At People’s Voice Media, we have a specific vision and specific values – all of which we take seriously. However, we also appreciate that we should not stand still and that our vision and values need to evolve as we grow and change as an organisation.

That’s why, at our recent AGM, we had attendees (including board members, team members and Community Reporters) take part in an activity to look at our existing organisational values and identify ways in which we are currently embodying them and how they could be embedded our future work in more concrete ways. We used the collaborative tool Flinga to allow everyone to collaborate on this and come up with some fascinating ideas.

Our current values

So what are PVM’s current values?

  • Collaboration & Equity: these values represent our way of working
  • Authenticity & Integrity: these values represent our behaviour
  • Learning & Evolving: these values represent our approach
  • Optimism & Joy: these values represent out mindset

We asked attendees two questions about each of the values:

  1. How have you embodied this value?
  2. How can we better incorporate this value in future?

The answers, given via Flinga live during the meeting provide a fascinating insight of where PVM is now in terms of its values and where it will be heading in the future. We’ve listed some of them below.

Collaboration & Equity

How have you embodied this value?

  • “We worked to give people who are seldom heard a voice to make change and influence.”
  • “Changed perceptions of academic staff who were sceptical of how this work adds value to research.”
  • “Trying to make the organisation’s structure and working practices more horizontal.”

How can we better incorporate this value in future?

  • “Promote autonomy in all people involved in the organisation.”
  • “Become more outward facing esp. in UK.”
  • “Audit my stakeholder base to identify people and other orgs and their platforms.”
  • “Keep doing what you have been doing.”

Authenticity & Integrity

How have you embodied this value?

  • “By giving my time, by being able to show my vulnerability to others, by feeling able to fight against the offerings of the system/ the people that hold the power, becoming the expert.”
  • “Calling out the elephant in the room / standing up for what we believe is integrity and the right way of treating people and partners.”

How can we better incorporate this value in future?

  • “Keep to core principles – do not get blown off course [funding].”
  • “Model kindness and ‘being human’.”
  • “Update our policies and procedures and make them actual working documents not just box ticking.”

Learning & Evolving

How have you embodied this value?

  • “Evaluation is at the heart of the tasks I’ve completed whilst working with PVM.”
  • “Always listening and learning.”
  • “Never having set rules – learning and continuous improvement.”
  • “Developed our practice from digital skills to a method.”

How can we better incorporate this value in future?

  • “Creating a working culture that without a fear of failure.”
  • “Stay up to date with technology.”
  • “Extending our practice into new sectors.”
  • “Supporting to team to generate the innovations – not always leading from the front.”
  • “Be more pirate.” (Not as odd as it sounds, this one’s all about professional rule-breaking and being a rebel with a cause.)

Optimism & Joy

How have you embodied this value?

  • “It’s been a pleasure working in such a positive team at PVM.”
  • “Always positive yet realistic.”
  • “Bringing a smile and looking for the solutions.”

How can we better incorporate this value in future?

  • “Celebrating the small wins more – not always an end goal.”
  • “Be optimistic about the future of the organisation.”
  • Optimism and Joy are incredibly important values to have especially currently in this world of so much uncertainty and barriers. Optimism and joy will help to navigate the rocky roads of the future.”

So what’s next for our values?

As you can see, while we do currently embody our values, there is more to be done on making them a more concrete part of the work that we do. Our policies and procedures are going to be worked on so they become actual working documents, as mentioned above, and we’re looking into partnerships with other organisations that will help us in bringing our core values to life.

Watch this space as we continue to grow, develop and evolve.


Co-Engage Project Meeting Liverpool TNP Erasmus Plus

Back in September People’s Voice Media came together with representatives from the European partners collaborating on Co-Engage to discuss project progress and share ideas on co creation. The meeting took place in The Quaker Meeting House in Liverpool and proved to be a productive couple of days in terms of developing the project.

Stakeholders from Stockport council and Manchester Access Project also came and presented the framework for the projects they have been working on.

You can read more on the meeting over on the Co-Engage project website.


Eurospectives Erasmus Plus TNP Meeting Liverpool September 2019

At the end of September, the People’s Voice Media team had the pleasure of hosting a meeting with the transnational partners currently collaborating on the Eurospectives project. The meeting took place with representatives from different community organisations and social enterprises from across Europe including Agora Köln, Comparative Research Network, Crossing Borders, Ellinogermaniki Agogi, COSV and CFR Vigo. The meeting took place at The Quaker Meeting House in Liverpool and proved to be an exciting and informative couple of days.

You can read more on the Eurospectives website.


#softandfluffy project

Back in September, People’s Voice Media came together with representatives from Creative Minds and Huddersfield University to discuss all things #softandfluffy. So far the project has collaborated with a range of wellbeing initiatives in different locations and communities from across Kirlees, Wakefield and Stockport. The main aim of #softandfluffy has been to utilise Community Reporting, an alternative approach to evaluation, to gather stories of people’s lived experience with mental health services in order to bring about positive change to the current system. 

A team of Community Reporters have worked with wellbeing initiatives, such as Creative Minds, The Artworks, The Good Mood League, The Live Arts Cafe, Photovoice, Q Lab, Nice Guidance, to build up a body of research consisting of digital stories exploring the experiences of people engaged in creative activities delivered by each of the organisations.

The findings of the project have helped identify issues and communicate solutions to current approaches to mental health services, based on the knowledge of the people who experience it first hand. Key themes include, the flaws of the medical approach to mental health services, the concept of health encompassing mental and emotional wellbeing as well as physical health and the benefits of adapting ‘traditional’ approaches to mental health services offered by the NHS to reflect this more holistic approach. Utilising Community Reporting has helped to highlight these factors and communicate the complexities of different experiences without over-complication. The experience of Community Reporting also provides those engaged with the opportunity to open up and feel heard on an individual level, provide support to peers and in terms of the stories exploring creativity, change people’s preconceived ideas and misconceptions – It’s not just about collecting stories.

With regards to follow up events and future coordination, the team are currently working on producing a film and project report collating the findings, both of which will reflect the need for commissioners to engage and hear people’s stories. A ‘Conversations for Change’ event has taken place, which invited practitioners, team leaders and commissioners from within mental health services to listen to the research and the voices of the people they provide care and support for, in the hopes to influence a change in policy and structure. The event set out to be a conversation starter, to drive change and desire for improvement, challenging perceptions that what is thought of as #softandfluffy, is not quite so ‘soft and fluffy’ and is creating real positive changes in those that need it most. 


Recently, PVM collaborated with Silent Voices, a partnership between NHS Salford CCG and Healthwatch Salford aiming to reduce inequalities for those with hearing loss. With 20% of people in Salford registered as deaf (and with many more who are hard of hearing), the projected aimed to provide “top tips” to healthcare professionals in order to make services more accessible.

As part of the project, Salford’s Deaf Digital Champions ( BSL users with an interest in digital comms) have taken feedback from the local deaf community to find that digital communication is seen as a positive way to receive messages and information. From this was the idea to create a “top tips” film.

PVM’s role was to facilitate a workshop, run by our very own Rachel Brewster-Wright, to shoot and edit this film using Community Reporting methods. The finished film sees Digital Deaf Champions presenting five top tips, derived from lived experience, to give healthcare professionals insight into what it is like for deaf people to access healthcare, and how this can be improved. You can watch the finished film below or on the Healthwatch Salford YouTube Channel.

Delana Lawson, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Salford, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work with partners to maintain a dialogue between health care professionals and the deaf community in Salford. 

“Helping groups to promote their own health and care experiences and issues is what Local Healthwatch is all about!”