Engaging people in health and care

We're proud of Wellbeing Our Way's diversity. 67% of those involved were female; 14% were from Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups, and 19% identified as LGBT+. 46% were living with long-term health conditions; 22% considered themselves to have a disability, and 34% had current or past experience of caring.

We think a few key approaches helped such a range of people to become involved:

  1. Identifying 'less heard' groups and explicitly inviting them to share their experiences and expertise with others in the programme, throughout our events, communities of practice, and steering group.
  2. Ensuring that our reward and recognition policy was fair and transparent, and that payments are processed in a timely way.
  3. Hosting events outside of London in addition to our London-based work (70% of those involved in Wellbeing Our Way lived outside of London).
  4. Encouraging people to share their own experience of living with long-term health conditions and/or caring responsibilities in an attempt to break down the artificial split between people working within organisations and those with lived experience. Informal feedback has been that the richest learning came from sessions which marry these experiences, alongside practical approaches, tools or frameworks.
  5. Keeping track of the range of people involved using a carefully developed diversity monitoring form.

Wellbeing Our Way used the 4Pi principles of co-production as a basis for how people with lived experience and those from organisations work together throughout the programme. You can read more about how we put the principles into action in the 4Pi in Action - Wellbeing Our Way case study published by the National Survivor User Network.

Download December 2015's WOW Now (Wellbeing Our Way's e-newsletter) for: highlights of our workshop about enabling people to influence; a case study about how Mind engaged Muslim communities in their Qu'ran and Emotional Health project, and a list of useful resources about engaging people in health and care.

How have other organisations engaged people in their work?

Their are examples of how other voluntary and community organisations have involved people in projects on the WOW! Exchange, including:

  • A patient-driven and co-developed initiative to develop patient information for Acanthamoeba Keratitis
  • Barnardo's Flying High project, a group of young people who have disabilities and additional needs which represents and supports young people to get the lives they want
  • Open Talk, a programme which works with children, young people and CAMHS professionals to promote open decision-making in CAMHS
  • Healthy Me Healthy Communities, a social enterprise that brings together a range of stakeholders locally to map assets and decide upon priorities and actions to improve health and wellbeing in the community