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Valuing people

When you ask people to participate in or influence your work, you should acknowledge their value, and it's good practice to offer payment where possible. If your organisation has a payment policy, remember to read it to know what you can offer. If it doesn't have a policy, talk to managers or senior staff about developing one. It's essential to have a consistent, organisation-wide approach to remuneration and payment.

Payment is not the only way to demonstrate to people how valuable their input and commitment are. It's easy to assume that people will only want to participate if you can recompense them financially. However, some people prefer if their experience is unpaid and are happy to share their knowledge and experience without any monetary reward.

If you are offering payment, make sure to check:

  •  how much is available in your budget;
  • when you pay participants; and 
  • the process that will enable payment to happen. 

For example, will people need to complete an expenses form or submit an invoice? If so, does your team have templates to help people to do this?

Remember, when you pay people, their benefits or income tax payments may be affected. Remind them to contact the DWP or Citizens Advice to ask for specific personal information about accepting payment. Everyone's circumstances will be different, so they need to find out precisely what they need to do if anything.

Besides payment, there are endless ways you could offer incentives or rewards for people's participation, such as a referencetraining, or further opportunities to work with you or your organisation. Think about what would make you feel valued. 

When holding meetings in person, we would suggest providing refreshments for everyone, including hot and cold drinks, biscuits and a good lunch if they are staying all day. Make sure you choose an accessible, comfortable venue and pre-book travel and accommodation where possible.

You may also want to think about what else you could do to help people feel valued and appreciated. Suggestions from national Mind staff include:

  • giving everyone a goodie bag, i.e. organisational canvas bag, mug, pen and chocolate bar;
  • having fresh flowers on display – this shows people you've taken time to think about the environment;
  • providing fruit and sweets on the table;
  • prominently displaying a feedback box; and
  • providing a break out / quiet space.

Tool

Invoice for involvement

You could use this invoice template as a guide, or develop your own.

With instructions | Without instructions

Will's video

Will has participated in a variety of Mind's influencing activities. In this film, he talks about the benefits he experienced, including how taking part helped his self-confidence.

"The whole feeling of feeling valued, feeling like I was worth something, and it made me confident to apply for jobs to apply for work to start doing similar projects with other organisations."

Sheffield Users Survivor Trainers

"Trainers are offered a fee. If trainers are in receipt of benefits, we maximise the payment they can receive in accordance with any restrictions. In some cases, trainers set up individual 'learning accounts', which enable them to attend training courses offered by other organisations. Some trainers elect to have their fee paid to other organisations they are involved with."

Other ways to get involved

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