The group I worked with had a huge range of experience, from learning differences to experiences of mental distress in many forms. Collectively we were able to bring a wealth of experience to bear, whilst developing many common consensuses on how and what we thought the reading list should be doing.
The remit of the work we covered over the four months was wide ranging and included:
- Looking at language used in the reading list, in the book titles, the marketing and the body copy
- Considered key messages for the book list, what did we think it should express and definitely shouldn’t
- Reviewed the long and short list of titles, offering feedback and direction to the final selection
- Considered what made us pick up a book from a number of different perspectives
- Considered whether material about suicidal ideation and planning was suitable to include
- How to market the book list and where it could be accessed, to maximise exposure to relevant audiences
- Developing content for a diverse audience, including those with intellectual or learning differences as well as different ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
As well as the briefed work, we eventually contributed into how the work of the Reading Agency might be made more co-produced, by extending the remit of the focus group into different areas and engaging individuals with lived experience earlier in work, looking at things like the creative for the marketing materials.
I was also able to use to some previous professional skills to assist with the development of the final creative. The creative space was very tight with only one A4 design being produced.