Running activities and events for people to influence our work can be unpredictable and may feel risky at times. People told us this can be a barrier for staff and often means 'safe' methods that people feel comfortable using are relied on rather than the appropriate method for your work being used. Negative experiences can heighten this fear and further restrict the opportunities you may develop. This can lead to new and creative methods being ignored because staff feel under confident and scared to use them.
Spending time thinking about potential risks gives staff confidence to prepare for them and prompts thinking and action to be taken to reduce the risk of them happening in the first place. Our 'Managing Risks' tool could be useful in helping you make decisions about involving people with lived experience in your work. It can also help you to think about any essential and reasonable adjustments you might need to make. This minimises the risk of tokenism and potential harm, and increases the likelihood of a positive experience.
Alice at Mind says on using this tool "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."