Though there are huge and increasing pressures on all sorts of services and organisations across Dudley borough, there is a cornucopia activity going on and planned in relation to community engagement!
engaging together training and support
The group of us who plan and deliver engaging together training sessions and Community Engagement Network events will be meeting soon to put a calendar of activity together for 2014. It will include some brand new training and support around using social media in relation to community engagement. If you are interested in joining our group please do get in touch with me (Lorna Prescott) – I’ve put my contact details at the end of this post.
Dudley Council community engagement strategy and refresh of resources
Yesterday Andy Wright from Dudley Council bought together a group of officers to take forward work to respond to the findings of an internal audit of community engagement in the council. We heard from Paul Bikerdike, a manager in the council who is involved in a leadership programme called TORCH. He has been working with a group of colleagues on the leadership programme to address an issue highlighted in the audit around the fact that Dudley Council doesn’t have an overarching strategy around community engagement. Hearteningly he reflected that the group recognised the tremendous amount of work going on around engagement, both in council officer teams, and across partnerships with other organisations and sectors. The group don’t intend to produce a lengthy or radical strategy. They want something simple which existing and developing activity can relate and respond to.
The discussion then moved to some of the practical work need to update and refresh the community engagement resources which were developed in the council a number of years ago and include a Community Engagement Guide for officers written by Donna Roberts and colleagues, an engagement planning toolkit and related database of activity. There is an overview of the council’s approach to engagement on their website here. If you’d like to know more about the work planned, contact Donna Roberts or Andy Wright (details at the end of this post).
Dudley CCG activity
Helen Ashford and Rob Franklin, the engagement team in Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are starting the year by setting a good example; they have organised an event to feedback the findings of the Urgent Care consultation about proposed changes in relation to the Walk in Centre. And more broadly, the CCG have plans in 2014 to build on development sessions they ran with Patient Participation Groups and staff from GP practices last year. A range of resources and training opportunities will be developed to support patient participation and groups who represent patients in practices. If you’d like to know more about this contact Helen Ashford (details below)
Dudley Health and Wellbeing Board and community engagement
I’ve been carrying out a little research with members of Dudley’s Health and Wellbeing Board in relation to their roles and community engagement. Here is my Draft Interim Report which will be included in January’s Health and Wellbeing Board papers. I still have a few interviews to carry out, though already lots of common issues and good ideas have arisen through the work. Three things which stand out in my mind from the discussions to date are:
- are we using good practice, evidence based tools and approaches in our engagement activities?
- how do we know if effective engagement which makes a difference is taking place?
- how can we demonstrate that engagement has influenced decision-making and contributed to improvements in health and wellbeing in Dudley borough?
We’ll be using this blog in 2014 to keep you updated on the work described above and the great things others are doing with communities (such as West Midlands Police and Healthwatch Dudley). We also keep our eye on what people in other places are up to, so we’ll also share things we think you might find useful or interesting. And I’ll be adding lots of new pages to this site with downloadable information and feedback from our activities in 2013.
As ever, please feel free to comment, ask questions and suggest ideas using the ‘leave a reply’ box below, or by emailing, tweeting or calling. If you’re short of time you can just click the ‘like’ button if you’ve enjoyed this post – all feedback is very gratefully received.
- Contact Lorna by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on twitter: @dosticen or call or text 07501 722 255
- Contact Donna by email: email@example.com, on twitter: @donna_m_roberts or call 01384 816919 or 01384 573381 (this is a number for Dudley CVS, where Donna is based much of the time)
- Contact Andy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01384 814147
- Contact Helen by email: email@example.com or call 01384 321719