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Participation Requests Training for Members

Participation Requests Training: Bring public authorities to the table!

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act (2015) created new opportunities in Scotland. Participation requests have been introduced under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act which was passed in July 2015. They are a new means by which community groups / communities of interest can request to have greater involvement in, and influence over, decisions and services that affect communities and community life.

The broad aim of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act is that communities can have more influence over the services and decisions that affect their lives. Some of the benefits of better
participation include:

  • The way in which public services are planned, developed and delivered is influenced by, and responds to, community need.
  • People who find it difficult to get involved (for example, because of language barriers, disability, poverty or discrimination) help to influence the decisions that affect their lives.
  • The various strengths and assets in communities and across public and private sector agencies are used effectively to deal with the issues communities face
  • New relationships are developed between communities and public sector bodies which build trust and make joint action possible.

There are a number of possible purposes that participation requests can be used for. Some of these include:

  • To help people start a dialogue about something that matters to their community, through highlighting needs, issues or opportunities for improvement.
  • To help people have their voice heard in policy and service development, through contributing to decision-making processes.
  • To help people to participate in the design, delivery, monitoring or review of service provision, through contributing to service change or improvement.
  • To help people challenge decisions and seek support for alternatives which improve outcomes.

Participation Requests could be used in Self Directed Support to help you group / organisation to:

  • Have a discussion with your Local Authority about improving the implementation of SDS in your area
  • Focus the discussion on Outcomes you would like to achieve, such as maximising the flexibility that people have to make use of their SDS budget, or ensuring access to Option 2 services, or ensuring the workforce undertaking assessments and care planning have the knowledge, skills and resources to do this in a personalised and outcome focused way

SDSS will be arranging training on Participation Requests later this year, from the Scottish Centre for Community Development (SCDC). If you would like to host this training, please get in touch with Mark to let him know on:

Tel: (0131) 4752623     Mobile: 07775 065653      Email: mark@sdsscotland.org.uk 

For further information on Participation Requests, see further guidance here: Summary Guidance on Community Participation