Include everyone who should be included
Depending on who your group is, or who you want to represent when you are engaging with decision-makers, you will need to consider how you are ensuring that you are really enabling all relevant voices to be heard.
Ways to ensure this include:
- Think outside the box – be creative! Use arts activities, poetry or music to engage people and bring an issue alive;
- Use social media to reach those who are more likely to use those fora;
- Think about what is likely to appeal to the people you are hoping to engage: this might be as simple as a cup of tea, or a community event;
- Think about disabled access, language requirements, literacy and ensure that everyone who needs to be heard can be heard and included, whatever their requirements;
- If you (or members of your group) would like to engage more directly with agencies by attending formal meetings (such as Health Trust Local Commissioning Groups) explore the availability of training and support for people attending. These meetings are meant to provide an opportunity for people’s voices to be heard, but they can be intimidating for non-professionals.