What is Community Interviewing and how it can help your area/life?

Have you ever took part in a project where you’ve been the interviewer instead of the interviewee? As someone who has Lived Experience of having a disability, quite often it is me being interviewed, whereas this time I had a chance of interviewing other people like me.

What is Community Interviewing and how it can help your area/life?

Community Interviewing is where you go out into your community, and ask people questions and it can help your area, because you get to know people you may not necessarily see on a every day basis more. It can help your life, because by getting out there and interviewing can help your mental health and wellbeing too.

In 2022, there was a project run by WDHCS in support of Rocket Science asking people in the Wakefield District some questions about topics such as:
Housing situation, finance situation, digital accessibility and transport.


I’m Daniel Crossfield, I’m on the autistic spectrum and have a love in community interviewing and blogging, so thought it would be a good project to take part in.


Here is my journey of how I took part and what the next steps are:
My journey as a community interviewer
Earlier in 2022, I was invited to take part in a community research survey project about making sure that people’s voices in Wakefield were heard that was run by WDHCS in support of Rocket Science. I then had an initial training session with them, where they told me and 2 of my fellow interviewers techniques to try when interviewing, different types of research which were qualitative and quantiative and some good tips when interviewing.

They then sent us a survey link from Survey Monkey and from this, we had to ask the questions on there to 10 people within our peer groups so it could be family or friends from groups we go to, so I asked my dad, a few people from CoActive Arts in Wakefield and some people from my advocacy group Speak Out Go Out and based on their answers Rocket Science would then collate all of the answers together to build a picture of what people were saying.


Getting paid and giving people the power to choose how to get paid

They gave people the option of whether they wanted to be paid in monetary form or in voucher form, and I said I would prefer vouchers, and I think it is important for people to be given a choice like this, then they can decide what is best for them.


One of the Community interviewers was called Kane from St George’s Community Centre, and here is a link to a short clip about him talking about what he thought about the experience, what he would takeaway from it and his hopes for the future. Our Kane on his experience… – St George’s Community Centre | Facebook


Roundup event/celebration event
There was meant to be a roundup event in early April, but it got cancelled but in May 2022, there was the roundup event of everything that had been said and it was a celebration event too, most people got certificates and there was afternoon tea which consisted of small sandwiches and small cakes, which is where the information about The Big Conversation came from.


My thoughts and things I found difficult
I thought it was a nice project and an interesting project, as people would have got answers from people that they knew, but not necessarily answers they may have expected.
Initially, I was confused as I just thought it had to be people who didn’t have a disability, but then I realised that it could be anyone who I knew who may have a disability for me to interview.


Another thing I found was that some of the questions were harder to understand for interviewees so I had to try and explain them in a different way.


Next step
The next step is for the 26 Community interviewers to be involved in The Big Conversation which is a different project but it’s run by Wakefield Council, and it’s about asking people around the Wakefield District two simple questions and they are:
What do you like about living/working or studying where you live?
Imagine your area ten years from now. What would you like life to be like for people around where you live?


This will take place during Summer 2022 between May and August and all the answers again will be collated and they will look at the information given to them, and work out things that really matter to people.


Here is a link about the Big Conversation with lots of information about what it is, videos of someone doing interviews with people, home page. About – Big Conversation Wakefieldhttps://bigconversationwakefield.co.uk/about/

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