FIRST LISTENING SESSION.
10 December, 2013.
Last Saturday the Galway County PeopleTalk Jury met for the fifth time and the main item was the Ballygar listening session. Two other sessions are planned for Gort and Moycullen in January.
The Ballygar session was first ever such exercise on behalf of a PeopleTalk jury and all the indications are that it went very well. They began by spreading the word - at short notice - and on the night twenty one people turned up. The hall was arranged with tables which sat 4/5 people. The organisers made sure that each table had a spread of ages and genders - and that any friends did not sit together! Each table had flip chart pages and markers.
The meeting began with those present being welcomed and then the members of the jury present - three of them - introduced themselves and said something of why they got involved. Then one of them introduced PeopleTalk and explained what it was about. At this point the people at each table were given five minutes to agree on three good points and three bad points about their experience of public services. Then they were listed and colour coded under headings such as education, health etc.. Finally they were prioritised, to find out which issues were most widely experienced and the session concluded with a open discussion around people's fears in relation to those issues.