Themed open space workshops part 3 Evaluation

Themed workshops:

Working within the concept of the Can Do Empowerment ManualActions 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:-

  1. Using grants to help you deliver your programme of activities effectively.
  2. How to get more / different people involved in your group’s activities.
  3. 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.
  4. How can we work better together? Working both with other groups and people who use our local services.
  5. 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.

  1. What works well?
  2. 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.



Themed open space workshops part 2

Themed workshops:

Working within the concept of the Can Do Empowerment ManualActions 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:-

  1. Using grants to help you deliver your programme of activities effectively.
  2. How to get more / different people involved in your group’s activities.
  3. 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.
  4. How can we work better together? Working both with other groups and people who use our local services.
  5. 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.

  1. What works well?
  2. What could we be doing more of or better?

Shared Top Tips from peer support groups.

  1. How can we work better together? Working both with other groups and people who use our local services.

It was noted that communicating with public services is increasingly difficult but there are effective ways of doing this, so talk to others to find out what works well for them. It is always important to consider how your group or project is relevant to other community groups so that it can be inclusive and encourage others to engage who might not otherwise do so. It is important to generate spaces where people can share their expressive creativity standing together and collaborating within communities as an act of solidarity. There are often community workers available to facilitate such activities working to address the collective needs of the community.

There is a need to create opportunities in our communities where relationships can be nurtured with the underlying values of mutual trust and respect. There is often a tension between organisations that may be seen to be doing similar work but in fact this may be important as different groups of people may relate to them in different ways. It may not actually be duplication but a diversity of different approaches, which is important to offer. Working with different charities whose extensive caseloads may be a way of promoting interconnectedness and joining services up in a meaningful way. This is important as generally things are becoming increasingly fragmented with people finding it difficult to know how best to get involved. Whilst demand increases, people often find that they have less time to get involved and help run community activities. Therefore finding solutions to these issues of encouraging collaboration and generating opportunities for meaningful engagement are becoming ever more critical.

  1. How to build trust both internally and externally as well as communicating effectively.

 It is important to be clear who you want to establish trust with also where trust has been lost how can we re-stablish it? Positive communication, better listening (and making time for this to happen), working on building up meaningful relationships and recognising what is within your influence to change are all important considerations. Learning the lessons from the past and being clear about your purpose and then communicating this in a way that can be easily understood (use of language – keep it simple).

It is so important to be truthful and transparent in all you do, as once trust is broken it takes much more time, energy and resources to re-build it again. Recognising the small steps that are needed rather than taking on huge system change issues is a better way to start. Recognising your strengths, for instance as patients we are experts in our own medical conditions and we need to bring this patient perspective into the NHS and make sure it is recognised. Choice in itself may often be good for some members of society but we need to be mindful that it may, at the same time disadvantage others, as such it can increase inequalities and discrimination. Building up trust requires a common purpose and so Doctors and GP surgeries need to think of why patient participation groups may be of benefit to them. Clarity of purpose is important. We need to ‘Trust to be trusted’.

When we are engaging with vulnerable people we need to be able to offer;

  • Reassurance,
  • Positivity,
  • A regular commitment of time,
  • Not betraying the trust that has been given to you,
  • Being straightforward and focusing on what you really Can Do!

We need to be able to manage and mitigate the risks involved and weigh this against the cost of not taking that risk (if you don’t risk anything you risk even more!). If you say that you are going to do something then DO IT! If you can’t do something explain why or say sorry. There is always a balance of continuity versus encouraging new ideas, succession planning is important.

Making the activities fun and enjoyable, creating a comfortable space and sense of community takes time but is essential when building trust. Learning from others, cross pollination of ideas, not doing for others what they can do for themselves, this is not about us!

Some top tips identified were:-

  1. Building mutual trust alongside mutual respect is important
  2. Making the time to listen
  3. Reassurance being sincere are essential
  4. Having a clarity of purpose
  5. Using clear, honest and simple communication
  6. Giving feedback ‘you said we did’
  7. Continuously communicating.
  8. Being open not forming cliques.
  9. Consistency, welcoming new ideas and new people to the group or activity.
  10. Recognising what you can change
  11. Learning lessons from the past.
  12. Turning negatives into positives
  13. Managing risks, not avoiding risks.


