At Big Lottery Fund we want to put people in the lead. Being people-led is a key theme across all of our open programmes.
So what does this mean?
Putting people in the lead means the people you’ll be working with will be meaningfully involved in the development, design and delivery of your project.
For some groups, this is a whole new way of thinking. Instead of the committee or managers coming up with ideas for projects, it will be the people who use their services and the wider community.
To help you to understand this approach better, we have created a short film. It has tips on how to put people in the lead.
• Talk to as many people as possible and not just people who usually go to your group (see our blog on being connected)
• Use a method that suits them (take into account barriers such as language difficulties or limited mobility)
• Use open questions (see our blog on the strengths based approach)
• Shape their ideas into a project
• Find out what skills people have or want to develop
• Give them an active role in delivering the project (can they share skills by doing a demonstration, or mentoring; are they members of a committee or steering group?)
• Make sure that they are willing and able to volunteer
• Be practical and realistic (ask them what days of week and times and venues are suitable).
The benefits of involving people outweigh the challenges. If people have ownership of the project, they will bring their energy, ideas and enthusiasm. You will end up with the type of project people really need, rather than one you think they need.