social Care, Health, LINk and the Partnership Boards that operate in Thurrock to highlight and discuss future plans. Thurrock Coalition has designed and developed a "Partnership Board Charter" to help to build capacity and consistency between the respective Partnership Boards. The full report is available here.

Informing a Transition Strategy for Thurrock
Thurrock Coalition recently ran a number of workshops consulting with young people in transition in order to inform the Thurrock Council Transition Strategy. The results, findings and recommendations are currently being collated and the full report is available here

Response to the Thurrock Joint Compact 2012
Thurrock's local compact is the agreed framework to strengthen working relations between the public, voluntary and community sectors. Thurrock Coalition's response to the Compact Consultation document is available here

Housing Hurdles Event Report & Recommendations

The Housing Hurdles Event was held in order engage key organisations in the Third Sector including as well as Citizens of Thurrock, and Council Officers to explore and discuss issues around housing specifically affecting disabled people in Thurrock. The issues covered included: accessibility, assessments, experiences, delays, homelessness, equipment, adaptations and priority within the allocation system. 

The event provided a valuable opportunity to explore the strengths of the Housing service in Thurrock and included discussions around what has worked/is working well presently and what has not worked so well and how to improve this moving forward based upon the lived experience of Thurrock Citizens. Further engagement events in the form of Issue Specific Focus Groups are planned in Co-production between Thurrock Coalition and Thurrock Council’s Housing Directorate. Our report (including findings, recommendations and conclusions) is available here.

Thurrock Coalition - National level Consultation Responses, Projects and Reports

Thurrock Coalition - Submission of evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act and Disability

A Thurrock Coalition Report looking at: How well is the Equality Act working for disabled people

A meeting of our Consultation and Campaigning Partner Organisation – Thurrock Diversity Network, a registered Community Benefit Society, was called, and our members consulted and views were gathered around the key themes relating to how well the Equality Act 2010 is working for Disabled people. The feedback appears within the Report.

Overall, it was felt that things have not improved for Disabled people now that Disability is only one of nine groups protected under the Equality Act 2010. Furthermore, people felt that the protection has been watered down and that the previous laws, for example, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended) was more specific and targeted.

The lived experience of our members has seen no real change on the ground, for a variety of reasons, relating to a range of different stakeholders and providers. These are dealt with in turn.

The Report is available here

Thurrock Coalition submission of evidence for the Scope Extra Costs Commission

As a DPULO we have a direct interest in supporting and enabling Disabled People to live independent lives and to ensure that voices are heard and that people are listened to. A meeting of our Consultation and Campaigning Partner Organisation – Thurrock Diversity Network, a registered Co-operative, was called, and our members consulted and views were gathered around the key themes relating to the added costs of living with impairments. The feedback appears under the headings suggested by the Extra Costs Commission, namely:
 How the market is working for disabled people
 The quality, choice, price and availability of products and services
 Suggestions for how markets could better drive down extra costs.
 Changing infrastructure – How this affects disabled people
 Suggestions on changing infrastructure to improve access, meet needs and drive down extra costs.

Information on the Extra Costs Commission can be found here
The submission of evidence is available here

Response to the Government proposals to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in 2015

The consultation seeks views on the impact that closing the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in 2015 would have on users, local authorities and the wider care and support systems across the UK. The Government would also like your views on how closure could be managed in a way which would minimise disruption to the care and support needs of existing ILF users.

Thurrock Coalition has responded to the consultation on the future of the ILF. Our response can be found here

Response to the consultation on the new Draft Care and Support Bill & White Paper
The Draft Care and Support Bill has been published. It creates a single law for adult care and support, replacing more than a dozen different pieces of legislation. It provides the legal framework for putting into action some of the main principles of the White Paper, ‘Caring for our future: reforming care and support’, and also includes some health measures.

Thurrock Coalition has responded to the consultation on the Draft Care and Support Bill & White Paper. Our response can be found here

Detailing the local impact of the Government's welfare reform programme
Using borough-specific statistics from the DWP and ONS we provide detailed analysis of the effects of the welfare reforms upon Thurrock, particularly in terms of socio-economic implications, increased poverty and vulnerability of disabled people, older people, their families and carers. The main report and supplementary are available here and here

Response to the Government's National Disability Strategy - Office of Disability Issues (ODI)

Thurrock Coalition has responded to the proposed ODI Disability Strategy. Our response can be found here


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