Interserve is committed to developing and evaluating more personalised ways of working with service users in order to: promote positive life choices; tackle root causes of lifestyle problems; and to build personal capacity and resilience. As part of the Cosie Project – a pan-European scheme looking at the co-creation of public services – Interserve has piloted new ways of co-designing more personalised probation services. Within the pilot process, one of the co-creation tools adopted has been Community Reporting which has been used to gather insight stories from staff and service user on their perspectives of probation services.

Key learning has emerged from these stories. For example, the experiences of service users highlighted many of the things that they valued about the service such as the opportunity to engage in peer mentoring, as well as shedding light onto areas that could be improved such as support provision for low risk offenders. The staff stories focused on people’s motivations for working within the sector with many explaining how the desire to help others was a key factor for them entering this career. However, the stories also brought up issues such as changes within the service that were preventing them from doing the job to the standard they would like.

This toolkit looks at these stories and the insights within them through the lens of personalisation, exploring what can be deciphered from the stories about how probation services can better meet the needs of the individuals involved. The overarching message from this is that personalisation is not something that can be delivered by staff to service users in a linear fashion. Rather what must be established is a working culture of personalisation – for both staff and users – that permeates all aspects of service delivery. Through examining what the contributing factors of this culture could be and by asking probing questions to its reader, this publication seeks to support professionals working in probation to understand how they can enhance personalisation their roles.


The People’s Voice Media team are pleased to tell you that we have recently started work on two new Erasmus+ funded projects with our European partners. Earlier this month we went to the kick-off meetings for the Co-Engage and Eurospectives projects.

Co-Engage is exploring co-design methodologies from across Europe and Eurospectives builds on our previous Digital Natives project, to explore different digital storytelling approaches. We will be contributing to both of these projects by researching and presenting case studies on relevant topics as part of the knowledge exchange process and by taking the lead on dissemination.

Watch this space to see how the projects develop!


Working with communities in Germany, Hungary, Italy and the United Kingdom, the VOICITYS project and People’s Voice Media trained residents in specific neighbourhoods as Community Reporters who have used these skills to tell, understand and share their own stories on topics and issues pertinent to diversity where they live. This report provides an overview of this methodology and its implementation within the project, the findings from the stories gathered, and pan-European reflections on emergent trends across the dataset.  Download the full report below.


In November, the Our Voices team made their way to Spain, to participate in a transnational partnership meeting. With the intellectual outputs – the curriculum, the toolkit and the resource bank – ready to be finalised, now was the time for the partnership to start thinking about the impact they can make with these products and turn their focus to dissemination and sustainability.

As part of the meeting, the team also participated in a radio workshop ran by INTRAS, Radio Atlántida. This is a pioneering activity started by INTRAS aimed at improving people’s communication skills “on air” (i.e. reading articles and books, film festivals shows, radio slots) and provide different and innovative solutions to empower people with mental health issues. Partners were all interviewed about what they think about the development of the project.

The next step for the project will be the piloting of the Digital Curation Training Programme in each partner’s context. Each partner will implement aspects of the Our Voices methodology via training programmes and workshop in order to explore to what extent this intellectual output can be adapted to different target groups. Also, during the next few months, relevant stakeholders in higher education, health sector, user-run organizations, informal trainer providers and research/policy institutes will be participating in webinars with the project team. We will ask them to give feedback on the outputs created in terms of their future usages and accreditation of the curriculum.

Following this, the main focus of the project will be on the multiplier events that are set to take place in the UK and Germany. Full details of these events will be available soon, including how you can attend!


When looking at the lives of young people in Finnish society, it is important to view them through a lens that takes into account the multifaceted nature of marginalisation and inclusion. As part of the CoSIE project, undergraduates from Turku University of Applied Sciences have been trained as Community Reporters and using an insight storytelling methodology they have gathered stories of other young people who are encountering a range of challenges in their lives. This insight has been used as the basis of a short report on youth marginalisation.

To access these young people and hear about their lives, the Community Reporters used their personal contacts and went out onto the streets of Turku. This enabled them to engage with young people who are less likely to be engaged with formal services, and through this began to uncover some of the issues that these young people are facing.

What the stories suggest is that having a purpose in life helps young people to create a positive sense of identity, which supports their overall wellbeing. This focus and sense of self helps young people to tackle the difficulties they face. However, as this insight report will detail, equating purpose to ‘having a job’ and linking this to ‘improved wellbeing’ is too simple a correlation to make. The key is that the work or purpose must be something that is fulfilling for the young person. Find out more about this work by downloading the full report below.