Part of my role at PVM is to manage an exciting European project called Concrit. 

The aim of the pan European project is to create new educational tools to train, teach and empower communities. Specifically, concentrating on critical thinking and the construction and de-construction of narratives through digital storytelling. The aim being to strengthen the self-confidence of the learners, empowering them to grow in self-confidence, find their own collective voice and to strengthen a sense for local action.

Last week, Concrits second Trans National Partnership meeting took place, it was hosted in the fair port city of Gydnia, in Poland. It was great to catch up with partners and although I attended online, I imagined myself enjoying the sea breeze and maybe a poroggi (delicious Polish dumpling) or two. 

Despite the meeting being blended (online and in person) it went very well using a number of platforms, such as Jitsi and Zoom. We also used the virtual whiteboard application Miro Board. This is an excellent tool to collaborate on and to share information and ideas.

During the meeting we found out what specific group each partner will be working with. There are a varied mix of groups, including; parents and families, homeless people, people with mental health issues, migrant workers, older people in a remote rural setting and an urban neighbourhood. 

An important element of this project is to conduct a thorough, useful and inclusive needs assessment for each community. Part of my role is to design this. During the meeting we collectively looked at it and made some tweaks and changes to it, using the Miro board. 

The plan now, is to work with our communities to discover what their needs are, what learning gaps there are, if any. Then we will design specific inclusive learning paths for these specific communities, developing them and then testing them out when we meet again at the training labs in December.

Watch this space.

Kath Peters – PVM Concrit Project Manager


Last week we held our second Institute of Community Reporters (ICR) catch-up. The catch-ups are all held online as our members are in various locations across the UK and Europe, and are a 1-hour ‘hello’ and news sharing event.

At the catch-up we were joined by Shelley from The Men’s Room in Manchester. She shared with us how they had been using digital storytelling and lived experience as part of an arts project that looks at ‘what stops us from being well?’. It was great to see Community Reporting being used in this creative way and pushing its development in new directions. Other people on the call felt inspired by this and started to think about how they could adapt how they use Community Reporting too. Result!  

Sarah from the People’s Voice Media team also shared an update on the new Community Reporter site. It’s currently nearly ready from a technical perspective and over the next couple of months we will be bringing the design up to scratch. We are going to try and make it look similar to the current site but enhance it’s usability a bit. The key thing with the new site is that it will work better on mobiles… HURRAH! We should be launching it Dec/Jan time… but this is just phase 1… Next year we will work on enhancing the site further, to make it more usable and accessible. We will be running some sessions to help us in this task – so watch this space, we’d love it if you could give us some ideas!  

There was even time for people on the call to discuss projects they were currently working on that involved storytelling and get some help and advice from one another. We’d love to see more of this informal sharing and support at future sessions… so thanks to everyone who contributed and got involved in the chinwag.

We hold two catch-up’s a year, so save the date for the next one… full agenda and booking link will be available in the coming months. Catch-ups are open to members of the ICR and also non-members too!

*Save the date for the next ICR Online Catch-Up – Tuesday 9th March 2021, 2pm – 3pm (UK time)* 


The CoSIE project is investigating different ways in which public services across Europe can be co-created. In Spain, Valencia Activa and UPV launched the Co-Crea-Te co-working space in January, 2019. Co-Crea-Te offers working space and professional mentoring services to people that are looking to become self-employed. As part of this project, the People’s Voice Media team have been working with Valencia Activa, UPV and the Co-Crea-Te entrepreneurs to use Community Reporting to explore their experiences of the pilot and in setting-up new businesses.

The stories gathered explore a range of topics including:

  • motivations for becoming an entrepreneur
  • challenges entrepreneurs have experienced when establishing and running their ventures
  • what has supported the entrepreneurs on their journeys
  • reflections on co-creation and its links to innovation

Looking specifically at what has helped the Co-Crea-Te entrepreneurs, we discovered that not being alone at the start of your venture was key to people’s success. The entrepreneurs discussed how having supportive mentors, as well as peers at the Co-Crea-Te space with whom they could bounce ideas off, were vital components in creating a sense of community and stopping them from feeling isolated as they set-up their businesses. More so, co-creation and collaboration between people was fostered at the Co-Crea-Te space and this has helped the entrepreneurs immensely. As one entrepreneur stated, “co-creation is fundamental because without a creative environment it is impossible for things to grow and develop”. Click below to read a feature article on the stories.


In July I took part in online training in ‘Digital Storytelling for Non-formal Education’ as part of the Eurospectives project. It was originally going to be delivered in Copenhagen but because of Covid-19 it was delivered online. The training was designed by the partner organisations as part of a new curriculum for facilitators in non-formal education. The training ran for 5 days and each day a different area was looked at and delivered by a different partner organisation.  

The training allowed me to learn about new methods in delivering digital storytelling. It explored how it can be used in different ways and in different contexts. We learned how to use digital storytelling in campaign work and how to capture the ‘lived experience’ using digital technology. As well as the practical side we also explored the theoretical side; looking at why storytelling is important, how to establish the context in which you work, the best methods to approach different groups and how to create and measure impact. 