Themed open space worksops part 1

Themed workshops:

Working within the concept of the Can Do Empowerment ManualActions 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:-

  1. Using grants to help you deliver your programme of activities effectively.
  2. How to get more / different people involved in your group’s activities.
  3. 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.
  4. How can we work better together? Working both with other groups and people who use our local services.
  5. 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.

  1. What works well?
  2. What could we be doing more of or better?

Shared Top Tips from peer support groups.

  1. Using grants to help you deliver your programme of activities effectively.

 The importance of finding and working with the many different support agencies that exist across the city is important as well as talking to other community groups and finding out what they are doing. Having a good knowledge of who funds what and then choosing the one that is most appropriate to your community group’s needs is important. Understanding what the basic eligibility criteria are is critical so as not to waste your time, for instance it is often required that the group is properly constituted. Clearly identifying the group’s needs and wants and having a shared understanding amongst all members, so that everyone has been involved in the process. Scaling up can be difficult as well as finding ways of covering the early processes of engagement. However support funds are often available, sharing this information can help others.

  1. How to get more / different people involved in the group’s activities.

 Communicating externally: Advertising what the group does through leaflets, posters, social media, newsletters etc. Often the best source of publicity is through the people who have benefited from the group’s activities or services.

 Drawing people in: Word of mouth is often very effective. Offering activities that people have identified they want to do also works well. The importance of being out there, talking with others to find out what people want. Be visible, enthusiastic, offer free activities such as training or organise specific activities such as health promotion events, coffee mornings. Ask people to help by doing small things for the group. Carry out surveys and questionnaires.

 Requests: You don’t need to be doing everything yourself, encourage volunteers or champions to get involved. Get support from within the system e.g. Doctor’s surgery, receptionists. Diversify the activities that you offer which may then appeal to a wider audience.

  1. 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.

 Have a good understanding / recognition of the issues you want to change. Find out who has the power and what influence they have over specific issues e.g. councillors, Doctors, key personal in the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group or City Council structures. Use these relationships to influence change from the inside as well as applying pressure externally.

Be clear as to what is within your sphere of influence to change and who can best help you (especially identifying allies and change agents within the relevant institutions). Have the information as well as evidence that demonstrates the negative impact or effect what is happening is having on your community. Draw up a road map of who to go to for what. There are often mechanisms for influencing service provision through consultations and engagement activities which focus on any proposed changes.

Working with the Public Health department to support their activities which are there to promote preventative health care and behavioural change. Sharing best practice of what is working well and encourage more of these types of activities rather than just focusing on what is not working. Engage with the diversity of the city and its different demographics, for instance young people are so often left out or ignored.



Tops tips for healthy community groups

Whilst it is recognised that community groups are the life blood of the city, access to funding can often be a stumbling block for small community groups when trying to get started, work effectively so as to bring about meaningful / lasting change in society. The definition of a community group is an association of individuals from the same community, especially one formed to advance a particular cause or interest. These community groups may therefore be neighbourhood based or represent specific communities of interest across the whole city.

The following six step plan was identified as a useful guide to promoting health based community activities as well as more generally setting up and sustaining a viable community group:-

Step 1. Discover what is going on in your area     

Before you begin your health project it is worth finding out what is already available and happening in your local area. Try researching this information on the internet or ask at your local doctor’s surgery or local health care centre. If there are already activities or projects happening in your area, perhaps you can join in?

 Step 2. Finalise your ideas            

If there are no local projects that you are interested in, or you have highlighted the need for a new project, why not set up your own project / community group to address this need. There is an endless list of health related activities that your group could be involved with for example:-

Healthy eating projects

  • Promote and support local vegetable and fruit suppliers by raising the awareness of the recommended daily intake of five portions of fruit and vegetables.
  • Consider starting a gardening/allotment club and selling the produce locally.
  • Run a practical cookery course in the community for example ‘Hands on Health’ with advice and support from dieticians/health practitioners.

Healthy schools projects

  • Help local schools to be a healthy place for pupils and staff.

Mental health projects

  • Raise awareness of mental health issues and highlight to individuals of all ages positive mental health and coping skills including stress management, assertiveness and relaxation.
  • Support or volunteer as a carer to provide respite to individuals and families coping with mental illness.

