Bristol Independent Futures Group hosts National Expert Citizen Group meeting
Independent Futures Group (IF Group) Bristol hosted the quarterly meeting of the National Expert Citizens Group (NECG) this week. NECG meets every three months. Members of the Expert Citizens groups that provide Lived Experience to the 12 regional partnerships of the Big Lottery funded Fulfilling Lives Project meet to share learning, experience and discuss their projects.
The NECG event was held at the Unitarian Chapel in Brunswick Square, Bristol and supported by the Bristol regional Fulfilling Lives project, Golden Key Bristol. Local evaluation partner UWE was there along with the national evaluation partner for Big Lottery, CFE.
Amongst the highlights of the day were Independent Futures Group’s launch of a business plan, produced using Creativity Works’ creative processes that have enabled group members to develop new skills and learn valuable techniques that will help them in life skills and future employment opportunities.
The Business Plan showed one of the areas where Independent Futures are leading the way in terms of constituting and planning to help create system change in local service provision. Two other projects have approached IF Group for support in developing their own business plans and putting in place plans for future development.
IF Group also debuted a video commissioned and created with www.bravepercymedia.co.uk to show the diversity of life in Bristol through the eyes of people with multiple complex needs. The video shows Independent Future’s growing confidence in creative work and ability to speak on behalf of service users across homelessness, substance misuse and addiction, mental health and offending behaviour.
The Home Office were due to attend with Public Health England to show how NECG and IF Group members have helped to shape the Government’s 2016 Drug Strategy Review however the publication has been delayed and will now be attending the next event in Blackpool instead.