One of PVM’s current project involvements in Eurospectives 2.0. The project aims to create a European curriculum for digital storytelling, empowering learners and teachers.

Earlier in June, we attended the third project TNP meeting, hosted by project partners, the CFR centre. Over two days, we made exciting progress on the project and even found time to enjoy a well-earned dinner. You can read all about it here on the Eurospectives blog.


We are delighted to be collaborating with Liverpool MakeFest and Ignite Liverpool to provoke a conversation on the power of storytelling and how lived experiences can be used to create social change.

We will be sharing our personal experience of using storytelling to make social impact and change focusing on key learning from the Our Voices project (a pan European digital story curation and mobilisation project) and linking this learning to real work contexts. We are beginning to see the importance of personal stories in decision making processes and how they can be instrumental to creating new ideas, ways of doing things and ultimately bringing about social change. In this talk, we will explore what the practical implementation of terms such as ‘co-design’, ‘co-production’ and ‘co-creation’ mean and how they can bring about – or not – the inclusion and utilisation of a wider diversity of people’s voices into decision making realms. Through this we will set out her vision for how traditional power and decision structures can be dismantled, and more equitable platforms and arenas built in their place. Hopefully we will spark a discussion about storytelling and social change, and tap into other people’s knowledge, experience and passion for being digital disruptors! 

If you would like to join in the discussion make sure you book your Liverpool MakeFest2019 free ticket.


Earlier this month we delivered the ‘Co-creating (Public) services with stories of lived experiences’ symposium as part of the first annual Institute of Community Reporters’ conference… and what a blast it was!

Contributions on the day came from lived experience experts, policy advisors, volunteers, researchers and academics, public service workers and management, NGO workers from the housing, voluntary, asylum and refugee support sectors, co-creation facilitators and health and social care professionals. The programme began by celebrating our work and the storytelling movement we began in 2007. This session explored how the Community Reporting method could support people to use lived experiences to create effective social change. Members of TLAP and NCAG then presented their ‘Making It Real‘ framework, and summarised how gathering stories of lived experiences fed into this work. They highlighted how authenticity was key and how it was important that not just positive stories and experiences were given a platform. 

Discussions about storytelling for impact then progressed onto a session led by the Our Voices partnership, who shared with the attendees some of the project’s best practice models around story curation. The Digital Curator Toolkit is a great resource to start with! The attendees did some basic story curation tasks and got to grips with how to analyse people’s stories.

Plenty of discussions were then had around how to mobilise local voices to create policy ideas. As part of this session, the VOICITY’s project presented some of the learning they had garnered on their research into diverse communities in Berlin, Budapest, Salford and Sassari. You can take a look at the Community Reporter research report here. As part of this session, attendees discusses topics such as equity, integration, inclusion and voice.

The CoSIE partners concluded the symposium’s sessions with a collaborative key note and audience dialogue. Individuals from the project presented a number of ideas and concepts to do with the co-creation of public services, initiating discussions around the challenges of co-creation, reflections of co-creation in practice, change barriers and the politics of deep listening, young people’s voice & child protection in Finland and much more.

If this has sparked your interest in working with the knowledge of lived experience to support and enhance service development, you might be interested in attending our CPD workshop: From Consultation to Co-Creation Working Effectively with Lived Experiences. This 1-Day Continued Professional Development workshop will help you develop your knowledge, skills and expertise in how to address the challenges of working with the knowledge of lived experience, tying it in to co-creative processes and bottom-up change structures. Book now as places are limited!


Working with partners in Hungary as part of the CoSIE project – a 3-year programme of work that looks at the co-creation of public services across Europe – the People’s Voice Media team have been using Community Reporting techniques to support people living in rural areas of the country to share their stories.

