Quiet Voices Background
At Catalyst we celebrate the huge diversity and quiet voices in the voluntary and community sector in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees.
However, we are aware that some communities of interest can be viewed as being ‘harder to reach’ with regard to engaging in decision making processes. We prefer to call these groups ‘seldom heard’ or being organisations with ‘Quiet Voices’.
We are conscious that some of these communities are not comfortable attending some of our mainstream Voice activities and that different approaches may be needed to fully capture their views.
Therefore, as part of our ongoing work to make sure that every community in Stockton-on-Tees has its voice heard, we have formed a project, under the Stockton Voice Hub, to address this issue and ensure that seldom heard groups are given the best opportunity to make sure their needs are heard. In some cases the Quiet Voices project has identified communities in the Stockton Borough who currently have no network of support, and is moving to address this need if necessary.
The Quiet Voices project started with the development of a report on the status of seldom heard voices in the Stockton Borough.
The purpose of this report was to identify some of these quiet voices and also to map which organisations may represent some of these interests. The report also looks at the way in which these communities are engaged at the moment and their routes into the democratic structures.
Finally the report will highlight some recommendations for future action. This document is a working document. We are conscious that the sector is so wide and diverse that understanding the full range of organisations and their needs and routes to engagement is a near impossibility, but these networks will grow and develop over time.