Your Own Place Advisory Board (YOPAB) is a group of people who have experienced Your Own Place’s services – workshops, mentoring or employability support – and who provide lived experience perspectives to inform our work. The aim of YOPAB is to be mutually beneficial.
YOPAB is all about co-production, shared influence, building experience and developing skills. So there is no one better to tell you about the work they’ve done with us this year than one of our YOPAB members: Gary.
Gary starts: ‘This blog will be about what YOPAB does. We as the Advisory Board take on the staff suggestion and mould them into great workshops for our customers and trainees.The reason we mould our workshops are because we all have different experiences — the staff is trained to adapt, so that’s good for them and for the trainees. ‘
Here’s another member of YOPAB (Lauren), commenting on how Your Own Place’s flexibility works for her:
I love how your own place can adapt any activity to the needs of everyone in the room.
I can still participate even when things are harder for me”
YOPAB’s coordinator, Emily, uses the Ladder of Participation model to reflect on how we involve YOPAB in our projects.
With a background in teaching, Emily is passionate about equality and ensuring all are able to access support where and when they need it.
The annual plan for YOPAB focusses on various outcomes to ensure the input of people with lived experience moves up the ladder. We asked Gary and the Advisory Board where they feel they are — acknowledging their place on the ladder may change with each project they work on .
Your Own Podcast came into being from idea put forward by a founding member of YOPAB. At its inception, it involved discussing Your Own Place and what we offered to trainees and partners. Gary updates us to where it’s at now:
‘We spoke about rebooting the podcast in one of our regular Zoom meetings [keeping YOPAB inclusive so that people can join virutally as well as in person]. The people who were interested said they would do it, and now we plan the podcasts in advance. In meetings, we also use the program Canva to help us arrange the format and write ideas down. We are all very creative people in the advisory board which is amazing. We use the podcast to help others with everyday needs
It’s now evolved into a monthly event that is planned and recorded completely by YOPAB, edited by Emily, and now features interviews with services and professionals. Listen up for members of YOPAB discussing everyday challenges that we all come up against in all podcast episodes here.
This is one of YOPAB’s Citizen Control projects: created, designed and implemented by members of YOPAB, with support of Your Own Place.
YOPAB also collaborated, created and collated lived experience mental health research to create a report to show how employers can support employees to be happy and thrive in their roles.
Your Own Place and the Advisory Board:
🟢 Co-produced a report, highlighting YOPAB’s recommendations
🟠 Create videos to share these recommendations, as well as amplify their voices and experiences
This is one of YOPAB’s Delegated Power projects: with a goal created by Your Own Place, and with the resources and responsibility given to YOPAB.
‘We as the Advisory Board are at the Placation stage with projects that are already up and running. Any ideas we have help out the YOP staff. We helped with the Colchester Borough Home project. We had a morning on what we thought would be good for them — it is amazing to fell included and to have us to bounce ideas off.
We came to the conclusion that we the Advisory Board have a different point of view then the people in the Colchester professionals!’
Here’s a video to share how the feedback that YOPAB provided shaped the work Your Own Place did with Colchester Borough Homes, the report we wrote and the project proposal we submitted.
And Gary’s final word on being part of YOPAB?
We on the Advisory Board are different, but we all value our different needs and respect each other 🙂