The Citizen’s Voice

Birmingham is the most diverse city in the UK – a great cause for celebration, but with this diversity comes the challenge of ensuring all sectors of Birmingham have an equal level of valued input into the City’s future.

Common Unity is recognised as a local leader when it comes down to engaging diverse communities on often difficult subjects through utilising social media platforms. Subject areas covered through URBRUM have included gender, race, age, stereotypes, prejudice, mental health, well-being, recovery and suicide, as well as wider general health topics.
Birmingham City Council’s Safeguarding Board (BSAB) has high priorities in respect of its responsibilities regarding community engagement on the matter of safeguarding. With the recognition that safeguarding is everybody’s business, yet not all communities understand their responsibilities, there is a clear need to realise an effective, community focussed approach in ensuring the issues of safeguarding are addressed effectively alongside communities as partners in this process.

The Safeguarding Team partnered up with Common Unity to develop a range of Vox Pop videos. The Vox Pop approach provided a platform by which the subject matter of safeguarding could be entered into in a way that enabled the voice of the people to become a key aspect of the decision-making process as well as an opportunity for community empowerment. Through careful and sensitive design, the development of ‘The Citizen’s Voice’ clearly went a long way in starting to meet the BSAB priorities in respect of hearing the voice of communities, promoting safer communities through debate and learning, empowering communities to contribute to safeguarding as everybody’s business and providing service provider agencies with assurances regarding services provided.

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