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What if they've had bad experiences in the past

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In some cases the reason why some groups don’t get involved is because they’ve had a bad experience with ‘bureaucracy’ in the past and felt let down. They may then lack confidence in your organisation and project.

So you’ll need to find ways of gaining their trust. You may be able to achieve this by discussing their views and previous experiences and agreeing what you’ll do differently to make them feel welcome.

You’ll need to treat them with respect and build up a positive relationship over time. It’s also a good idea to get them fully involved in the planning and evaluation of your project, so that you can find out how effective the action you’ve taken has been.



A money advice project wanted to establish contact with members of its local Travelling community. It felt that it could offer a useful service but had struggled to make meaningful contact in the past.

The advice worker decided to speak to a local charity that had already developed close bonds with the Travellers. The charity explained that the community was wary of people from outside and agreed to act as an intermediary. They emphasised the importance of being patient, adopting an open and active approach to listening and offering a flexible service approach.