Support Narratives for Positive and Healthy Relationships

Added by SarahNiA under Tools & Methods

Have you thought about using Support Narratives in your project? 

Support Narratives are ideally suited to providing qualitative and interpretative information on project outcomes and impact.  They are about collecting stories of change in client's lives as a result of the project intervention so can pick up unexpected outcomes.  They are also a good way of supporting organisational learning and project improvement.

As well as monitoring and measuring outcomes, Support Narratives are a good way of strengthening relationships (worker/client - worker/colleague - joint working).

We are all social beings and relationships and interactions are an integral part of our lives. Relationships constantly change and they need to be nurtured and protected if they are to become and remain positive, healthy and rewarding.

Narrative in Action is running an introductory workshop to Support Narratives for Relationships. 

This workshop uses specific narrative techniques that will help you to understand the basics of the Support Narrative technique and use it to:

  • Manage conflict and differences without challenging behaviour or distress
  • Take ownership and responsibility
  • Protect and nourish good teamwork
  • Communicate and understand needs and expectations
  • Identify and implement boundaries
  • Share stories: from fiction to real life
  • Make room for growth

This intensive workshop is a fully interactive learning experience. You will work in groups and pairs and also individually to get the maximum benefit and reach intended outcomes. A range of narrative techniques will be made available to you and you will come away with new tools at your disposal, fresh insight and energy, new perspectives and the potential for building positive and healthy relationships.

The workshop is being held in Perth, 21st January.  You can find out more at http://narrativeinaction.eventbrite.co.uk/ 

The cost of this training is £80 (normally £120). Tea/coffee and lunch are included.

Contact sarah@narrativeinaction.com if you would like to know more about how Support Narratives work.


Co-production or co-operation?

Added by Stuart Hashagen under General Chat

Interesting article in last week’s Guardian Society section on Lambeth – which is apparently setting itself up as a ‘co-operative Council’.

 "We are trying to find a way to reinvent public services to make them more responsive to individual preferences and lifestyles," explains Lambeth council leader Steve Reed. "We want public services that do things with people rather than do things to people. At its core, this is about shifting power to people so they have more control over their lives."

 The components of the approach appear to include:

  •  A version of participatory budgeting – for example, the youth offending team working with young ex-offenders top decide how best to spend £20,000 on prevention 
  • Changing the council / service user relationship from ‘parent – child’ to ‘adult – adult’ 
  • Supporting community trusts 
  • Abolishing ‘silo’ departments and replacing them with ‘clusters’ 
  • Co-operative commissioning, not outsourcing to the private sector

The council is a member of the Co-operative Councils network, which has 21 members. The full article can be accessed online at:


Comments posted after the article suggest that the reality may not match the rhetoric, but nevertheless the Lambeth example may suggest ways in which organisations wanting to take forward a coproduction-based strategy  might go. The essence of it is very close to the description of community engagement adopted by Scotland back in 2005:

 ‘Developing and sustaining a working relationship between one or more public body and one or more community group, to help them both to understand and act on the needs or issues that the community experiences’

 But it’s none the worse for that!

Date set for our national conference!

Added by Olivia under General Chat

We've set a date for a national conference on co-production and community capacity building hosted jointly by JIT and the Scottish Co-production Network. The event will take place in Edinburgh on Wednesday 20th February. How do you think the network should highlight the great range of co-production activity and facilitate networking at the event?

New Economics Foundation (nef) Critical Friends Group

Added by FionaGarven

Catriona and I are delighted to be part of the nef Critical Friends Group where we can hear about what is happening in the field of co-prouction across England and Wales and where we can contribute our own information on developments in Scotland. The recent upload of the last set of discussion topics from the group onto the news section of the Co-production Scotland site highlights the areas where working together with colleagues from across the UK could give greater power to our elbow - influencing policy, changing procurement and commissioning practice in favour of co-production and, helping us all work with a common language around co-production.  We look forward to continuing to engage with this group, feeding in news from the Scottish Co-production Network and bringing information back. We are also very much looking forward to the Welsh/Scottish exchange on the 7th December and to meeting network members there, old and new!

What's happening in Wales?

Added by Olivia

Are you coming along to the network meeting on 7th December to take part in our Welsh-Scottish practice exchange?

You can find out more about what our Welsh colleagues are doing by visiting the All in This Together blog.