Over the last 8 months, our team has been working with municipalities in Utrecht to explore how Community Reporting methodologies can be used to support their service design and implementation when addressing ‘wicked’ problems.

Late last year, the team from Houten were initially trained as Community Reporters themselves, equipping them with the skills to capture insight stories about issues concerning unemployment, specifically in terms of investigating the mismatch between employment opportunities/employers expectations and the skills/experiences of the people who were looking for work. This training enabled them to understand more about the methodology of our practice, explore how it could be implemented locally and to work with our team to design a plan for its usage as part of a co-creation pilot.

Earlier this year, the team went on to the next stage of their Community Reporting journey and up-skilled to become Community Reporter trainers themselves. They’ve used this learning to train others and have begun to collect some insight stories. With the stories flowing in, we revisited the team to introduce our story curation model and support them to use it to analyse the stories they were gathering. Initial findings from the stories include the identification of barriers to employment such as taxation issues and difficulties in navigating the support systems available, as well as potential solutions to such challenges, namely bespoke coaching.

With this initial learning, the team then worked with us to start planning how they could start to make practical interventions using our Conversation of Change process. As part of this, facilitation techniques for engaging different stokeholders in dialogue with one another were explored, as well as what types of change they are hoping to create. The team are currently in the process of finishing their story gathering and analysis, and working on ideas for their Conversation of Change events. We’ll give you an update later in the year on how they take the knowledge of lived experience and transform it into action as part of their public services!

These activities are part of an Horizon 2020 funded project – CoSIE – that seeks to investigate the co-creation of public services across Europe through practically applied research techniques.


Peoples Voice Media and its partners within the VOICITYS project have recently hosted two Conversation of Change events on the topic of life in diverse neighbourhoods. Bringing together the research findings from the project such as Community Reporter stories and interviews with decision-makers, the events prompted discussions and ideas generation about a range of key topics.

The first event was specifically for residents and stakeholders in Charlestown and Lower Kersal (CHALK) and it explored:

  • How physical and social change impact on each other
  • Ways to involve people in change processes to overcome the ‘fear of change’
  • How CHALK has a resilient community and good community assets
  • The importance of spaces for people to meet and interact, and how this helps communities to connect and grow

The second event, What Does Diversity Means to You?, brought together project participants from cities across Europe – Berlin (Germany), Budapest (Hungary), and Sassari (Italy) with the people from CHALK. It addressed a number of questions centred around diversity by comparing key understandings of what diversity means to people across the four cities. This discussion then looked at key policy ideas for enhancing the assets of diverse communities and how these communities can begin to create positive change for their neighbourhood. The results from this event will contribute to the local consensus meetings in which residents and other stakeholders will finalise their ideas for their area.

Watch this space to see how the project progresses!


We’ve been made-up with the response to our Co-creating (public) services with stories of lived experience symposium. The symposium is part of the first annual Institute of Community Reporters conference running in June 2019, and this specific event will bring together people from across Europe within and outside our network to explore and discuss the power of stories.

As part of this thought-provoking and participatory 1-Day Symposium, you will:

  • Listen to a case study on how the Making It Real framework has used insight storytelling, and get involved in a practical storytelling activity delivered by Community Reporters from TLAP and the National Co-production Advisory Group (NCAG).
  • Take part in an interactive story curation session led by the Our Voices project and AQuA who have been piloting the methodology in their work.
  • Get involved in a workshop exploring how Conversation of Change events can be used to co-design policy recommendations run by the VOICITYS partnership

The symposium will conclude with a collaborative keynote led by the CoSIE consortium in which quick-fire, inspiring and provocative talks on co-creation in public services will be delivered by people who access public services, practitioners and academics. You will be invited to get involved in this discussion and share your thoughts on co-creation approaches.

If you’d like to be a part of the dialogue, book your ticket here before they go! 


Last month we launched a brand new project over in Yorkshire called #softandfluffy.

Partnering with Creative Minds and the University of Huddersfield, the Community Reporter movement will be working with participants from Creative Minds projects across Yorkshire to gather stories about the role that creativity plays in people’s lives. As part of this project, we will be delivering training sessions that people can attend to become a Community Reporter and learn how to tell and capture stories as well as running storytelling sessions at which you can come and share your stories. All of the stories gathered will go onto www.communityreporter.netand become part of our online storytelling community.

With the stories gathered, the Community Reporters will work alongside Creative Minds and the University of Huddersfield to pick out some findings from them and use these to help us understanding how people value creativity and what impact it has on their lives. We will package this learning as short report and edit the stories into a film that will be shared publicly. 

At the end of the project we will run a workshop that will take key learning from the stories and use it to support health and social care services to think about how creative activities can support people wellbeing.

Watch this space, to see how the project progresses! 


Earlier this month we worked with education professionals from a set of Spanish universities to train them in Community Reporting methodologies as part of a 5-Day Erasmus+ funded project. This 5-Day programme provided the attendees with an introduction to Community Reporting and how it can be used to support the gathering, curating and mobilising of stories of lived experience. As part of the programme, participants took part in storytelling activities, developed digital skills, learned about story analysis and became Silver Members of the Institute of Community Reporters.

During the training, the participants focused on gathering stories about how education professionals used digital technologies and the roles they played in their lives. Using our dialogue interviewing methodology they collected 8 stories and analysed them using the ICR’s framework. From this, the group produced a short report and edited video based on the findings.

The project they are a part of is a learning exchange in which participants explore different digital practices and think about how this learning can support their work with older people. They will be producing a book (in English) on their learnings and our practice of Community Reporting will feature in it… so watch this space!

For now, anyone who speaks or reads Spanish, can download the report they produce during their training below or have a listen to the stories in their edited video here.