Physical activity projects

  • Encourage people to cycle more often. You could set up or promote weekly cycle tours, cycling taster sessions and local cycle events as well as running bicycle maintenance sessions.
  • Encourage people to walk more often. Consider setting up or promoting weekly health walks, health walk taster sessions and local walking events. This could be linked to your local doctor’s practice.
  • Promote leisure services and various physical activities available in your local area. Contact your local authority to find out what is currently available in your area.
  • Set up or support local green gyms, tea-dances, line dances or any other locally popular event which also promote exercises.

Arts and heritage projects

  • Help to set up creative reminiscence activities with older people using objects from the local museum collection.
  • A programme of creative dance for older people or younger people to get them moving.
  • Facilitated arts sessions with community groups to increase their wellbeing.
  • Research into setting up local heritage walks.

Sexual health projects

  • Promote to individuals of all ages, including young people, the local confidential services available such as sexual health advice centres and helpline numbers.

Anti-smoking projects

  • Promote local services that help individuals to stop smoking. Highlight one to one, group and drop-in quit smoking sessions that are held across your local area. (For example in community centres, libraries, pharmacies, doctors’ surgeries and health clinics.)

Drugs and alcohol projects

  • Promote sensible drinking messages in the community settings. For example, try to promote not drinking more than recommended weekly limits and having some alcohol-free days a week.
  • Promote opportunities for young people to meet and socialise in places that are safe and not an alcohol oriented venue.
  • Promote local services that help individuals and families to cope with drug or alcohol-misuse.


Step 3. Contact the experts

Before you finalise your plans, contact local health experts for further advice and guidance. Experts can be found at local doctor’s surgeries or through other NHS providers. They will be able to provide you with more information on the suggested activities above and health services that are currently available in your local area.

 Step 4. Plan your project

As a group write down your goals – what do you want to achieve? and how will you achieve it? Whatever your project is – think SMART and make sure your plan is:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable (is there an outcome).
  • Achievable (don’t be over ambitious and make sure the work loads are manageable).
  • Realistic.
  • Time bound (set deadlines to help focus the group and their activities).


Step 5. Funding

Funding can be an issue for any community group setting up a project and will largely depend on the type of activities your group wants to do. It is very likely that you will need to do some kind of fundraising. This might be simple fundraising activities such as a bric-a-brac sale which can raise the funds you need to continue your project. Community groups will also need to consider different ways of raising the funds they need which could include approaching a variety of companies, organisations or charitable trusts.

These top tips for successful grant applications are useful to follow when applying for such funding:-

  1. be sure that your group is really ready to apply for the funds.
  2. be aware of, and align your group to, the funder’s aims and objectives.
  3. provide clear, relevant and reliable evidence of the need for your group’s project or activity.
  4. be able to show that your group’s activity or project is well thought through and that your group is in a position to manage the project properly.
  5. be realistic when costing the project or activity that your group want to undertake.
  6. be able to show what it is that your group wants to do, that it really will make a difference and how you will be able to evidence this.
  7. don’t leave completing the application to the last minute.
  8. be imaginative (but truthful) and make the application memorable.
  9. Finally ask someone else to read your application and see if it would convince them to fund your group’s project or activity.

Step 6. Publicity  

Once you have spoken to all relevant experts and planned your project thoroughly you will be ready to get started. Remember you will need to promote you projects to the wider community before, during and after your project(s). Use press releases, posters, newsletters and local websites and other social media tools to obtain interest and coverage for your activities. You can always get help from local development support agencies such as Community Works.



Why do we not access online health services


Digital technology has the potential to transform the way patients engage with services, improve the efficiency and co-ordination of care, and support people to manage their health and wellbeing.

Previous efforts to digitise health care have resulted in considerable progress being made in primary care, while secondary care lags significantly behind. The government and national NHS leaders have set out a high-level vision and goals for digitising the NHS. However, there is a risk that expectations have been set too high and there has been a lack of clarity about the funding

available to support this work. In view of this more realistic deadlines are called for with a conclusion that current funding is insufficient to achieve the goals set for 2020.

There has been a confusing array of announcements, initiatives and plans. Shifting priorities and slipping timescales pose a risk to credibility and commitment on the ground. Ministers and national leaders need to set out a definitive plan which clarifies priorities and sets credible timescales, generates commitment and momentum, and is achievable given the huge financial and operational pressures facing the NHS. Progress requires much more focus on engaging and upskilling the people (at all levels in the NHS) who are expected to use it. The importance of engaging clinicians, in particular, and conveying the benefits associated with digitisation should not be underestimated. Data sharing is essential for conducting research and improving patient care. There is a need to address legitimate public concerns about data sharing in the NHS. However, it is also critical that information governance is not a barrier to progress.


