The Citizens Panel is a representative sample of 2000 residents from across Surrey, who volunteer to take part in online engagement activities such as surveys, to help us understand residents' views and ideas about a range of important issues.
Residents have the opportunity to attend discussion groups and events, as well as take part in engagement carried out in partnership with other public sector organisations. Panel members can choose which activities they want to take part in and opt out of those that don't appeal.
When we run surveys with the Citizens Panel, we nominate a local charity to receive 50p per completed survey. The charity is usually linked to the topic of the survey, such as Mental Health Foundation, Citizens Advice and the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People.
Making a difference
Understanding residents' views means that we are better able to target resources and develop services that meet the needs of local people. The purpose of the panel is to find out what a representative sample of residents think about local issues and services in a cost-effective way.
This helps us do the right things and feeds directly into policy and decision-making processes. Feedback from the panel is reported to the NHS, councillors and senior managers, to help them make better informed decisions to improve the lives of people across Surrey. The Citizens Panel complements other types of research, such as in-depth qualitative projects, research with those who don’t use online services and other engagement programmes.