Helping Professionals

Angela of RIPEN has been working alongside people and communities for 30 years.  Of late, she has been working with Bradford Council as part of a  self care and prevention contract between 2016-2021 to specifically explore what’s useful when citizens are considering change.

She has co-produced tools, resources and programmes with organisations from the voluntary and community sector tools that may be useful to citizens considering change.  She has used all of the tools herself.

Professionals working alongside citizens and citizens themselves were keen to start with what was strong, rather than what was wrong and so everything that we did together in Bradford was based on the following beliefs:

People know themselves better than anyone else – they are experts of their own lives & know what works best for them;

All people want to lead a good life;

People flourish when they have a sense of purpose, connection and belonging.

We believe that people are almost always doing the best they can right now.  If a helper, be that a friend, neighbour or helping professional can meet a person in that place, without judgement, and put down their own desire to fix and rescue, then it is possible to create the space and conditions that enable people to resolve their own mixed feelings.

In truth, sometimes just doing something together like painting, gardening, singing, chatting or having a brew can be just as helpful.  Especially when it’s in the neighbourhood / community space rather than the recruited / referred to a group to fix you space.

Nothing beats living within strong communities with good friends and a strong sense of belonging to keep us well.

With that in mind you are welcome to view and use the tools that we have found to be useful.

Citizen Tools

There are four tools available, all with downloadable pdf’s.  They are hosted on the citizen page.  They can be completed with citizens or citizens can complete them by themselves and then choose to share them with you.  All completed tools are emailed directly to the author and then deleted from this site.

Three of the tools are intended to enable citizens to explore what they would like to be different. The fourth tool provides a set of useful questions to ask yourself, once you have something in mind.

‘Where to Start’ asks citizen to consider how they feel about different areas of their life.  This reflection can help a person to consider where they would like to start.

What Matters to Me enables citizens to explore their values.  Citizens rank the values and eventually identify the four that are most important to them.   Once that is known the citizen can reflect on how aligned their life currently is to their values, and what small step they can take to move closer to what really matters.

My Life enables citizens to explore their whole life. The PDF enables citizens to see their life on a page.  The online tool takes people through the questions one section at a time.  Four areas are explored.

The place you call home and the people you share it with; the community you are part of, friends and neighbours; work, learning and sharing your gifts with others; and, how you feel about you.  It can help citizens to think about where to start.

The Change Questions.  This tool is intended to give to citizens the questions that professionals are often trained to ask, so that citizens can ask them of themselves.  When we ask  questions of ourselves though, we can sometimes miss the important stuff or miss recognising the progress we have made.  A skilled facilitator can use reflections and affirmations to shine a light on our efforts and build hope and confidence.

Below are other tools that may be useful. All tools are shared freely in the hope that those who use them will do so in the spirit in which they are intended.


The Bullseye tool is a participatory tool that can be used for planning, reviewing or evaluating with individuals or groups.…

Agenda Mapping

Agenda mapping is a tool used in Motivational Interviewing. It can help in keeping a focus and ensuring that the…

My House

My house is a tool that can help groups of people or individuals to plan. It can also be used…

My Life

My Life is a trialled and tested tool that has been used with people of all ages. People say that…

This 10 minute film has been created by citizens who are involved with Bradford Talking Media. We spent time together considering what helps when professionals work alongside citizens.  You can watch this with the team you work with if you like and chat about it.

Engage to Change Resources

Conversations for Change Resources

Developing Conversations Resources