People & Citizen Engagement

Colin McGrath was born in Cardiff in 1923. During World War II, he fought in Burma for king and country. He worked and paid income tax for nearly fifty years. Colin always votes. He respects and obeys the law. He hasn’t been treated well by the NHS but he doesn’t complain. He just wants to enjoy a quiet life – seeing as much of his family as possible.

Mala Singh settled in the UK in the early 1970s after her family were deported from Kenya. In one-way or another, Mala has been volunteering all her life. As a teenager, she was always raising money for medical and other charities. She’s active in her local community as a Councillor, a school governor and supporting small business development. Nationally, she has recently been appointed to a commission on gay and lesbian rights amongst the ethnic minority communities.

What makes a person a citizen?

The two mini-stories remind us that people make their contributions as citizens in different ways and respecting those different contributions is an important part of engagement.

This People & Citizen Engagement section focuses more on the People involved in engagement as volunteers rather than the process, which is covered in the Doing Citizen Engagement section.

People's tools

Things to consider:

  • What type of person is likely to be more fully engaged as a citizen?
  • Is active citizenship a special sort of volunteering?

In the 50+ Citizen Engagement Project we found that considering these kinds of questions helped us to understand the nature of engagement and the value it adds those involved, they may help you too.

List of tools – thinking about people as citizens