We believe in the mantra ‘nothing about us, without us’ and that communities should be at the heart of making decisions that affect their lives and areas. Our unique and innovative approach ensures our engagement is always authentic.
We have a unique approach to engaging communities based on our award-winning model of Asset Based Community Development. We understand communities and the delicate local networks and infrastructures that they comprise. And we know what can be achieved by working with local people on their terms, where they feel comfortable.
We ensure that our engagement is appropriate and proportionate to the level of influence stakeholders and communities have on decisions. All our work is compliant with the Gunning Principles, ensuring what we do is not ‘tick box’ or tokenistic.
Our principles for effective engagement:
- Understand who you are targeting, how and why
- Respect those who don’t want to engage
- Don’t define places or people by labels e.g. ‘deprived’
- The approach is equally as important as the tools
- Build on existing local assets, capacity, and networks
- Be aware of potential sensitivities and responses
- Carefully manage expectations
- Identify common interest: vehicle for the conversation you need
- Give opportunities to engage in different ways
- Go to them in their places – even their online places
- Make activities fun, engaging and positive
- Incentives are effective (soft and hard)
Our team includes community builders, place-makers and engagement specialists. This ensures our community engagement activities are innovative, meaningful and authentic.
Our stakeholder and community engagement services include:
- Developing and implementing meaningful communications and engagement plans
- Stakeholder mapping
- Recruiting and training peer researchers