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Campaigning conference 2019: Leading with lived experience


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Here we take a look at the importance of putting lived experience at the centre of campaigning work using the Prison Reform Trust as a case study for this.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Campaigning conference 2019: Leading with lived experience

  1. 1. Leading with lived experience  Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement at PRT
  2. 2. Aims of this presentation  Not to talk about Brexit!  Lessons re involving staff and service users in an organisational culture change  Examples of challenges and successes at PRT
  3. 3. Overview of Prison Reform Trust Advocacy and Influencing organisation Penal reform sector historically benevolent and concerned for the vulnerable 2017 change at Prison Reform Trust; new Chair James Timpson, New Director Peter Dawson Creation of new Senior Management Team post to lead prisoner engagement Upside Down management (Timpson) Power Bias and lack of diversity (Paula)
  4. 4. What is lived experience and why is it important We all have lived experience but not all have lived experience of imprisonment; lack of multiplicity of perspectives leads to one dimensional thinking What assumptions drive why we do the work in prison reform? Do we seek to serve? Who do we serve? whose agenda are we seeking to promote? Are we being honest with our end users about the organisational mission? Are we being honest in the team about direction? How are we going to make sure our service SERVES?
  5. 5. Do NOT rush to a solution You can have an idea where you want to go, but you have to include everyone in the process  You might miss insights  You might not bring everyone with you  You must prepare yourself to be uncomfortable  Ceding control is uncomfortable  If you aren’t uncomfortable, then you aren’t doing it right. This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
  6. 6. Listening to the team  What do we think the purpose of PRT is?  What do we think we are doing? Are we doing well? Could we be part of the problem?  Why do we think we are the best people to do this?  What are the organisational values?  Are we a diverse team?  What is missing?  How can we improve?  What should be in our next five year plan?
  7. 7. What we learnt That our team wasn’t very diverse That we didn’t always recognise the power and privilege that manifests in “helping” activities That we must seek to serve rather than help the community of prisoners
  8. 8. What we did next Roadshow with prisoners in a series of workshops in prison Listened to what prisoners wanted from PRT and what they thought of PRT Asked external partners what they thought of PRT
  9. 9. What did we do Changed the priorities in our five year plan Less SMT meetings, more all staff meetings weekly staff newsletter Long sentence prisoners More popular communications strategy Strengthened diversity on the Board and in staff team; Board meetings in prison Set up Prisoner Policy Network for continued involvement of prisoners and 26 supporting organisations Continued programme of listening
  10. 10. The Prisoner Policy Network
  11. 11. Prisoner Policy Network  Building a collective voice of prisoners  Identification of emerging prisoner leaders  Not extraction, but community development  Every interaction means we give purposefully
  12. 12. Group work  What is it that you not want to hear?  What would be a challenge for you as an organisation?  What would you do if you heard it?
  13. 13. Be upfront about the differences “The report attempts to represent the views of those who responded to this consultation, rather than the views of Prison Reform Trust. As such, verbatim quotes from respondents are used liberally throughout (in italics) so that the story is told through the words of those with the lived experience and not through the words of the report writer”. What would happen if you didn’t include solely because it doesn’t fit your organisation’s beliefs.
  14. 14. Be prepared to challenge yourselves groupwork  How much are you prepared to change due to feedback?  Are there questions for your senior leaders?  Lets discuss
  15. 15.  Paula Harriott  Head of Prisoner Involvement at Prison Reform Trust ,uk  Twitter @paula.Harriott  Mobile 07757227453