Report on 9th May 2016
Thistle Hotel, Holborn, London
Mirror Mirror were invited to assist in the national launch of the Experts by Experience Strategy – whereby people with experience as service users shared their insights with members of DCP and vice versa. At a time when the DCP is striving to redefine its relationship with it’s Experts by Experience (EbE) we explored the nuances of what it is to be part of this particular community of shared interest.
Richard Pemberton DCP Chair, Jo Hemmingfield, Simon Mudie, Annie Mitchell and Rachel Purtell gave their welcome and set the purpose of co-production for the day. Mirror Mirror then enabled Experts by Experience to express their feelings in a non-confrontational way and at the same time gave the professionals an empathetic and unpressured insight into peoples’ concerns. Conversely, the professionals were able to articulate their own worries and fears and be understood by the experts by experience. Thus, the use of Playback Theatre as a facilitatory tool can be seen to have been an effective way of bringing two sides of a community together and for all voices to be heard.
Mirror Mirror helped break down potential barriers and give the professionals and the experts by experience an equal platform to explore the issues they are facing. Our process helps to avoid the use of labels and off the shelf identities and instead gets the real story straight from the person’s mouth. The humour and pathos that was expressed in the recreations of each other’s concerns helped to build common ground upon which a direction and appropriate actions to achieve it was discovered and agreed upon. More enlightened and inclusive decisions were made as a result of engaging with our process and the way to move on was discovered together.
During the Playback Theatre we discovered the humanity and intelligence, the sorrow and the joy, the trials and tribulations of those who have struggled to be heard and be understood. We could all feel part of a community of shared interest, not so much in our sameness but in our glorious uniqueness.
Feedback from the day
How easy was it for you to have a voice at the event?
• 100% very satisfied
What, if anything, did you find particularly interesting/helpful?
• The most memorable was the theatre event, so that will prove most useful overall.
• Playback were amazing – and gave real insight to the problems. Well done
What three words would you use to describe the event?
• Inspiring, informative, empowering
• Passionate, creative, determined
• Welcoming, inclusive, forward thinking
Any other comments?
• Absolutely loved the Playback Theatre – such powerful dynamic work