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Table 2 Creating social conditions for a community forum

From: The Keele community knee pain forum: action research to engage with stakeholders about the prevention of knee pain and disability

Task Key characteristics required
1. Identify a comprehensive list of potential members from a wide range of agencies. Use local knowledge, colleagues, internet search, snowballing through previous research participants Patience and persistence to identify people and their correct names and addresses
2. Create a database of names and addresses of potential members Knowledge of computers
3. Write to potential members explaining the study Jargon free letter and information sheet
4. Follow up phone call to arrange meeting Persistence, patience, friendly and approachable nature, enthusiasm
5. Attend a first contact meeting in participants place of work/home to introduce yourself and the project. Friendly and approachable nature, enthusiasm
6. Write to potential members to establish the best time and date for the meeting. Offer a choice for participants well in advance. Enclose slip and return envelope for people to respond. Request items for the agenda Organisational and communications skills, persistence and patience
7. Confirm the most convenient date for the meeting with all members (by email, phone, letter) Organisational and communication skills
8. Mail documentation (agenda and related papers) to members well in advance of the meeting Organisational and communication skills
9. Maintain contact prior to the meeting Communication skills
10. Preparation for first meeting: book venue, order refreshments, prepare visual aids, plan group work and activities, prepare handouts, arrange transport. Organisational and communication skills
11. Meeting Day. Build up a rapport between members and keep presentations to a minimum. Encourage participation from all members. Discuss expectations (and set up evaluation if required). Friendly and approachable nature, enthusiasm, organisational, communication and facilitation skills. Knowledge of evaluation techniques.
12. Write to members thanking them for their involvement. Include notes of the meeting and agreed action points. Request topics for the next agenda. Communication skills
13. Commence organisation of next meeting e.g. return to point 6. Organisational and communications skills, persistence and patience
14. Evaluate participation and outcomes (if required) Knowledge of evaluation techniques.