You will be aware that in May 2020 a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will be elected, with responsibility for how money is spent on the police and fire services, and how officers spend their time. Essex Citizens are running a listening campaign which aims to enable the public voice to be heard in this election. It is important that young people’s voices aren’t overheard. If you can, please could I ask you to take up the challenge (outlined below) to listen to six young people about their concerns. The step-by-step process is easy to follow and all you will have to do is record the answers in a surveymonkey form. Although the official closing day is 31st Dec, I’ve been reassure that the form would still be open in the new year. Therefore, if you haven’t got time this side of Christmas, maybe make it a task in January?
- THE LISTENING CAMPAIGN: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR PARTICIPATING GROUPS
- If possible, get at least some of the listeners to come to a training session on Monday November 11th 2019, 6.30-8pm at 53 New Street, Chelmsford CM1 1AT; or if none of the listeners can be present, contact the Campaign Team for further briefing.
- EITHER Listen to at least 6 people in your organisation
OR (ideally!) find 6
people in your organisation to be ‘Community Listeners’.
- You, or each Community Listener, will EITHER have 10-minute
conversations with at least 6 other people, OR conduct a “house meeting” with a group of respondents.. The house meeting could be specially convened, or could be a pre-existing event such as a coffee morning, union branch meeting, church home-group or after-school club re-purposed for this campaign. Either way, THIS IS NOT A SURVEY, it’s an invitation to conversation, but the following “script” may be a helpful starting point:
Thank you for telling us what you think about crime and safety. In May 2020 a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will be elected, with responsibility for how money is spent on the police and fire services, and how officers spend their time. Your comments will help Citizens Essex ensure that whoever is elected is aligned with the needs of Essex.
- What’s the biggest issue regarding safety that is putting pressure on you, your loved ones or your community?
- What would make the place you live, work or study safer?
- If you had responsibility for police, crime and fire in Essex what one thing would you change?
Record the responses, but destroy the record when you have completed step 8 below.
- All organisations joining in this project need to think through how it relates to
their own safeguarding policies, and may wish to equip listeners with instructions of what to do should disclosures be made – though we are certainly not aiming that this should happen in 10 minute conversations. Citizens Essex cannot take safeguarding responsibility for other organisations. Samaritans can be called free on 116123, and Victim Support is on 0808 1689 111.
- It is important that we listen to people’s real lived experience; if someone
voices something that might be a second-hand story, or something seen in the media, it is entirely proper to ask “Is this something you have experienced yourself?” and not take an answer into account if the response is “no”.
- We think these questions are suitable for those aged 10 and above; they can
be rephrased for those slightly younger.
- Once you have done the listening, chat through the responses you’re your
institution’s values in mind. What are the main things that you are hearing? Then ask one Community Listener to spend 10 minutes submitting a summary of the stories to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7DCVWKG by Dec 31 2019. They will be asked for data such as the numbers of people listened to, the top three themes that emerged and the top two priorities as seen by the team; they will not be asked to feed in any individual responses or contact details other than their own. They will also be asked for a list of people who will be attending an “Issues Workshop” on Monday January 27th 2020.
- THE ACCOUNTABILITY ASSEMBLY, MARCH 23 2020.
- The 6+ or 42+ answers and stories that emerge will help decide the agenda of
an Accountability Assembly with candidates for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Elections on the evening of March 23rd 2020 attended by hundreds of people at Anglia Ruskin University. Delegations from communities across Essex will attend, united behind an agenda that has been agreed previously. The Assembly will be led by Citizens leaders, who will share testimony to illustrate the issues they have agreed, and then invite the key candidates to commit to work with Citizens Essex to implement the solutions should they be elected. ENSURING PEOPLE TURN OUT FOR THIS EXCITING EVENT IS AS IMPORTANT AS ENSURING THE LISTENING TAKES PLACE, and we would ask all our community listeners to be proactive in inviting people.
- Please be on the look-out for people with stories that could be shared at the
Accountability Assembly and (with their consent) pass on their details to the Campaign Team
Andy Griffiths (firstname.lastname@example.org)
on behalf of the Citizens Essex PFCC Campaign Team.