As part of the first annual Institute of Community Reporters’ conference, the Our Voices team participated in the ‘Co-creating public services with stories of lived experiences’ symposium organizing a session to present the project and establish a way forward for the curriculum, the toolkit and the resource bank developed in its framework.
On June 6th, People’s Voice Media organized a symposium to present the project Our Voices in Manchester. Policy advisors, researchers, academics, public service workers, NGO workers, health and social care professionals, lived experience experts participated and gave their meaningful contribution on the day.
The symposium has been the occasion to discuss about the value of lived experiences to create effective social change and to explain how it is possible to mobilise local voices to reach specific social goals. It was the perfect context to present the Our Voices best practice models around story curation and give the attendees the possibility to carry out some basic story curation tasks to reflect on the impact of digital storytelling.
Academic, universities and research groups, as well as organizations and individuals in the health/social care sectors and community services used social media, during and after the symposium, to assert the value of the initiatives presented to make people’s voices catalysts of positive changes. This has been an important result, since when the project will end, people like them will be the real users of the toolkit created and will assure their ongoing usefulness.
During these last months, the project team has made many efforts to test the outputs through piloting activities and look for accreditation and suggestions of improvement through stakeholders’ consultations, basically to reach two main goals: improve the outputs’ quality as much as possible and assure their sustainability, so that the work done in these last years might keep bearing fruit.