You Said We Did

During our roundtables last year we consulted with around 80 organisations to gain their input on the design and delivery of Every Story Matters. These included healthcare, equalities, social care, children and education organisations, faith groups, business, trade unions and those offering bereavement support.

The below gives a detailed overview of where we have, and haven’t, acted on organisations’ feedback:

“Offer multiple ways to access and contribute to Every Story Matters”

  • There will be different ways to contribute including online and offline options.
  • We will provide information to support participation in the listening exercise in a range of accessible formats and languages.
  • The webform will have a “save and come back” function, for those who may not be able to complete it in one session – as recommended by Long Covid organisations.
  • A ‘language line’ service will enable people to submit their response in a non-English language. It will be translated into English by the Language Line interpreter.

“Meet people where they are by setting up and visiting physical listening spaces”

  • We will be piloting community listening events enabling people to share their story in person.
  • Sessions will be attended by the Inquiry team and the Chair.

“Recognise trauma and provide support during online and offline listening”

  • Our approach will include bespoke training for all staff who conduct the interviews, so they are clear what trauma is, how it may present and how to apply this knowledge to these specific conversations.
  • There is a list of organisations which can provide support on our website, for those filling out the online form.
  • For those sharing their experiences offline, there will be trauma informed emotional support provisions available. A tender will be going out to obtain this expertise externally.

“Clarify the purpose, method, use of data and output of listening”

  • Experiences will be gathered and analysed by experts in research and analysis. Because we don’t have enough capacity in the Inquiry team we will need to procure this expertise. . Reports will be produced for each relevant module investigation, and will be submitted as evidence, to be disclosed to Core Participants and published as part of the hearings for each module of the Inquiry.
  • The way we plan to gather people’s stories will help the Inquiry obtain as broad an evidence base about the impact of the pandemic as possible, to assist it in reaching robust findings and recommendations which take account of both cause and effect.
  • To ensure our research approach is robust, the Inquiry has appointed a six-member Ethics Review Panel to provide an independent, ethical review of the research design and approach of Every Story Matters. This will be chaired by Queen’s University Belfast’s Professor David Archard.
  • We will be hosting a webinar for organisations in March (details on how to sign up below), to clarify the purpose, method, use of data and output of Every Story Matters.

“Tailor our approach for specific groups”

  • We will take a targeted approach to gathering the experiences of seldom heard groups who may not engage via our open feedback channels (e.g. webform or listening events).
  • We will also be working with trusted organisations and groups to reach these audiences.
  • We heard we need to ensure an intersectional approach is taken to analysing data. By using primary, secondary and tertiary sampling criteria, we will not just assess whether we are reaching particular audience groups, but the demographic make up of those audience groups.

“Young people must be directly listened to”

  • We’re still considering how best to understand their experiences of the pandemic, and want to balance what the Inquiry needs with the best interests of children. To inform our understanding, we asked for advice from children and young persons organisations in February.

“The right to withdraw”

  • This requirement has come through loud and clear through user testing. For those submitting their experiences through the refreshed webform (planned for May) people’s names and email addresses will not be collected. The webform will collect some personally identifiable information, to allow us to gather statistics on webform use, enable people to ‘save and continue’ their submission, and give people the ‘right to withdraw’ their submission from the research. This will be set out clearly online in our privacy notice.

Although we tried to act on most of the feedback we received, there were some recommendations we were unable to take forward:

“A voice note feature should be introduced when completing the form.”

  • We have been unable to include this, but the phone line and “save and come back” feature enable people to share their experience either verbally, or in small sections.
What happens next?

Every Story Matters will launch later this year. Before then, we need to procure some specialist research and communications support to help us deliver it. We will do this through the Crown Commercial Service and you will begin to see these contracts going live in the coming weeks. These new contracts will replace the Inquiry’s current contracts with M&C Saatchi and Ipsos.

If you would like to find out more about Every Story Matters please sign up to our webinar, where we will provide a more detailed overview and answer any questions. To register your interest please email: by Friday 10 March. Spaces are limited to five people per organisation.