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About the toolkit 

The NHS North West Leadership Academy (NHS NWLA) empowers people in the North West to secure better health, care and wellbeing outcomes through leadership. Wherever opportunity lies — within the system and across diverse communities — we work to develop compassionate leaders and the conditions for inclusive, future focused leadership.

Our Citizen Leadership resource pack has been designed to enable organisations and communities to access the Citizen Leadership programme content and learning materials to support them in delivering the programme within their own localities and across a range of different citizen groups. All materials will be sent electronically. 

The toolkit has also now been updated to support virtual delivery. This companion resource has been developed to sit alongside our other Citizen Leadership resources including the playbook. We know that it is as important as ever to build capacity in communities to shape the future together. This resource takes you through all the different things you will need to think about when running a purely virtual programme. This toolkit is intended to be used alongside the other resources and we recommend utilising all the resources together to ensure you have access to all the great ideas and tips in these that can help you create your best programme virtually.

The below diagram showcases the materials inside each resource pack:

New CL Toolkit Diagram

Inside the pack...

The Citizen Leadership Playbook includes all the session plans needed to run a Citizen Leadership programme. The simplicity of the book enables people with no facilitation experience to lead the sessions. However, good communication skills are essential. The activities are adaptable and can be changed to suit different groups.

The Citizen Leadership Facilitator Pack, like all the citizen leadership resources, is designed to be simple to follow and should be used to support anyone who wants to run the programme. It is split into three key sections: Before you get started; During the programme; After the programme.  Each section takes you through the things we know are important when running a Citizen Leadership Programme and provides you with checklists and resource links. 

The Facilitating Virtual Citizen Leadership Programmes - A Toolkit for Facilitators has been prepared as a companion resource to support the virtual delivery of the Citizen Leadership programme. This toolkit explores how to design your programme with the community whilst not being able to physically get together. What to consider before running your programme, how to recruit to your programme virtually and when running your programme; the art of hosting virtually, how to increase psychological safety in virtual spaces and how to design activities to maximise engagement.

This Promotion Pack supports anyone who is running the NHS North West Leadership Academy Citizen Leadership Programme to empower people. We’ve created a step by-step guide to promoting your programme, with a range of supporting resources and materials to help you every step of the way.  

The Citizen Leadership programme supports participants to:

  • Grow in confidence as citizen leaders in order to effectively engage with key health and social care decision makers
  • Develop their communication skills enabling them to effectively engage with decision makers on behalf of themselves and others.
  • Have the opportunity to share their lived experiences
  • Explore the possibility of becoming members of decision making bodies and engage in the development of public services

Citizen Leadership Programmes at a glance

Request a toolkit

The Citizen Leadership Toolkit is a free resource and can ordered online via the link below. Please note, the resource pack is sent electronically and you will not receive printed materials. 

Order a Citizen Leadership Toolkit

Learning from Citizen Leadership cohorts

The Citizen Leadership Programme was piloted initially in Oldham in September 2016. The success of the event led to a number of additional cohorts in Rochdale, Burnley/Blackburn and Liverpool.  Over 100 participants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds volunteered to be part of the project. The programme was delivered over two days over a period of two weeks to allow learning and reflection between the days.  The key aim of the programme was to develop the abilities of citizens to enable them to engage and influence the services in their area and/or wider.

When a follow up took place between the sessions, participants were asked to evidence how they had taken the learning of the programme and show clear outcomes on behaviour and practice. Outcomes from the programme included the creation of a Women's Leadership Network in Oldham, seeking employment and volunteering opportunities, self nomination of participants to chair local groups such as the local GP patients' forum, participated in local stakeholder events and s and engaging with health and social care services and organisations.

There are two shorts films that tell the story so far that you can watch to get further context and inspiration:

Listen to participant feedback

We presented the story of Citizen Leadership at a NHS Leadership Academy event, a useful summary can be found on this Citizen Leadership poster.


Follow the journey on Twitter with #nwcitizenleadership.

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