A Stronger Voice
WA partnership has had a long involvement in the development and delivery of Stronger Voice and is delighted to be carrying on the good work of the National Consumer Council (now Consumer Focus) to increase the involvement of consumers in effective service delivery.
We are now fully responsible for the management and development of all the Stronger Voice training courses and their delivery.
Our involvement began back in 2000 when, as a result of practical involvement as resource designers and as hands on trainers, WA were asked to review and redesign the SV training package as they wanted a product that:
- could be more flexibly used by their network of trainers;
- provided a range of activities for participants of differing backgrounds and experiences;
- was more user friendly for both trainers and participants
- could be modified as a bespoke product for specific organisations or sectors e.g. Food Standards Agency
For WA partnership this involved talking with trainers involved in delivering the existing package, reviewing the comments of participants and identifying how the key concepts that needed to be included within the pack could best fit together to form a cohesive and logical training manual. We also had to devise the pack structure and organise how the various elements could fit together effectively.
The completed Stronger Voice Training Package consists of a participants handbook, a trainers manual and a CD Rom of training resources – it contains everything that a trainer needs to plan and run a Stronger Voice course, and includes the opportunity to adapt materials to meet the needs of specific participants whilst still allowing the Stronger Voice ‘brand’ to remain firmly in place.
Stronger Voice and the training offered is becoming increasingly popular among a very diverse community from single interest voluntary sector organisations through to local government looking to increase participation of citizens in the provision of services.
Stronger Voice also represents a useful tool for service planners keen to ensure that the needs of consumers and users remain at the heart of service planning during periods of rapid and major change.