Monthly Archives: September 2013

Introducing our new Training and Development Officer, Siobhan Hayward

When I was asked to write a blog post to introduce myself, I felt a good starting point would be when I crossed the bridge and came to live in Wales (second time round) about 15 years ago. Originally from England I now view Wales as home and the turning point was when I started to support the Welsh Rugby team during the six nations!

SiobhanDuring this time I have had a varied career, first as the Development Officer / Team leader  for the Black Environment Network followed by four years working as an independent consultant. This period included working with Learning through Landscapes and supporting teachers to prepare for the new Foundation Phase, a curriculum that promotes learning through play in the outdoors for 3 – 7 year olds.  This work struck a particular chord as my own son was very young at the time.  I saw that if you communicated with young children using appropriate participatory techniques they were more than able to express their views about their environment and what they would like to be able to do outdoors.

A contrasting piece of work was with the Cymru Equality and Diversity Consortium when I managed  community consultations to inform Black and Minority Ethnic Housing Strategies that local authorities were developing.

The thread that links this work is the importance of effective engagement and  to ensure citizens of Wales regardless of age or ethnicity have a say in the design, development and delivery of services that affect them.

Continuing the theme of public engagement, working in partnership both internally and with external partners has been a key element of my most recent role as Education Advisor for Natural Resources Wales. Earlier this year I attended the Accredited Effective Partnership Working in the Environment Sector Course run by Participation Cymru. It was the first time the course was run with the environment sector and it is encouraging to see a public sector organisation promoting this vital area of work.

A few months later I saw the job advert for the Training and Development Officer post and… here I am! I have been given a warm welcome and I look forward to being part of the team and working with public and third sector organisations to support the development of public engagement.

You can contact me or any member of Participation Cymru team by clicking here

Introducting our new administrator: Jon Birts

ImageThis is just a short post to introduce myself as the new administrator for Participation Cymru. Since joining the team in June I have been learning lots about the concepts of citizen engagement, participation and involvement. Through helping to arrange the new upcoming training programme, I now have a good insight into the different types and levels of participation. However as it is such a broad and varied concept I still have a lot to learn.

For three years prior to starting this job I have worked in Health and Social Care, and had lots of contact with service users at ‘ground level’. One of the things that interests me most about participation is the idea of hearing views and opinions on how care and support should be delivered from those receiving it. Networks are a great way of bringing people together and sharing and gathering information which can then be fed back to the organisations in charge of monitoring services.

Working in an administrative capacity, I don’t often get to see the good work that Participation Cymru does, so I’m looking forward to taking part in the accredited Public Engagement course in September, and attending the South East Wales Participation Network in October. See you there!

–       Jon