National Involvement Network

"Would you like to join me to strengthen the voice of people Thistle supports?” - Emma

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Big Conversation is a group from across Thistle that come together every 6-8 weeks to discuss what’s going on in Thistle across all departments and plan for how we can make things better in future. 


At our last Big Conversation meeting we welcomed Lynette Linton and Michael Connolly from the National Involvement Network (NIN). The NIN is a group who receive support from places like Thistle across Scotland.  They have developed a “Charter for Involvement” which support organisations such as NHS Trusts, Councils etc. can sign up to. 

The Charter consists of 12 statements which help people play an active role in how their support is delivered and be included in decision making processes within their support organisations/providers. 

The Charter can be read here.

We believe many of the statements reflect the way in which we work here at Thistle and we would hope to sign up to the charter soon.  This would involve us taking ownership of ensuring that these 12 statements were met across the services Thistle provides. 

It would be easy to have conversations within Thistle about signing up to this however it is important that we hear from people we support as they’re the reason the organisation runs! 

We’ve noticed throughout the last 2 years of the Big Conversation that although we’ve been open to people Thistle supports being a part of the group we’ve only had one regular attendee.  The Big Conversation group is really passionate about encouraging more of the people Thistle supports to engage with both the BC and discussions around their support in general. 

If you’ve got any ideas about how we can encourage more people to engage with such conversations, have any thoughts on the NIN Charter or would like to chat about anything else please get in touch with your thoughts! 

Emma McKendrick (Supported Person and Big Conversation Member)


Claire Cumming (H&W Practitioner and Big Conversation Member -

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