How to engage with people using video diaries

Video diaries are a great way of capturing people’s real-time experiences. This guide shares how to engage with people using video diaries.
Two women smiling at a camera phone

We offered grants to local Healthwatch to produce a simple guide on how to replicate and adapt engagement approaches that have worked well for them. Thank you to Healthwatch Leeds, who produced this guide on how to engage with people using video diaries .

What is a video diary?

A video diary is a film that someone makes of the things that happen to them over a period of time, which they upload to a website. It provides a very personal view of how the subject sees their world and can make viewers feel as if they are on a personal journey with the user. Capturing on-the-spot reactions and thoughts, video diaries should be authentic and provide a record of someone’s experiences in real time.

Why use video diaries?

Here are just some of the reasons you might want to use video diaries:

  • Video diaries are a powerful way of ‘bringing the person into the room’ at meetings of senior decision makers. They can really focus discussions around the ‘whole person’ rather than seeing people as faceless users of a specific service.  
  • You can make video diaries in a whole variety of settings, from people’s own homes, to care homes, and supported living. It can enable you to reach people whose voices may otherwise go unheard. 
  • They are an accessible way of sharing people’s experiences in their own words. You can include subtitles on films, and these can be translated if needed. 
  • After the project, you will end up with a resource that could be used in training with frontline health and care staff.  

Find out more reasons why you should consider using video diaries to engage, in our easy to read guide - including steps to take, resources you will need, top tips for success and the benefits to your Healthwatch of using the model.


How to engage with people using video diaries (PDF)