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Empowering Communities & Front Line Workers

The Art of Listening & Policy Formation

Helen Jones MP was unable to attend the last meeting we held on vulnerable families. She was really sorry about that and has offered to meet us on June 5th for a seminar where she discusses with us how we can develop policy more effectively by listening to client groups and citizens in order to assess real need and where we discuss with her some techniques to do this more effectively.

Helen is the Shadow Minister For Local Government and is hosting this meeting for us. She knows the struggle that local authorities have to deliver services at times of retrenchment and cuts and understands the need to listen to those who are most vulnerable in society.

At this meeting we will look at two tools that help allow citizens, communities and front line workers to provide feedback to decision makers in a way that can help determine policy and the quality of service delivery. It is about using 21st century tools to solve traditional and established problems and issues.

Helping us in this will be Vicki Fitzgerald of Gateway Family Services and they have developed a phone ap that allows front line workers to immediately send on feedback when they are with their clients as well as identify common themes, age, gender, location and employment status and also


Peter Thomond of Sports Inspired will also join us. They have developed a crowd sourcing tool that allows communities and indeed employees to provide feedback anonymously in a form that managers and decision makers can act upon so that it can be very transparent if that action takes place or not.

In the growing managerial culture of the late twentieth century those most neglected have been communities themselves and front line workers who work with these communities at the sharp end. There are now tools to close this gap and it is important that managers and political decision makers create a culture so that listening becomes an essential part of creating policy and taking action.

This is a seminar and we only have room for twenty people so if you want to attend then please book early and confirm you will be definitely there or you will be taking a place that someone else could have.

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The subscription is £10 a year for those who commit to a recurrent annual payment for the next three years. During that time the price will not go up. For those who want to pay for one year only then it will be £12 for this year.

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  • eliana m.

    Francis is a rather attentive host. Agree with Maria that it would have been nice to learn of increased policy impact of the initiatives, however we do know it isn't a simple achievement.:). I have big hopes for Vicky's organisation stepping up thanks to productive fundwever we do know it isn't a simple achievement.:)

    June 6, 2013

  • Ann H.

    Sorry - had to go to the States unexpectedly.

    June 3, 2013

  • angela

    I suppose the difficulty is increasing need, profoundly stretched resources and an understanding of how to streamline services and provision with maximum effects. Maintaining professionalism and meaningful input - at what cost? Access to services - high threshold so lesser chance of efficacy? Front line staff frustrated and bullied into long hours whilst giving up their personal life in doing so? People with moderate needs not meeting threshold - so deteriorating and becoming a greater burden as their situation deteriorates? With lesser chance of rehabilitation?


    May 30, 2013

  • Dan C.

    Am on the waitlist... will "bus it" from Bristol if I can.

    May 30, 2013

  • Porsche

    Completely forgot - conflicting work training for 3 days. *slapping forehead* Too bad because this fits perfectly with my work/career. IF anything changes, will try RSVPing again or adding myself to a wait-list.

    May 29, 2013

  • Margaret N.

    let us know location asap

    May 21, 2013

  • Peter F.

    Sorry francis - blew a fuse. I have a conflicting appointment so cannot attend after all. Have a good meeting anyway.

    May 21, 2013

  • Steve M.

    What an interesting subject, I'd love to come but expensive for me from Salisbury. The methodology has the listening approach at its core - allow people to talk about their life experiences, note shared issues and common themes and film unmediated interviews with participants. A really valuable social policy tool. Check it out if you are interested.

    1 · May 21, 2013

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