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Participation Cymru Newsletter – October 2016

Participation Cymru

Welcome to the October edition of the Participation Cymru Newsletter!

This month’s newsletter includes the latest courses from our new training programme, information from our regional participation networks and the latest news, methods, consultations, events plus much more!

If you would like to share this newsletter please use the share buttons below this e-mail. If you do not receive this newsletter directly but you would like to register to receive it, please sign up via our website

Welsh Government announces ‘new approach’ to building resilient communitiescommunities-first

Last month, Cabinet Secretary for Children and Communities, Carl Sargeant, announced that he ‘believes it is time for a new approach to building resilient communities’ and that he is ‘minded to phase out the Communities First programme while establishing a new approach to meet the challenges of the future’.

Welsh Government wishes to engage with people to hear their views about building resilient communities. In particular it wants to hear from those who have personal experience of Communities First.

The first phase of the engagement will comprise an online survey. You can follow the conversation online by following the hashtag #TalkCommunities.

You can also email Welsh Government directly on TalkCommunities@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

Participating through the arts: Network update

This month, we held three practitioner network events across Wales which explored different engagement methods and techniques using the arts.

We heard from several interesting projects, including Sherman 5 in Cardiff, Turning Round the Telescope in Rhyl, Span Arts Cheerful Project in Narbeth and Arts Connection who work across Wrexham & North Powys.

These regional participation networks are suitable for anyone working in the field of participation and citizen engagement. They are well attended by a range of different organisations within the public, third and private sectors.

The aim of these events is to meet other practitioners in your area, share good practice, share ideas, problem solve and explore new participatory approaches.

Diary marker: Qualitative data – Network events February 2017

If your organisation is able to provide a venue for these events or if you would like to be involved in any other way, please let us know.

Attendees come from a range of different organisations in the public and third sector that focus on a variety of issues. The events are suitable for anyone from any level within an organisation that has an interest in practical participatory work, including consultation officers, trustees, volunteers, development workers and managers.

These practitioner networks are lively, participatory workshops which provide an opportunity for peers to engage, share and support each other.

Training programme 2016-17

Participation Cymru continue to provide training for those in the third and public sector who want to achieve effective engagement. Our courses can provide the skills you need to engage with confidence.

Our courses are fun, participative and take place in a relaxed learning environment. They can provide you and your organisation with the skills needed to provide an excellent service. We recognise that people learn in different ways; in our new training programme you will find a variety of short courses, workshops, accredited learning, seminars and online learning opportunities. All of our training is led by experts in their field who are committed to best practice in participation and engagement.

Take a look at our programme of courses for 2016-17 (PDF)

This year we have endeavoured to keep costs down by not producing our own training brochure but continuing to include our courses as part of WCVA’s wider training programme.

The following courses are taking place over the next few months:

Get involved in the conversation on Twitter using #WCVALearning

Crowd sourcing training
The right course but in the wrong location or language? If you see a course that interests you on this training programme or more widely on our website but it is not being delivered in a location convenient for you or you would rather it be delivered in Welsh or bilingually then please do get in touch. If you can find interest for the course in your area then we can come to you and help you to promote it too.

Bespoke training and consultancy 
We can come to you! All our courses can be delivered to you in your own organisation and it often works out to be cheaper depending on numbers. Welsh and bilingual courses are also available.

Method of the month: Hopes & Fears

This is a technique that lets people to communicate their hopes and fears anonymously.

Every participant gets given two pieces of paper (you could use two different colours: one for hopes, one for fears).

Ask them to write down one hope and one fear, fold up the paper and put them into a hat (if you’re not using coloured paper, you could have two hats).

The facilitator then reads out everyone’s hopes & fears without identifying anyone. Participants will be reassured to know that many others in the room have similar hopes and fears to their own.

The facilitator should ensure that everyone’s hopes & fears are read out in order to equally value everyone who is taking part in the exercise.

This list of hopes and fears could be reviewed at the end of an event or at another session in the future.

Do you want to run some face-to-face engagement activities but aren’t sure where to start?

We will work with you and your team throughout the whole process to; design, plan and run focus groups/workshops etc with your stakeholders, advise on recording and using qualitative feedback, writing up the report and debriefing to help you to identify good practice and learning for your organisation.

We support staff throughout the process and will work closely with your team. This is a practical way to build your organisation’s capacity, experience and confidence in running face-to-face engagement activities, in a safe and supportive environment. We bring a wealth of experience and learning from working with other organisations which we will share throughout.

Please contact us to discuss your needs

Revised Participation Standards for children & young people in Wales

children-in-wales-circleThe Welsh Government’s Participation Standards, which set out the key issues for awareness for all professionals and organisations that work with children and young people in Wales, have been refreshed.

Youth Forum Participation workers and Young Wales worked on revising the standards in line with ideas and insight collected during consultation with young people across the country.

To see the refreshed Participation Standards in full, go to www.childreninwales.org.uk

The seven standards link clearly to the Children’s Rights agenda in Wales.

The launch of the refreshed standards will be followed up with revised guidance on the kite-marking process and the self-assessment tools, for use in local authorities which have an inspection team.

Organisations working with children and young people will be encouraged to undertake the self-assessment process to demonstrate they the meet the Participation Standards in all their work with children and young people.

A new Charter will also be developed, based on the three underpinning pillars of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child addressing Protection, Provision and Participation, and will be open to all organisations working with children and young people in Wales.

A new-look participation standards poster was launched at the recent Children in Wales Annual Conference.

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