Involvement Strategy..you said…we’re doing!

In November and December 2018 we held 4 workshops with people who use Oxfordshire Mind Services to shape Oxfordshire Mind’s first ever 5 year Involvement Strategy. 

Two key questions were asked:

  1. How do you currently feel involved at Oxfordshire Mind?
  2. What new ways would you like to be involved at Oxfordshire Mind?

What people said in response to these two questions, has formed the key priorities the Involvement Strategy. 

We also asked people about the language they wanted to be used to describe Involvement at Oxfordshire Mind and help creating a mission statement for the strategy.

The most popular term was “Service User Involvement Strategy”, which was shortened to the “Involvement Strategy” as this encompasses people that may have previously used Oxfordshire Mind’s services. 

The mission statement of the Involvement strategy that was created:

“Oxfordshire Mind will embed the involvement of service users and stakeholders at all levels within the organisation, aiming always for a co-productive approach. Oxfordshire Mind aims to ensure that all involvement is recovery and wellbeing focused, is inclusive, is meaningful, and has a positive impact.” 

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How people currently feel involved:

  • People felt involved in Peer Support Groups at Oxfordshire Mind.  They stated they learn from each other, and often people lead activities and plan together with staff in partnership.  Groups come up with their own working agreements and will share decision making responsibilities. The peer support model also allows for people to support each other without staff intervention. 
  • People felt that the Oxfordshire Mind approach allowed for them to feel involved as equals.  They reported that people listen non-judgmentally in services and staff work together in partnership with them in decisions about their individual care and support. They reported being given power, responsibility and ownership. 
  • People felt that Oxfordshire Mind offers a pathway for those with lived experience of mental health to support others and volunteer through a peer supporter role, and other volunteer roles throughout the organisation. 
  • Some people reported that they are involved via the regular service user meetings (such as the housing meetings and the Mill member meeting) where decisions are shared between the group and staff. 
  • People reported that being on Interviews panels for recruiting staff at Oxfordshire Mind ensures they are recruiting the right people and supports them to learn new skills.  
  • People reported they feel involved and empowered when they are able to give feedback about the services Oxfordshire Mind (whether via a form or through an anonymous suggestion box)

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What you said you wanted & what we are doing:

You said:

  • People said that they would like Forums and focus groups specific to the service they use so they can give their views and influence Oxfordshire Mind at service delivery, planning and evaluation levels. People said they wanted to use these groups to plan trips and activities from their service. 

We are doing:

  • We will work with service users Sept ’19 –March ’20 to develop forums and focus groups across the organisation
  • We have developed a new Involvement champion volunteer role to help see the process through.

You said:

  • Opportunities should be created for us to influence the organisation at a strategic level, including direct communication with the Oxfordshire Mind Senior Management Team and Board of Trustees – something like a service user council. 

We are doing:

  • We will create a strategic level group for service users that are elected by the forums/focus groups across the organisation in 2020 that will have direct influence at a Strategic level at Oxfordshire Mind. 

You said:

  • We need clearer avenues for giving regular feedback, multiple ways to feedback and we need to know what is being done as a result of our feedback. We feel it’s important that this should not be too much paperwork. 

We are doing:

  • We are going to work with you to improve to develop new methods of feedback and to create a robust system when this feedback is reviewed systematically, actioned and fed back. 

You said:

  • Involvement opportunities need to be accessible, clearly advertised and to come with support and training. 

We are doing:

  • We are ensuring that moving forward all involvement opportunities have a good level of support and training.  For instance the Lived experience Interviewer role comes with a half day training and ongoing support, and the new Expert by Experience role will come with monthly group supervisions and training. 
  • We are now advertising all involvement opportunities on our new website in the “Involvement” section of the website.
  • We are planning to create a service user newsletter with service users (get in touch if you’re interested in doing this!)

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You said:

  • Opportunities should be available for service users to use their expert knowledge to raise awareness of mental health, train staff, challenge stigma and talk about the work Oxfordshire Mind does. This may be via campaigning, co-delivery of training, giving information talks, sharing expert viewpoints at workshops, and sharing their views via external communications. 

We are doing:

  • We are currently recruiting for a new Expert by Experience role which involves all of this (please see our website for details!).  

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You said:

  • We would like to be involved in the design of key communications (i.e. website, regular newsletter etc

We have and will do:

  • We held a workshop with service users who informed the creation of our new website (launching October 2019)
  • We are working with peer supporters and volunteers in partnership to improve our volunteering materials
  • We will hold focus groups and surveys when we develop new communication materials moving forward. 

You said:

  • We would like to be involved in raising awareness of Oxfordshire Mind and fundraising in the community

We have:

  • Created a new fundraising an events volunteering role in April 2019 which has regular training.  This volunteering role requires no minimum commitment and is ad-hoc so is flexible around your life, we welcome people who have used our services to do this role. If you are interested in applying please go to the volunteering part of our website or call the volunteering team on: 01865 263852 or email volunteering@oxfordshiremind.org.uk

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