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I'm worried about risk

Running activities for people to influence our work can feel unpredictable and risky at times. And worrying about risk can be a barrier. It often means we rely on 'safe' methods that people feel comfortable using, instead of the best methods for the project.

Negative experiences with influencing work can heighten this fear and further restrict development opportunities. This means staff become too nervous to use new and creative methods of involving people.

Supporting staff who are worried about risk

Spend time thinking about the potential risks in your lived experience work. This will give staff confidence, and a chance to prepare for the risks. They can then direct action to reduce the chance of risks happening.

Our managing risks tool can help you to:

  • Make decisions about involving people with lived experience in your work
  • Think about any reasonable adjustments you need to make. Adjustments can reduce the risk of tokenism and harm. And make it more likely that participants will have a positive experience.

Download the tool with instructions

Download the tool without instructions

"It's really helpful to map out the potential risks involved in engagement, thinking about what needs participants may have and planning how to meet these and support them. It helps us to feel better prepared to manage anything that comes up."

Alice at Mind, on using the managing risks tool.

Top tips for managing risk in lived experience work

  • Think about both physical and emotional risks. Consider what you can do to reduce the chance of an accident taking place, or someone being.
  • Think about staff and the people taking part. Everyone's safety is important.
  • Ask others for their thoughts and opinions once you've filled out the risk management tool. They may think of something different or see risk differently. It can be helpful to hear other people's perspectives.
  • Share the completed tool with the people running the activity with you. They'll need to know what to do during a risky situation.

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