It was noted that in Brighton and Hove 84% of the population have access to some form of digital online services whilst 16% have no access at all. This may be due to a number of different factors such as connectivity issues, people not feeling confident to use social media or the internet and many saying that they do not have the skills or expertise required. 24% of patients still access services face to face with 83% using the phone which means that only 10% of residents in Brighton and Hove are accessing health services online (out of the 84% who actually use the internet on a daily basis!?)

 The 16% who do not have access to the internet or digital media say it is down to:-

  • Lack of funds
  • Poverty
  • Lack of equipment
  • Lack of confidence
  • No appropriate support / training available
  • Mobility
  • Disability
  • No family support
  • Poor health

Barriers to accessing online health services

Online NHS HEALTH Services

The evidence for the benefits of online interactions between patients and their general practices continues to grow.

The key benefits identified are summarised below:

Improved access to care services:

Online access helps to improve access to care services, making them more convenient, with streamlined transfers between different points of care. In turn, this contributes to improvements in levels of patient satisfaction and more efficient delivery of services, supporting better use of clinical time.

Expanded health knowledge for patients:

Better information can empower patients and carers, leading to increased health knowledge and health literacy. In turn, this can improve levels of patient satisfaction and wellbeing. Accessing online records means that patients can review up-to-date and relevant information pre- or post-consultation (including out of hours). This increases meaningful interaction and more shared decision-making between patients and their health professionals and encourages patient ownership of their own health and care.

Increased information sharing:

Online services, information sharing and transactions support increased patient safety, including fewer mistakes, duplications, complaints and erroneous drug doses.

Reduced administrative workload for practice staff:

The use of online services can support improved business processes, helping to reduce the administrative workload of practice staff. Time released by such efficiencies will be available to support increased productivity and improvements to other aspects of care services, such as better quality reception services and a better experience for patients, particularly those who still prefer to or need to use the phone.

Increased patient satisfaction:

Online appointment booking can improve and speed up access to clinical expertise, leading to higher levels of patient satisfaction and enhanced health and wellbeing.

Improved communication between patients and practices:

Online booking services can improve communication between patients and their practices, leading to higher levels of convenience and patient satisfaction.

Increased operational efficiencies for practices:

An increase in the number of patients booking, cancelling and amending appointments online can reduce phone calls to practices. Benefits for patients and staff include increased patient satisfaction and greater operational efficiencies for the practice.

Reduction of DNAs for practices: The use of online booking services can decrease waiting times for appointments by reducing the number of people who do not turn up for their appointment.

Reduced travel for patients:

Increased use of online repeat prescription services can lead to reduced travel time for patients, more convenience and higher levels of patient satisfaction. Additionally, it can result in a decrease in the quantity of drugs required to be held in stock, reducing cost outlay for pharmacies.

Increased ability of patients to make more informed decisions:

Patients’ satisfaction and wellbeing is increased by their ability to make more informed decisions about their health and care, facilitated by access to personal health records.

It was noted that we need to address the barriers that patients face given that only 10% of residents in Brighton and Hove are accessing online health care services whilst an estimated 84% are accessing other online digital and social media services on a daily basis.



The identified barriers include:-

  • Little or no support presently available from the Doctors (GP) practices.
  • There are physical barriers such as the requirement to go to the surgery with ID to register so as to obtain a unique patient number.
  • Lack of knowledge and publicity that such services even exist.
  • Patients concerns around privacy and confidentiality.
  • Psychological barriers, habits and reluctance to change the way we do things (this is the way I have always accessed health services)
  • Some online health services are overly complex / restrictive for commercial reasons.
  • Doctors themselves do not seem to be committed to promoting online health service provision? The question being who is actually driving this transformational. Is it from above, (NHS England?)
  • Patients have no access to Wi-Fi / internet
  • Or to appropriate equipment
  • Limited or no access to public internet services such as provided at the local library.
  • Fear
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of funds / poverty
  • Disability or other limiting health issue

There are many ways in which these barriers can be overcome. The Patient Participation Groups may well have access within their registered patient list to the skills and expertise needed. Through mutual support and peer to peer learning this knowledge may therefore be shared with other patients to ensure they can access the online services that are available.

