Working within the concept of the Can Do Empowerment Manual ‘Actions on Empowerment ‘ and building on the asset based approach to peer support the themes for the workshops were identified as a way of responding to the needs of the participants.
These themes being:-
- Using grants to help you deliver your programme of activities effectively.
- How to get more / different people involved in your group’s activities.
- How to influence the way things are done in the city so as to bring about the meaningful and lasting change your group wants to see.
- How can we work better together? Working both with other groups and people who use our local services.
- How to build trusting relationships, both internally and externally, as well as communicating effectively.
Based on the concept of Appreciative Inquiry, as outlined in the Can Do Empowerment manual, which underpins the asset based approach to supporting people focusing the mind on what is working well. As such it ensures we remain strength based and solution focused avoiding getting stuck in negative sentiments. It is life affirming rather than deficit based which helps to increase the amount of energy and enthusiasm in the discussions by asking the questions.
- What works well?
- What could we be doing more of or better?
Participants were asked to identify
‘One thing I will take away with me from today’s event’
- Remembering to look after our volunteers as well as myself!
- Go along to a Health Promotion Event
- Use Community Works email to advertise our group.
- Communicate clearly
- Reaching out to partner organisations and service providers
- Networking is a great opportunity to meet people as well as to get our own services known.
- Taking time to talk with others and share ideas about joining things up together.
- It made me realise that I have a lot of experience and was able to offer one or two very practical suggestions to help other groups which may lead to cementing our relationship.
- The importance of going to the places where your target group meet to promote your Patient Participation Group (PPG) e.g. Schools to encourage young parents to join in.
- How important it is to meet new people.
- How much volunteers in Brighton and Hove are doing, how much they know and how willing they are to share their ideas and knowledge.
- I have a better understanding of how difficult it is to recruit volunteers as well as giving people a reason to start volunteering.
- Less moaning more solutions!!
- It is important to be open-minded and try out new things or techniques.
- Communicating what we do and what we have to offer.
- Let Community Development Workers in neighbourhoods know about the abcfund.
- Let Patient Participation Groups know about the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund.
- Good networking opportunity and nice lunch.
- It’s good to share experiences but they are so different that they don’t always come together.
- Knowing where to find help when recruiting volunteers. A very good day, thanks.
- Realising that there are lots of good things going on and it was good to share these experiences.
- The importance of making contact with families the day before to remind them about any upcoming events.
- Participating in groups to raise awareness of issues to service providers.
- How to look after yourself before going out and helping others.
- Learning more about the importance of ‘Trust’ – concepts of ‘Them and Us’ – as leaders of those we try to serve.
- The importance of safeguarding policies
- The opportunities there are for both communities and organisations in the running of health promotion events.
- The need for some local standards for Patient Participation Groups – driven by the Clinical Commissioning Group.
- It was a great opportunity to hear the experiences and challenges of community groups working across the whole city.
- Really interesting to learn more about the development of Patient Participation Groups.
- Staying centred and appreciating each other.
- Caring for your environment, trying to make the environment a better, more pleasurable space as this will bring about peace and trust.
- Invite more people in holistically.
- It’s the small touches that count.
- Relationships really matter, getting out and connecting with people.
- The wealth of knowledge, skills and experience there is within our communities and now I want to find out more.
- Feeling motivated and inspired having talked with others whose ideas were so helpful.