I attended a great “Caring for our future” consultation event this week, organised by Leicestershire Link / County Council. The questions provoked some really good discussions and there were many thoughtful and constructive suggestions.
I am sure the facilitators will do a great job in collating all the feedback but I was struck by how powerful some of the comments / stories were to hear first hand and the fact that inevitably some of this impact is lost in the usual “summaries of key points”. Also sometimes I could see individual voices being lost as more dominant people had their (sometimes repeated!) say.
I am privileged, through my Whose Shoes? work, to attend a lot of service user engagement events and to be able to listen to people’s stories. I pitch up and chat to people and unearth different perspectives.
This was a predominantly “older people” audience and I was struck by how different the issues were for a young girl with physical disabilities who struggled a little to be heard and to make it onto the facilitator’s summary.
I liked the way that, in addition to the table discussions, the organisers also posted the questions on sheets at the back of the room so that people could add their own post-it notes if they wanted to write down a particular point. This seemed a good way to ensure that individual points were recorded faithfully and not “lost in translation” (or, at least, not until the “summary” stage!)
It would have been good to have government reps there today hearing FIRST HAND what people were saying… I wonder how often this happens…