Expert Citizen Input (1)
In November 2016, our Beneficiary Ambassadors and some of our Expert Citizens attended a National Expert Citizens Group meeting in Manchester. The theme of the day was 'engaging with those that are hardest to engage' and the agenda was highly interactive. The majority of attendees had lived experience of multiple needs, with representatives from all of the Fulfilling Lives Programmes (Supporting People with Multiple Needs) projects across the UK. All attendees were asked to prepare some work prior to the meeting, and they could choose to join one of four groups; Women Beneficiaries, LGBT, BAME and 18-24 year olds.
Beneficiary Ambassador Lee worked with one of our Expert Citizens (Paul) to consider how engagement might be improved with Women Beneficiaries. They met with Justine Sadler, our Female and Domestic Violence Lead, to understand the potential barriers and challenges when working with Women Beneficiaries. They considered reasons for disengagement, and how these might be overcome. During the meeting, Paul presented thoughts and feedback to the group, and this was very well received.
As an Expert Citizen, Paul has openly shared his experiences at events, and has provided valuable input at our Expert Citizen meetings. He really enjoyed the day, and his journey from first accessing the Opportunity Nottingham project to standing up and presenting at a nationally represented meeting was a significant achievement. In his own words Paul stated that he felt able to voice his opinions and that these opinions were valued.
There will be a follow up meeting in February, where attendees have been asked to present their key findings. As part of the Women Beneficiaries group, Lee and Paul will be performing in a 'play' to highlight the key influences around work with Women Beneficiaries.