User and Stakeholder Involvement
It is becoming increasingly important to demonstrate that your organisation responds to the needs of your clients. Evidence gathered from the public, both existing service users and non-service users, can be used to ensure that your service is open and accessible to everyone, contributing to your Equal Opportunities work. Evidence can also be used to demonstrate that you are responding to a clear local need, and assist in identifying new potential funding streams. Funders are increasingly looking for services that meet the needs of clients; often assumptions are made about what these needs might be, for example, an ‘out-of-hours’ service. So, how can you do it?
Involving your users in your service can be done in a variety of ways. Some organisations invite user representatives to sit on their Board. Some organisations use feedback forms completed by clients to help shape their service. Some organisations do random questionnaires with members of the public in their local communities.
The attached User Involvement Toolkit, developed under the BLF funded Working Together for Advice Project, is an excellent tool to guide you. AdviceUK’s Development Consultants can also give advice and other tools to members, and provide a consultancy service for more in-depth support to members, non-members, networks, local government and funders. Please look at the Regional Pages to identify your local Development Consultant, and get in touch.
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