Digital Brighton and Hove can also help through their training programmes and digital champions programme. The GP surgery can also be encouraged to promote their online services in a more pro-active manner.

All of this supports the increased recognition there is that to improve health and the quality of care, people and communities need to be encouraged to take a CAN DO attitude. This includes co-creating health and wellbeing alongside formal health service provision with staff who are there to support patients to take more control over their own health and wellbeing, not just being passive recipients of care or services. Evidence is growing that more person / community-centred approaches to promoting health and providing care will lead to improved health and wellbeing for individuals, as well as stronger and more resilient communities and social networks. In time the hope is that these approaches may also contribute to reducing demand on formal services.

“What switched me on to more person / community-centred approaches? Seventeen years as a GP. When you follow the medical line alone, you lose people. For example, after many years of talking with people about losing weight I found that if you ask different questions you get different answers – money or housing problems or how they’re feeling in themselves may be at the root of it… People need to have different, much more holistic conversations about what matters to them, not what we think matters for them.”

Dr Karen Eastman, Clinical Director, Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG


IDAHOT, International Day against Homofobia and Transfobia

Wednessday May 17th 2017

On this day RADAR celebrates diversity, together with the Rotterdam LHBTI+ community with the meeting ‘Rotterdam celebrates diversity’.

The partners fort his event: IDEM Rotterdam and GSA* Natuurlijk Samen. (*Gay Straight Alliance)

The targetgroup was invited to the location Ferry Rotterdam, for a inspirational meeting. There were various festivals accros the city so it was a bit of a challange. Although we had a extended number of sign-ups we had another unexpected competitor to deal with. The weather, since the temperature rose up to over 30 degrees Celsius. In the Netherlands this kind of temperature is pretty rare.

Nevertheless we could welcome 37 guests. Some of them did not suscribed trough the form but through facebook, or were not shure if they would make it so didn’t suscribe.

The meeting starts with the guests enjoying a nice buffet.

After diner the participants gathered to the other side of the venue where the program started. The meeting was opened by a spokenword artist Donya Batta, a bicultural nongender queer. In a world where each of these terms are seen as ‘political choices’ is the art of spoken word a revelation of new truths. The thruths of nowadays. (See Donya’s performance on the Can Do Empowerment Facebook page).

After this performance the host, Sergio Belfor welcomes the guests and asked them what they where celebrating today. Unanimus they agreed celebrating diversity and a pledging for a enviroment where one could be who one wants to be.

Hereafter the host went trough the program of the evening and introduced Mrs. Susanna Khouw, who gave an introducing of the website An online community for bicultural lgbti+ young adults. A place where they find others to identify with, share experiences and advice. For her to share her personal experiences was very inspirational to all participants.

After a short break the programm went on and the Can? DO! Empowerment project was presented. The website and the other intellectual outcomes where showm. After this the participants were split up in smaller groups for the workshop ‘The coverstory’. (excercise 43. page 130 in the manual)

Participants where really talking about changing their enviroment and how to do it. It was wonderfull to see they reallt disccused, talked it over and started working on a future planning.

Then followed some more entertainment with a show of the Dutch-Greek comedian and theatremaker Soula Notos performing ‘Who are you when no one is looking?’ A humourous story about growing up in a Greek family in the Netherlands and trying to deal with other labels as well. A story about trying to fit in but at the same time trying to walk your own walk.

Last but not least the participants were thanked fort heir contributions and received a goodybag containing the manual, the inspirational book and some folders and partnergifts.



Conference: Diverscity Rotterdam

On March 21st, the International Day against Racism and Discrimination, RADAR organised the Conference ‘Diverscity Rotterdam’ in cooperation with ‘IDEM Rotterdam. The location was a theatre room made available by and at the ‘Wolfert van Borselen College’.

It was a well visited conference with inspiring workshops, and a presentation of Can DO Empowerment project, also launching Keynote speech was performed by Tofik Dibi, a former Dutch politician with Moroccan roots.

Tofik Dibi publicly came out of the closet as a homosexual in October 2015 through publication of his book, a biography . He received positive and negative comments, but he was most surprised by support from unexpected sources. “A large part of my book I have written in a shishalounge Jinn,” he explains during the Conference. “The staff and regular customers knew that I was working with a publication, but not that it went about my orientation. That I dared not to tell because I was afraid no longer to be accepted. But after the publication of my book I got a lot of support from their side. The owner of the shishalounge even organized the afterparty of my book launch!”

