It’s important to think carefully about the way you want people to influence and participate in your organisation’s work. Planning for the year ahead is an essential aspect of this, this annual plan then needs breaking down into activities so each can be thought about and planned in depth. For people with lived experience good planning leads to more meaningful and influential involvement, it can mean the difference between taking part in a single activity, and then feeling motivated to participate in and influence more projects and pieces of work or not taking part again.
Effective planning leads to more confident staff and quality opportunities, this in turn builds and nurtures relationships which positively shape people’s perceptions of your organisation.
You should give full consideration to the work you’d like people to get involved with and give enough time to plan how you will make this a reality.
If you’re asking people to join a one-off focus group or discussion event, a group agreement lets everyone know where they stand and helps to create a safe space for openness and honesty. If you’re setting up a regular forum, make sure you have some terms of reference in place so that expectations are clear.
To make sure you’re taking everything into account when planning your activity, you might find this ‘Developing your opportunity’ template useful. It takes you through all the things you need to consider to promote your opportunity and attract the people you want to reach.