In the CoSIE project, 9 pilots are taking place to test out different co-creation methods in different public services and the Hungarian pilot aims to revive forgotten culture of household economy, horticulture and livestock farming on disadvantaged rural areas. The pilot seeks to strengthen the local families (and community) to develop their role in the local economy and enhance the local families’ awareness, self-respect and self-subsistence. As part of the pilot, families will be supported to design and implement their own household economy plans with equipment, mentoring and coordination. The pilot will also prepare the local actors (mayors, coordinators) for mobilizing the household economies.

Earlier this year, two of our trainers from Budapest went to Solznok to work with families and coordinators involved in the pilot to train them as Community Reporters and capture their stories of the pilot so far. Whilst people were initially a little sceptical about this method and thought they were going to be attending a “boring lecture”, their feedback at the end couldn’t have been more different! They connected to the ethos of Community Reporting and valued the time and space it gave them to share their ideas and experiences with one another. The group have set-up a closed Facebook group to share their stories for peer review with one another, and they’ve posted some initial stories on the Community Reporter website – you can have a look at some of them here!

The best news is that the group have asked for more! So the team will be back in Solznok in September doing some skills recapping and also teaching some new technical capacities such as video editing. We’ll give you an update on how the work progresses later in the year.


Wednesday 9th October 2019
10:00am – 4:30pm
Ziferblat, 23 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW

£175.00 per person (lunch and refreshments included) / Limited places

Looking for alternative methods to tackle ‘wicked’ or multifaceted problems?

Looking for tools to support decision-making in complex environments?

Looking to start or enhance you work with experiential knowledge and data?

Then this workshop is for you… book now!

People’s lived experiences are becoming increasingly important in decision-making processes. They are instrumental to creating new ideas, ways of doing things and ultimately bringing about social change. Within this context, concepts such as ‘co-design’, ‘co-production’ and ‘co-creation’ are becoming more mainstream within a range of public and third sector support services, and are firmly on the agenda of local and national Governments and commissioners. It is therefore important that those working in these fields understand the value of lived experience as a knowledge base and how it can be practically used to inform practiceinfluence policy and initiate change in meaningful ways.

This 1-Day Continued Professional Development workshop will help you develop your knowledge, skills and expertise in how to addresses the challenges of working with the knowledge of lived experience, tying it in to co-creative processes and bottom-up change structures. Through a mixture of practical tasks, case studies and presentations, discussions and one-to-one facilitator time, you will get to grips with such concepts and approaches can be better utilised in your role and organisation. As part of this workshop you will:

  • Explore different types of lived experience and identify how they can be gathered and used at to create impact at individual, organisational and systemic levels
  • Assess the challenges and opportunities to working with the knowledge of lived experience and examine how barriers to implementation can be overcome 
  • Create a bespoke plan for working with the knowledge of lived experience in your role and organisation, and develop your ideas using peer support and critical-thinking approaches 

This workshop is perfect for team, middle and strategic management professionalsworking in sectors such as health and social care, education, community development and infrastructure support and public services who want to understand how to better use lived experience as a tool for quality, service or organisation development. 

The workshop has a limited number of places to ensure quality of experience. Book now! 

About People’s Voice Media

People’s Voice Media is a charity and social enterprise established in 1995 with an extensive history in creating social change from the ground-up. With our digital storytelling methodology – Community Reporting – we support people, groups and organisations to use experiential knowledge and insights from people’s stories to inform change at individual, organisational and systemic levels. Working on a range of local, national and pan-European projects, we have led and innovatated in using lived experience in research projects, service co-creation, community development initiatives and much more.

Dr. Hayley Trowbridge has played a core role in developing and applying our methodology and practice in these arenas over the last few years and will be the lead facilitator on this workshop. With over a decade of experience in creative, education, community development and research sectors, Hayley has a diverse skillset and experience of working with different stakeholders and institutional contexts to apply participatory practices and use experiential knowledge to inform change processes. She currently leads our work on the CoSIE project–  a pan-European applied research study that looks at co-creation practices across Europe, as well as embedding Community Reporting as part of evaluation processes, the co-designing of strategies and service improvement projects at a local and national level with the UK.