The Annual Participation Programme

Our Annual Participation Programme is the one-stop-shop for members to find out about and become involved in our main influencing priorities for the year ahead. The programme is full of opportunities based on themes we know are important to our membership and it allows members to choose what they get involved with and in what way.

How are themes decided?

We want to make sure that the Programme themes represent our diverse membership as much as possible. To do this we have to begin by leaning on our evidence. This means we search the following information for trends and themes:

  1. The most common issues raised with our Advocacy and Participation Workers
  2. Issues or areas identified by our local participation groups
  3. The results of our membership survey
  4. The issues raised through our helpline

After we’ve finished this search, we take the themes to our annual Member’s Assembly. Some of our themes are ‘locked in’. These are the ones that are evidenced by our advocacy and participation work. Other themes are optional and members are able to rank these themes in order of importance.

How can I get involved?

For most themes, there will be consistent methods for getting involved:

  1. 1:1 discussions with your WC?S worker or with the Policy team directly.
  2. As part of your local participation group – just ask your worker for more information.
  3. By taking part in a national workshop – a chance to meet other members too!
  4. A survey – for the times you would rather share your views in private.

Members, if you’re unsure what getting involved means, check out our Members Frequently Asked Questions document.

Reflecting on the 2020/21 Programme

Across 2020/21 we reduced the number of themes to just 3 important themes due to the impact of Covid-19. The themes and activity are summarised below:

Child and Human Rights

This theme allowed us to talk to our members about human rights, including their views on their knowledge of rights and how well protected their human rights are. We summarised these findings in a report called ‘Navigating the World of Rights’ and made sure that our members’ views were shared with decision makers.
We’re already seeing the impact member’s views are having:

Covid-19 Recovery Planning

This theme allowed us to build on our early Covid-19 Impact Reports and ask members directly about how they have felt during the pandemic and if they had ideas for ‘building back better’. The findings of this theme have been released and shared with decision-makers in Scottish Government. Read the ‘Covid-19 Recovery Planning’ report here.

Realising the Promise

This theme started as soon as Scotland entered new lockdown restrictions in January 2021. We knew the impact this was having on both our members and staff and so we chose to create a simpler way of engaging. We asked members to submit questions to The Promise about the work they have planned to turn the findings of the Care Review into reality and what they would like to know.
The Promise team then filmed a Q&A video, where Fiona Duncan, Chair of the Oversight Board, answered questions submitted.

This is just the start of our members engaging with the work of The Promise and there will be plenty more opportunities to get involved.

Launching the new 2021/22 Programme

The Programme’s calendar of themes will be refreshed annually. Keep your eyes peeled for our new programme launching in April 2021.

If you have any questions about the Annual Participation Programme, please get in contact with Carly Elliott – or get in touch with your WC?S worker.

With thanks to Scottish Local Authorities, funding partners and donors who make our work possible.