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needs to be listened to and messages replied to regularly for it to work. They employed young consultants to co- facilitate staff training and be involved in recruitment. These young consultants have become involved with the trust’s communication team as voices on radio adverts and in the printed press. Young consultants’ contribution has been recognised in the trust awards. The group made a video introducing

the service to young people, accessible from the service’s website. This was also sent to young people before their fi rst appointment. The group who made the DVD deliberately ensured it was not slick or corporate but had a homemade feel. This was felt to be less intimidating and more accessible. Ian summarised that participation means

young people contributing proactively, shaping processes and setting agendas. He said participation is one of those things “you know you are doing when you are in it”. It is also not necessarily reinventing the

wheel: maybe mapping what you are doing anyway and planning the next steps.

The risks and cost Staff sometimes felt they were no longer

in control and that was scary and anxiety provoking, but it meant some power had been handed over to contributors. I guess it is an education for clinicians to put themselves in a less powerful position. I heard those involved found this weird but liberating. Ian suggested you have to ensure you

are organising an activity people want to attend that is fun and enjoyable, not just a meeting. They visited a bowling alley, swimming pool, restaurants or held an in- house pizza party, and at a time that suited all.

This group had a budget of £500-1,000 a year and time set aside to set up and facilitate groups and ensure action and outcome from suggestions made. Ian warned that action needed to be quick and not some long, drawn out and dry

The future Possible future plans: iphone apps,

making the service more accessible for everyone; how to include young people with learning disabilities in the process. I think participation is crucially about

change and involves attending to some of the inherent power diff erentials within the therapeutic relationship. It strikes me, as staff , we have the opportunity to learn about how to improve what we do from the people we work with and this is at the very heart of good therapeutic practice. Personally – well, Ian and the team

inspired me. I went back into work and signed up to facilitate a participation group at Havering CAMHS.

Lucy Robertson-Ritchie, Havering – Child & Family Consultation Service

process that infl uences trust procedure in 18 months’ time. People need to see results to sustain their motivation to continue to participate.

Kinky not straight-laced practices Presenters: The diversity, equal

opportunities & inclusivity committee (Pat Gray, Nicola McCarry, Rory Worthington)

Love the fi lm Kinky Boots – but

probably for all the wrong reasons. A tired old sentimental tale of “northern” bankruptcy and parochialism rescued by an “exotic” southerner acts as a vehicle to drive around Chiwetel Ejiofor in a dress. As the basis for a workshop about diversity and inclusion – well yes – it worked. We wondered what the fi lm’s

Nicola McCarry, Pat Gray and Rory Worthington 48

protagonists, Charlie and Lola, might have made of it: Charlie: “So, Lola, they used our fi lm for their workshop. Who’d have thought it – shoes could mean so much. But, of course, they meant everything to me. Take my Dad – built up this factory – heart of the community – big responsibility for a son to take on. T at’s my story. Got them thinking about stories, expectations, fathers to sons and so on, didn’t it. I liked the bit where they

Context February 2012

AFT National Conference workshop reports

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