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Launch of the Asset Based Community Engagement Toolkit by Leeds Voices

Added: 14/02/2022

Asset based community engagement toolkit white text on dark blue background, Leeds voices logo, VAL logo, NHS Leeds logo

Leeds Voices is a Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) project set up to run engagements with communities in an asset-based way.  

Over the last 4 years Leeds Voices have worked with Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to carry out engagements to find out what people think of proposed changes to health care services.  

Leeds Voices have a wide membership over 80 third sector organisations representing many diverse communities in Leeds. 

Leeds Voices believe that communities over-represented in health inequalities should be over-represented in engagements about health services. But we know from listening to community members over the years that many people feel fed up with being asked the same questions, but never seeing any changes.  

“I’m just a little bit frustrated because these problems keep reoccurring, we were talking about them last year, we’re talking about them now and we’ll probably be talking about them next year. So where do we go from here?”

Focus Group Participant

For the final phase of our work with the CCG we have produced an asset-based engagement toolkit to address these issues and share many more important pieces of learning. 

We feel that locally based community groups and community organisations are in the best place to host community engagements as they already have the trust and knowledge about the communities they work with. In this tool kit, Leeds Voices also lay out the importance of giving feedback to participants: 

“Change usually happens over a long time. Don’t wait to feed back to communities. A summary of ‘what we heard’ and recommendations should be shared in the short term.”

Leeds Voices

Another useful tip taken from the toolkit is that when running engagements with communities, start with what we already know.

“Show data we already know (especially about that community, their health outcomes, and experiences). Then, importantly, outline the issues that the group have already raised.”

Leeds Voices

Using insight previously collected is important when carrying out any piece of research or engagement, but it is especially important when listening to marginalised communities. 

“When you tell us what you already know and what you heard from this group last time, it makes me feel like it’s worthwhile talking to you”

Focus group participant  

We believe that engagement should never be a ‘tick box’ exercise, this toolkit recognises the assets that already exist within communities and community organisations.  

From this starting point it offers a basic methodology to collect views and insights and present them in a way in which recommendations can be made and acted upon. 

Here is the final toolkit:

screenshots of the front cover and a few pages of the toolkit

We hope that it will be useful to many community groups in Leeds – and beyond!

Please help us and share as widely as possible.

If you want to be involved in future engagement work with Leeds CCG contact Caroline Mackay on caroline.mackay2@nhs.net, and for more information about the Toolkit or Leeds Voices work please email Claire Graham at VAL on claire.graham@val.org.uk. 

 

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