Thanks for joining us!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
We are so happy to be able to launch the Equality Alliance, Stoke and Staffs. Our story is one of collaboration and cooperation between people from a range of backgrounds and interests who are all passionate about health and social equity. The ease with which we have come together and the momentum gained since inviting Bill to our ‘Big Community Conversation’ has given us the feeling of being part of a movement and we are keen to harness this energy to support positive change in our communities.
The Equality Alliance has grown from a partnership between a local university research unit and members of the local community who formed a community action network to develop ways of engaging communities in research to address the social determinants of health. The partnership included university researchers with expertise in participatory action research, members of the 1,000 lives network, over 50’s groups, library volunteers, community development workers, advocacy organisations and local government to name a few.
We agreed at the outset that we were interested in giving people a voice and providing opportunities for people to tell their stories about what matters to them in their community and what they do to make a difference. We developed innovative ways of enabling people to tell their stories, for example poster making in year one and working with media students in year two, which we showcased as part of our annual Big Community Conversation. We also provided opportunities for interactive story-telling at the events which had over 200 people attend this year, outperforming last years attendance of 150 people!
We invited Bill Kerry, The Equality Trust to speak at this years Big Community Conversation to find out if there was an appetite amongst participants to challenge inequality in our area and were pleasantly surprised by the response. We are now hoping that the alliance may adopt the Big Community Conversation as its annual networking and listening event with independent links to the university.
We are at the start of our journey and would love to network with other groups and hear your stories, collaborating where appropriate. Please contact Patsy Corcoran in the first instance Patsy.Corcoran@asist.co.uk