Sarah Allan

Engagement Lead

Sarah leads Involve’s work on its People and participation programme. She is a long-standing advocate of the benefits of political participation, seeing it as critical to democracy, improved decision-making, legitimacy, accountability and representation.  She believes strongly that increased participation will only be achieved via a transformation in how the UK does its politics and decision-making.

Sarah started her professional life as a researcher at The Power Inquiry, an investigation into the health of UK democracy. Her extensive experience since then covers research, project management, and local and national campaigning. Most recently she worked in Friends of the Earth’s Campaign Specialists Team, playing a key role in its highly successful Bee Cause campaign. She then spent five months at the Electoral Reform Society, before joining the Involve team.

Sarah holds a 1st class degree in Politics and Parliamentary Studies (PPS) from the University of Leeds and won the PPS 2006 Prize for academic achievement.

Blog posts

Calling local areas: do you want to host our project on youth mental health?

March 23, 2017

Involve and our project partner, Leaders Unlocked, are looking for four local areas in England, Wales or Scotland to participate in our project on youth mental health, MH:2K. Why get involved? MH:2K aims to provide decision-makers with vital information about how to improve local mental health prevention, support and services. It works by connecting decision-makers with local…

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Invitation to all facilitation and engagement professionals

January 25, 2017

Are you a facilitation or engagement professional living or working in the UK? If yes, we’d like to invite you to our second Reframe event, ‘Increasing the impact of engagement in post-Brexit UK’.  Our Reframe series provides a space for people in our sector to develop a response to the Brexit vote and its aftermath. The first…

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Introducing MH:2K Oldham’s Expert Panel

October 10, 2016

MH:2K is a new project which empowers young people to explore mental health issues and influence mental health decision-making in their local area. We are currently piloting MH:2K in Oldham. Find out more.   Today is World Mental Health day. And so it seems an appropriate date on which to announce MH:2K Oldham’s Expert Panel.…

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Launching MH:2K – a youth-led approach to exploring mental health

September 12, 2016

Today Involve is launching a new project in partnership with Leaders Unlocked. Called MH:2K – a youth-led approach to exploring mental health, it empowers 14-25 year olds to: Identify the mental health issues that they see as most important; Engage their peers in discussing and exploring these topics; Work with key local decision-makers to make…

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Fundamentally disconnected

June 24, 2016

So we've voted to leave the EU. And in doing so we've put an indelible and precise 'x' on the gulf that exists between much of the UK public and the country's national (and international) establishment. From a top-down perspective, this is nowhere more evident than in David Cameron's gross underestimation of Leave's chances of…

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Calling all new mayors: three steps to boosting voter turnout

May 16, 2016

The turnout statistics from ‘Super Thursday’ make dismal reading. Whilst turnout in Scotland and Northern Ireland crept above 50%, elsewhere it laboured below – and in some cases well below – halfway.  The fact that the figures for Scotland and Wales are the second highest since devolution began is hardly a cause for celebration. And…

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What does ‘transformational engagement’ mean?

March 14, 2016

At the end of last year Involve was commissioned by Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (NCCG) to review its Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) work. It was a task that involved interviewing and then bringing together representatives from amongst NCCG staff and board members, health providers, the council, patients and the local voluntary and community sector.…

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9 steps to getting public engagement right

February 17, 2016

On Saturday I ran a workshop at the #notwestminster conference and was so blown away by the feedback from participants that I decided to turn the workshop into a blog post to make it more widely accessible. Called ‘The power of design’, my aim on Saturday was to share Involve’s expertise and approach around designing…

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