It is incredibly important to be inclusive and make reasonable adjustments whenever necessary, to enable everyone to participate. But fear of not having the resources to be able to offer the support people might need during the process can be a barrier.
Working with people from varied and diverse backgrounds is essential to Mind’s work, however some people said that they were afraid of getting things wrong. In this situation, it’s often easier to avoid reaching out to people if you don’t understand the barriers they encounter or adjustments that may need to be made. Worrying about additional resources that may be required can create and additional barrier.
Asking the simplest of questions is sometimes all that’s required and will help you allocate resources where they are needed. It’s likely to be much less damaging than making assumptions about what people need, and it’s definitely better than inadvertently excluding people because your budget hasn’t been allocated appropriately or due to concerns about saying or doing the wrong thing.
You may also want to think about different participation activities that can meet the cultural and / or religious needs of everyone whose views you’re seeking, rather than trying to cater for everyone at the same time with the same activity. This may impact on the resources you need including staff time, skills and money however you may find that by planning effectively you can maximise the resources you have and reach a greater diversity of people in a way that’s meaningful to them without overstretching your budget and time.