Berkshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy workshops – registration is open!

We are delighted to be working with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) to deliver these workshops next month across Berkshire, engaging communities in developing the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Berkshire. If you’re in Berkshire, please join us at your nearest event – or for the online workshop – and do spread the word.

Thank you.

Book your place here: Public Engagement Events | Eventbrite


Sharing highlights from Just Ideas’ 2023 review of the year

Empowering Patient Voice: Showcasing our work with NHS England 

A big part of what Just Ideas do is to grow the voices, confidence and influence of individuals working and volunteering within community engagement roles. This includes delivering training for patient voice representatives – volunteers who share their lived experience – within NHS England.

Working with our long term partner organisation – WSA Associates – we are commissioned by NHS England to deliver training which supports these Patient and Public Voice (PPV) partners to grow their influence and impact in role.

NHS commissioners have a legal duty to ‘make arrangements’ to involve the public in commissioning. Consequently PPV partners work within all parts of the NHS to aid the development and delivery of services across healthcare.

The training that Just Ideas and WSA deliver has evolved over time, including moving online in 2020, and has continued to be well received by those who attend. The value to them is in the connections built with other PPV partners, as well as with the NHS staff who attend.

“The PPV training has empowered me – made me realise I am not the only one. I put my armour on – I am unstoppable!”

PPV partner attendee

For more information on our work with NHS England, please visit the 2023 Annual Review

To discuss your organisation’s facilitation and training needs and how we can help please contact us.

Guest blog: Inspiring Change – Reflections on the Reading Schools Climate Conference 2023

In 2023 our work with InterClimate Network (ICN) has scaled up due to the formation of a team of climate conference associate facilitators. We have worked with ICN to expand the conferences delivered to include a range of formats, hosted by individual schools, as well as in town halls across England.

The 10th Reading schools’ climate conference was held in December, organised and facilitated by the Just Ideas’ team. Here Just Ideas’ associate and guest blogger Farid Abdurrahman (pictured) shares his reflections on the day:

On the 8th of December, the Reading Council Chamber became a hub of enthusiasm, ideas, and positive energy as schools gathered for the much-anticipated Reading Schools Climate Conference. Stepping into the council chambers, my initial impression was marked by a palpable sense of positive competition among students, a testament to their dedication and passion for addressing global climate challenges.

The participating schools were divided into various countries, each representing a unique perspective on climate issues. From South Africa to the UK, USA, India, China, Marshall Islands, and Uganda, it was evident that extensive research had laid the foundation for their presentations.

One striking aspect of the conference was the students’ keen awareness of global injustices in trade. As they delved into the complexities of international commerce, it became clear that the next generation is not only concerned about the environment but also actively engaged in critical thinking about the systemic issues contributing to climate change.

During the discussions, a notable example arose when the UK representatives acknowledged their country’s excessive oil imports. What set this apart was their simultaneous recognition of the need for collaborative action. They emphasised that the USA, too, should scrutinise the impact of the oil they import. This level of critical thinking and nuanced understanding of the interconnectedness of global issues was truly heartening.

Equally impressive were the concrete, credible, and collaborative solutions proposed by the students. Their commitment to addressing climate change went beyond rhetoric, as they presented actionable steps that reflected a deep understanding of the challenges at hand. This commitment was further underscored during collaborative sessions, where students from different countries were tasked with developing joint initiatives to tackle environmental issues in their respective communities.

The collaborative element of the conference added a layer of richness to the discussions. Witnessing students break into groups and earnestly brainstorming ways to address environmental challenges in their communities was a testament to their sense of shared responsibility and a promising indicator of future collaboration on a global scale.

In conclusion, the Reading Schools Climate Conference was more than just an event—it was a gathering of passionate minds determined to make a difference. The pleasant vibe in the chambers mirrored the positive energy and collaborative spirit that permeated the entire conference. As we reflect on the outcomes of this gathering, there is a sense of hope for the future, knowing that these young minds are not just aware of the challenges we face but are actively working towards creating a sustainable and harmonious world.

Comprehensive Eco-Initiatives: Transformative Strategies Across Reading Schools

The schools, in addition to their insightful presentations, also formulated impactful solutions aimed at making a positive difference to address environmental challenges within their respective communities.  Some of the initiatives that the students came up with were :

  • Embrace composting of vegetable food waste for use in school gardens to reduce environmental impact.

  • Enhance waste reduction efforts by strategically installing or repositioning recycling bins throughout school and incentivising increased participation.

  • Amplify awareness of climate action urgency and opportunities through the Student Leadership Team while fostering increased environmental action within the school community.

  • Revitalise an Eco Committee and a geography club with the support of the Student Leadership Team and teachers, focusing on enhancing green spaces and waste management. Plans include showcasing and disseminating successful ideas throughout the school’s Academy Trust.

To find out more about hosting a Model Climate Conference please get in touch 



New Report for Local Trust: ‘Building Community Leadership’

We’re delighted to share the publication of ‘Building Community Leadership’ the culmination of work with IVAR as evaluation and learning partners to Local Trust’s Community Leadership Academy (CLA).

Learning from the experience of participants and delivery partners over the last three years, the report sheds light on how the CLA supported individuals in communities to take action during the difficult years of Covid-19, and what will be needed in future to take forward this learning and sustain community leadership.

Learn more about our work with IVAR as learning evaluation partners for Local Trust’s CLA on our blog here

Blog for Local Trust: Time to Reflect and Recharge

In a blog for Local Trust, Director Richard Usher has written about Just Ideas’ role as delivery partner for the Local Trust ‘Reflect Recharge‘ support offer.

This facilitated support package gives Big Local partnerships the space to reflect on their achievements to date as well as inviting deeper thinking about what support is needed in the final phase of Big Local.

Reflect Recharge aims to build momentum and capacity, but crucially acknowledges the huge achievements of resident volunteers in Big Locals across the country:

“The sessions helped crystalise and firm up thinking about the future and the current context we’re in.”
Devonshire West Big Local

“It has been great focusing on what we want [to achieve] and thinking about solutions.”
Blackpool Revoe Big Local

Richard reflects: “There’s been a great response from the Big Locals we’ve worked with so far, who really appreciate having some time to consider bigger picture stuff and working with us responding to their immediate needs. Reflect Recharge gives that all too infrequent space to reflect on achievements in the community but also to look ahead and tackle any challenges in the final years of the Big Local programme.”

Read more in the Local Trust blog and in our 2022 Annual Review.

Launching the Just Ideas Annual Review of 2022

Mycelium: the underground network of branching fungal threads that heal the soil and facilitate the sharing of nutrients between plants and trees.  

In a whistle stop tour of our 15th year, the cover image * of the 2022 Just Ideas’ annual review depicts mycelium, reflecting this year’s theme of growth. Growth through networking and partnership. Growth through branching out. Growth through development of knowledge and understanding.

Not only has Just Ideas grown, we’re also deeply grateful to have supported others as they grow. We’ve valued our collaboration with so many brilliant people and organisations in 2022.

In the spirit of sharing tools and information, we’ve linked to examples and approaches which we hope you and your teams find helpful.

For more information about how we can work together in 2023 please contact us.

* Thank you to Natalie Ganpatsingh of Nature Nurture for the wonderful artwork.