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!”


As part of the CoSIE project, PVM’s Hayley has written a blog over on the project website called It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way that You Do It – That’s What Gets Results, looking at why practice-based knowledge needs to be included in the core understanding of co-creation. You can read an except below, or follow the link at the end of this blog to read the feature in its entirety.

“Practice makes perfect” is a well-known saying, but why is practice – as a professional discipline – disregarded in certain spheres? Why do other realms garner more authority than the knowledge engendered from ‘doing’? This blog presents the case for the inclusion of practice-based knowledge within the core understanding of co-creation, and seeks to open up a discussion about how practice holds the key to transferring learning from co-creation processes and replicating them in new spaces.

Read more over on the CoSIE site now.