The online platforms that were used were effective and each session was well delivered with expertise and knowledge relevant to the subject area. I particularly like the use of break out groups in Zoom as it was great to be able to discuss in pairs or smaller groups and then feedback. I really enjoyed the interactivity and listening to other people’s views and experiences. There were also some interesting and useful digital platforms that we used and I will use again. 


The second annual Institute of Community Reporters (ICR) conference
6th – 7th October 2020

We’ve all heard of DIY, right? Well, why do things by yourself when you can do it with others? This year’s Institute of Community Reporters annual conference is celebrating the power of collaboration and we’d love you to join us.

2020 has been quite a year, and throughout the whole COVID-19 pandemic, we have really seen how important our connections with others are and what good can come when people truly start to work together towards common goals. In the spirit of this year’s theme, People’s Voice Media will be working with a range of people and organisations to deliver a jam-packed couple of days of talks, workshops and discussions on the concept of collaboration. All events will be held online.

On the 6th and 7th October, different speakers, facilitators and change-makers will be exploring:

  • The different practical approaches that people have used to bring about positive change
  • The values and ethics of collaboration
  • The challenges and barriers to working with others in equitable and meaningful ways
  • And much more!

We’re looking for local residents, Community Reporters, grassroots change-makers, community workers, researchers, public service workers, policy makers, artists and creatives, health and social care providers, philosophers and educators and trainers to attend these and contribute their experiences and ideas to the conversations on the day. We hope to create a dialogue of different perspectives, challenge and provoke one another’s thinking, and sow the seeds of new connections between people.


Tuesday 6th October 2020

#COVIDConversations / Online Event / 10:30pm – 12:00pm
Members of the Community Reporting movement have been gathering stories from across Europe of people’s experiences during the COVID-19 crisis. With a focus on connecting with people who are often the least resourced and less likely to be in positions of power, these stories represent everyday experiences of communities across Europe. It is important that these voices – those that are often unheard – are part of this on-going narrative and involved as active actors in rebuilding our future. Join Isaac Samuels and Sally Percival from the Community Reporter network to listen to some of these stories and explore what we can learn from them! REGISTER HERE.

Re-humanising the system / Online Event / 1:30pm – 3:30pm

People’s Voice Media works across the UK and Europe with people to gather stories about how people experience the world. These stories have shown us that we need to ‘rehumanise’ services and put heart-led practice at the centre. We must step out from behind the spreadsheet and connect with others at an emotional level in order to move forward. 

As part of this event we will be launching a policy briefing about the rehumanisation of services that draws on the stories with have gathered as part of the CoSIE public service innovation project, through our partnership with NCAG in the health and social care sector and our collaboration with Ideas Alliance on experiences of poverty in Dudley. Hayley Trowbridge, from People’s Voice Media, will share with you some of the stories that have informed our thinking and there’ll be an opportunity for you to explore with others how you can use the learnings from the stories and recommendations in the briefing in your own context. REGISTER HERE.

Collaboration Ideas Jam / Online Event / 5:30pm – 7:00pm

We’ve invited people with passion, energy and great ideas to deliver 10-minute talks on the topic of collaboration – this could be a personal experience of working collaboratively, dilemmas that have occurred, radical re-thinkings of what we mean by collaboration, tools, techniques and practices for collaboration and much more. Cat Duncan-Rees from Curators of Change will facilitate the ideas jam and we want people with their own ideas to share, who are passionate about this topic and can be honest and open in the post-talks discussions to attend. We are interested in exploring the good, the bad and the ugly sides of collaboration – Join us for these fiery talks and a lively discussion. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday 7th October 2020

Where next for co-creating public services? Policy Seminar / Online Event / 10:30am – 12:00pm

Over the last 3 years, the CoSIE project has been investigating co-creation in public services across Europe, using applied research methods. There are public service pilots in 9 countries working with different services including social care, housing, and economic development. They have explored various tools and techniques for co-creation, examined how co-creation can lead to innovation, investigated the power dynamics involved in such collaborations and much more. This policy seminar will explore the latest ideas from CoSIE, illustrated by lived experience stories from people involved in these co-creation processes.  It will foreground in particular co-creation as an approach based on assets and capabilities. In the UK co-creation is perhaps most commonly associated with social care, but in this session we will explore how these ideas can take root in different services including criminal justice (the topic of the UK CoSIE pilot), homelessness and supporting people with chronic health conditions. Challenges such as managing risk, resourcing, staffing, evaluation and scaling up co-creation will be considered. The session will be facilitated by Christopher Fox and Susan Baines. There will  be opportunities for the audience to interact and discuss ideas about the future of co-creation with our panel members. REGISTER HERE.

Digital Collaborations / Online Event / 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Join Sarah Henderson from the People’s Voice Media team and partners from the European project – Co-Engage – for an online knowledge exchange about different digital and online methods and tools that supports collaboration and civic engagement. The session will be a mixture of case study presentations with inside tips and know-how, coupled with meaningful discussion amongst peers that looks at how technology can be used to connect us, but also what are its limitations? REGISTER HERE.