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25 February 2021

Public Engagement

DEEP as a part of the Wales School for Social Care Research between 2016-2020 was selected as a test site for the NIHR ‘National Standards for Public Involvement in Research’ as a joint project between the School and CADR. Both organisations implemented all the 6 standards for public involvement in research and conducted a parallel review to record and analyse the lessons learnt. DEEP continues to learn from and build on the lessons learnt in the review and the adoption of the standards.

The nature of DEEP work based within the context of social care services meaning that the values of coproduction are echoed insuring that service users and careers input are sought and embedded in learning.  Additionally, methods of work are designed to ensure that diverse knowledges are listened to and this includes the knowledge of service users, their family and carers. DEEP works to ensure that the ‘researcher as expert’ relationship is challenged and instead the issues that matter to people within services are acknowledged as experts in their own rights with their contributions being acknowledged and included in the research enriched environments that are supported by DEEP.

Please see the examples below:

Case Example: Josh’s story

I am a young guy, who is supported by Swansea Council. I am also a fan of Swansea City Football Club. I used to attend Swansea Vale Resource centre, I am now a volunteer mentor within this service. I met Nick Andrews at one of my first events that I attended and he was very interested in hearing about my story and he was very knowledgeable and this gave me confidence allowing me to explore other opportunities. I was invited to join in a Magic Moments workshop that was being facilitated by people from the Wales School for Social Care Research. At this workshop, staff and service users sat in a big circle. After introducing ourselves, people volunteered to read out 1 of 10 different ‘magic moment’ stories. We then put the 10 stories spread out on the floor. People were then asked to move to which ‘magic moment’ story that they thought was the most ‘magic’. We all had different opinions and reasons behind our choices and using a Exploratory Talk approach, we explored the values, assumptions and implications of what we all shared and discussed.  The stories I heard about, showed me that anything is achievable and there is no such word as can’t. Sometimes you’ve just got to persevere. It just goes to show that by giving the best to your ability you can achieve anything that you really put your mind to. What I really did find was it was really inspiring and it made me realise how lucky I’ve got it compared to some people. Since the workshop, I have trained in Community of Enquiry and am now a volunteer helping to run more ‘magic moment’ workshops.

I have also recorded my own ‘magic moment’ with the BBC Listening Project (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000458z ) I have also shared my ‘magic moment’ with senior people in Welsh Government and encouraged them to learn from it.

Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning (DRILL):