 Keynote: Step out of your comfort zone
It is not often (enough) that heterosexuals are standing up for Homosexuals, men for women and non-Muslims for Muslims, says Dibi. The most important message he wants to convey to the public, is that we also should stand up for people who are not like us. “That is only possible if we together step out of our comfort zones.”

Host of the day, Sergio Belfor, recapitulated why a conference as Diverscity Rotterdam is still very necessary. “Since 2016, the number of notifications of discrimination and racism is clearly increased, while the years before there was an actual decline in the notifications. Also the number of reports on discrimination because of sexual orientation increased remarkably. In 2016, there were 373 notifications on sexual orientation which is one and a half time as much as the year before. “

Sexual diversity in the classroom

Discussing sexual and gender diversity is essential in order to tackle discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Many teachers find it difficult to talk with students about themes such as homosexuality.

For this reason, RADAR launched the project. This initiative focuses on teachers of the final classes in elementary school and teachers of the first classes of high school. On the website you find various toolkits on how to talk and get students to talk about sexual diversity in the classroom.

After the website presentation the public had a chance to try out the Diverscitymeter, a tool that has been specially developed to test knowledge and acceptance of sexual diversity in class.

The host presented the project Can DO empowerment for social change funded by Erasmus+ and in cooperation with 5 other partners throughout Europe and South Africa. The workshops offered within the conference were all developed and based on the approach of the Can Do Empowerment for social change project in which RADAR partnered.

After the break the participants in the Conference were spread over four different workshops. Within the workshops were exercises used out of the Manual of the Can Do empowerment project.

 Workshop: Sexual diversity in education
A workshop about how to tackle intolerance in the classroom. When discussing sensitive topics such as sexual diversity one stumbles often on resistance. In this workshop the participants discovered how use this resistance to reveal the needs of the target group and guide the conversation into the desired direction.

The exercise used within this workshop was called the ‘Flying Geese – Working together’. (exercise 20. P.77)

Workshop: ‘Exclusively’ Emancipate

As a professional one sometimes deals with imaging, hidden preferences and exclusion. How does one deal with this when wanting to promote emancipation. What can one do exactly? This interactive workshop provides a different view of the themes ‘emancipation’ and ‘inclusion’ approached from different angles. The exercise used within this workshop was called the ‘Three Volunteers’. (exercise 30. P.99)

 Workshop: Expel prejudices from the job

Everyone has prejudices. Are people aware of this and to what extent? And how can one ensure that these prejudices do not interfere in the profession? The exercise used within this workshop was called the ‘The labeling exercise’. (exercise 40. P.124)

Workshop: ‘Can? Do! Getting started with empowerment’

A workshop for (prospective) professionals and anyone who is committed to social change, an inclusive society, and against discrimination and exclusion. The workshop provides with practical tips, trics and inspiration, with which you can start directly in your work or enviroment.

First the participant where asked to devide in small groups where they discussed about what a Social Change Agent is. Every group had the opportunity to present their outcome.

To surprise the participants about themselves there was also an exercise performed called ‘Creative writing – List poem’. (exercise 8. P.44)

The experiences where shared within the group.

At the end of this workshop al participants got a copy of the manual and the inspirational book.

The manual and the book were also made available to all participants of the Conference. It was narrated again that these products are also to be find and downloadable online at


Experience of a participant

 I found the workshop ‘Can? Do! Getting started with empowerment ‘ very educational. Also the manual that was handed over is very educational, because now you can also do these activities yourself.  I myself have done the exercise, list poem, within my own classroom and I do have the idea that that was successful. I found the workshop itself very well: the explanation that was given was very clear, but it was also very pleasing to know that the trainers could give input and refere to the project website and blog.

It was also very nice that there was silence at the moment you spoke and no talking trough you if you shared an experience or an activity.

I thought it was a very successful workshop and would like to participate here again when another similar workshop was given.

I really like the manual and the book as a gift from the conference.  

N. Slooter

The VR Experience

Visitors of the conference also had the opportunity to a virtual reality experience. There is a video about age discrimination during a job interview, a story about young adults at football making remarks and jokes about muslims and one about a person in a wheelchair being denied acces to a nightclub. In all cases the watcher experiences the video through the eyes of the personage being discriminated against.

