I wrote a brief post last week about the learning and action workshop we held in Leeds on 2 March. There is now a report summarising the discussion of the workshop available in the resources section of the website here.
The workshop included a short presentation of our emerging findings (which can be found here), followed by discussions covering what participants felt to be the most important issues raised by the research, and what they felt the implications, challenges and opportunities were for themselves, their organisations, the local area and national policy.
These are a few of the things that particularly stood out for me. Participants spoke about:
- the need to build a positive image of participation (for example, overcoming negative stereotypes of volunteers);
- the need to recognise and respond to people’s different motivations and aspirations for getting involved;
- the need to make participation more attractive and accessible to hard to reach communities;
- the importance of sustaining participation, as well as triggering it; and
- the need to recognise that leaders and lynchpins can act as a barrier to participation, as well as an enabler.
The comments, questions, challenges and discussions at these workshops will be invaluable as we continue to analyse our findings and begin to write the final report. If you live or work in Leeds, there is still time to sign up to the second workshop on 30 March. At this, we will further explore the local and wider implications of the research findings, identify specific actions that participants agree to undertake in Leeds, and identify wider actions that are needed to support participation. Please contact me for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org