The East Sussex County Council initiative wants people who have used adult social care services, or know someone who has, to get involved by completing surveys or being part of discussion groups and project panels.
As well as helping to develop and improve services, members of the People Bank can gain skills, build networks and gain knowledge of the support and services available.
Cllr Carl Maynard, the county council’s lead member for adult social care and health, said: “The input of those who either use our services or know people that do is invaluable to us. Hearing first-hand experiences of those people helps us to develop our services in a way that benefits all of our clients.
“Members can choose to be as involved as they like meaning they can be a part of the People Bank regardless of their circumstances. They could simply sign up and answer surveys or get more involved by taking part in discussion or projects groups.”
‘Saskia’ is in her 50s, self-employed and receives support from adult social care. She has completed surveys, is part of the Autism Partnership Board and has participated in the Equality Diversity and Engagement Group, among others.
She said: “I’m a great believer in making positive contributions and I felt I could contribute and make a difference. I like to ensure that those whose voices are not often heard, can still be part of the consultation processes.”
75-year-old Jacqui has been a member of the People Bank for a decade. She was keen to stay involved with the local community during her retirement and give back where she can.
Jacqui said: “The variety of involvement is good with the People Bank and I’ve been able to choose what I get involved with. You can do as much or as little as you want and everyone’s very friendly. There are no rights or wrongs.”
To find out more and complete an online form to join the People Bank visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/peoplebank
Alternatively email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 481 565.