Expert Citizen Input (2)
Earlier this year, Beneficiary Ambassador Lee, and one of our Expert Citizens (Paul) attended a follow-up meeting in London as part of the National Expert Citizens Group. They had previously attended an event in Manchester with the theme 'engaging with those that are hardest to engage' and the London follow-up meeting involved responses to this theme.
Lee and Paul were part of a group considering ways to reach women Beneficiaries. At the follow up meeting this group performed a short piece of theatre to highlight the issues women Beneficiaries may experience. Both Lee and Paul participated in the performance, which included the role of a frontline worker 'supporting' a female Beneficiary who was facing Domestic Abuse. As part of the script, comments from the frontline worker included;
"You keep going back, what's the issue?"
"You might get your kids taken away."
"Our Domestic Abuse Specialist is in next week, can it wait until then?"
After the performance, the group talked about how this might make a female Beneficiary feel. Feedback included;
Frustrated and angry
Going around in circles/hitting a brick wall
Paul voiced his opinion that frontline staff need to ensure they consider the complex array of issues facing service-users and that they act in an appropriate manner. He found the event interesting, and felt it was good to meet other Expert Citizens and also staff from the Big Lottery Fund.
Similar events are planned with the National Expert Citizen Group during 2017, and members of our Expert Citizen Group have said they are interested in attending.