Valuable and Vulnerable

6-month project with a focus on the positive – working with people who were formally or informally shielded and their supporters in 6 areas of the Midlands and South.

Shining a light on what makes people valuable and challenge the rhetoric around being vulnerable. As the project draws to a close we are working with the members of our Coproduction group to share what we have learned.

Making a noise

The final part of this project is shouting loud about people’s value, capturing stories, finding allies and influencing. As positive stories and opinions on this issue emerge are posting them in the boxes below.

In partnership with our coproduction group we’re campaigning too – using the #ValuableAndVulnerable hashtag and sharing the stories and opinions in order to change minds, policy and practice.

Finally, over the next few weeks we are running and attending meetings and building on alliances to share what we have learned. Get involved in the following:

  • 4th May – Community Catalysts Commissioners Network Meeting
  • 12th and 19th May – conversations with the media convened by Learning Disability England
  • 21st May – Coalition for Personalised Care Network Roundtable Event. Find out more here
  • 27th May – Social Care Future Spring Gathering  – where we have sponsored a session. Find out more here

In addition, we are working with Learning Disability England to convene a series of conversations with media representatives.


This project, funded from the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund and distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, builds on work already undertaken by Community Catalysts under the name of People Doing it for Themselves.

As the Covid challenges progressed we decided to use what we had learned from People Doing it for Themselves. We recognised that many people are formally or informally shielding from society and that the national focus on ‘vulnerability’ and the ‘needs’ of people has created a division in which the skills and strengths of millions of people are overlooked in a way that also puts their mental health and wellbeing at risk. We recognised that these people have huge strengths and skills that their communities and the country needs. This project focussed on Covid-19 and people who are shielding. It did two things:

  • Acted as a catalyst to unlock people’s passion, skills and talents to help them actively contribute to their community, while they are physically distanced. Finding and connecting with people to help them plan and act on their strengths.
  • Worked with people to actively challenge and influence local perceptions, narratives and policy, by capturing stories and using them in social and mainstream media – to shift thinking away from people’s vulnerabilities towards people’s assets and strengths.

This project is being coproduced with our excellent group of people with lived experience of shielding.

Work took place in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Birmingham.

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