RADAR uses these VR* devices with short 3-dimensional video’s for education and awareness about discrimination, racism and exclusion and as a creative manner to open up a conversation about these issues.

*Virtual Reality

 Network reception

After all the activities the day closed off with a short summery of the day and thanks and appreciations towards the visitors. After the formal part all enjoyed the network reception.

Singer and songwriter Ruji ( from Rwanda gave a beautifull performance, much appreciated by the visitors and organizers.











Engaging an empowered population:

Overall people said that they are not as involved as they wanted to be in decisions about health and care, yet when they are involved decisions are better, health comes improve and resources are allocated more effectively.

The lack of systematic progress on engaging the population is considered to be due to:

  • The lack of clarity about the business of involving people in health: it is complicated and there are a range of different approaches and terminologies.
  • Involvement is challenging: it requires professional communities to do things differently and to let go; unwieldy administrative systems need to become more responsive empowering patients and citizens to think about their health and their care in different ways.
  • Involvement has never been a priority in the NHS: the focus has been on activity, capacity, professions and organisations, and this work is denominated in the currencies of pounds, doctors, nurses and beds.



Looking forward – the NHS’s focus on prevention

The NHS England Five Year Forward View (2014) and the update report (2017) is built on the Wanless review to refocus efforts on essential preventative action in order to develop a more sustainable health service. It outlined a vision for a more sustainable NHS and set out the need to address the health and wellbeing inequality gap, arguing that greater investment is needed in health and health care in more deprived areas.

 “The future health of millions of children,

the sustainability of the NHS, and the economic prosperity of Britain

all now depend on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health.”

“If the nation fails to get serious about prevention

then recent progress in healthy life expectancies will stall,

health inequalities will widen, and our ability to fund beneficial new treatments will be crowded-out by the need to spend billions of pounds

on wholly avoidable illness.”

mike9This vision of a sustainable NHS that delivers care in new ways is underpinned by six principles for empowering people and communities, which reflect the commitment to promoting wellbeing, preventing ill health and closing the health and wellbeing gap:

  • Care and support is person-centred – personalised, coordinated and empowering
  • Services are created in partnership with citizens and communities
  • Focus is on equality and narrowing inequalities
  • Carers are identified, supported and involved
  • Voluntary, community and social enterprise and housing sectors are involved as key partners and enablers


Volunteering and social action are recognised as key enablers.

Life expectancy is rising by five hours a day, but we’re using the NHS more. Significant recent public health initiatives are working such as plain packaging for cigarettes, the national diabetes prevention programme and a sugar tax agreed to reduce childhood obesity.


  1. Effective prevention improves health and wellbeing and reduces inequalities. To enable an integrated approach to prevention across the council, NHS and other partners, Public Health should lead the development of a local prevention framework.
  2. Public engagement is essential to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Local agencies must engage with people and their communities in developing prevention programmes.
  3. Investment in prevention is important, particularly when resources are limited and increasing numbers of people are living with multiple long-term conditions. When integrating health and social care, local agencies must use the best available national and local evidence to ensure effective investment in prevention programmes.
  4. Mental health is just as important as physical health. We must ensure the physical health needs of people with mental health issues are addressed as well as the mental health needs of people with physical conditions.
  5. The number of older people is expected to increase over the coming decade. For older people, falls prevention and addressing social isolation should be prioritised for investment.
  6. Circulatory disease accounts for a quarter of all deaths in Brighton & Hove. Improving the identification and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in primary care will provide both short and long-term benefits for patients and services.
  7. Good work is good for health and wellbeing. We should have a greater focus on supporting people with long-term conditions to be in meaningful employment in order to improve their health and wellbeing.
  8. All front line workers can play a role in prevention. It is important to continue the roll-out of Making Every Contact Count (MECC) across the local health and care system.
  9. Protecting our children and young people’s health and wellbeing is fundamental. The city needs to address the high levels of health and wellbeing related risk taking behaviours amongst local children and young people.
  • Immunisation saves lives. Improving the uptake and coverage of immunisations across all age groups needs a renewed focus including additional local action.
  • We are fortunate to have many natural local assets. We all need to make the most of our parks and open spaces to increase our levels of physical activity and improve wellbeing.
  • Our city needs to be both healthy and accessible. Improving air quality will improve our health. Switching more journeys to active travel will benefit physical and mental health and help to tackle air pollution.