Engagement practitioners in Powys recently received accreditation from Agored Cymru after completing our three day course and coursework on Public engagement: theory and practice. Around 15 professionals whose day job involves engagement, consultation and participation with various groups took up the offer to train after Powys made a successful bid to the Welsh Government’s Making the Connections fund.
Here are the officers receiving their certificates.
Left to right – Clare Parsons, (Brecon Beacons National Park), John Thomas, Rebecca Richards, Sue Glenn (Powys County Council – PCC) and Michelle Wozencraft (Children and Young People’s Partnership). Congratulations also to Catherine Lewis and Jane Evans (PCC), Eleanor Barrow and Freda Lacey (Powys Mental Health Alliance), Lucy Taylor (Powys Carers) and Kerrine Phillips (Pavo). Two more participants are completing the course currently. These are Janet Bidgood and Stephen Parkinson.
The officers all sit on the Powys Consultation and Engagement Officers Network, which meets quarterly to share good practice, progress actions in the Local Service Board Participation Strategy and look for opportunities to co-consult. The network is a great example of how organisations can work together to make sure that people are not over-consulted.
When we originally worked on the National Principles for Public Engagement in Wales, we didn’t include the fourth principle on ‘Working with partner organisations’. We took it for granted that organisations would do this, but we were wrong to do so. People told us that organisations don’t work together enough to improve engagement, which seems to be at odds with the benefits that are available – pooled resources, skills and expertise.
You can hear Mandy Williams, Participation Cymru Manager, running through the Principles one by one at the ‘Monitoring engagement using the National Principles for Public Engagement in Wales’ workshop below, which was part of the All Wales Residential Participation Network 2013.