Expert Citizens is a group of people with lived experience of homelessness, mental ill-health, addiction, domestic abuse, poverty, or histories of offending behaviour. In combination we call these multiple needs. Through the Insight awards we want to celebrate examples of positive or outstanding practice. We’ve identified four key characteristics that we believe to be fundamental when delivering, managing, planning, or commissioning services. While these are relevant to everyone using services, it’s our view that a conscious effort is needed by services to apply these principles in the context of people experiencing multiple needs. These characteristics are intended to apply from the frontline to the boardroom. As such, people can be nominated from any level of an organisation or as an independent practitioner or professional.
The four key characteristics are:
People greet all customers warmly. They allow people to be themselves to feel comfortable and included. Each interaction is considered an opportunity to impress.
People use active listening. They understand people’s priorities, personal goals, and strengths to inform service delivery or design.
People strive to improve continuously. They do this by taking action based on their listening and reflection. Where necessary they use creative approaches to tackle challenging problems.
People that actively and openly share their expertise. They put people with lived experience at the centre of their learning as an exemplar to others. They organise and work with others to improve the whole system.