Harnessing the Power of Lived Experience

Creating the correct infrastructure

What needs to be in place for lived experience involvement to be effective?

“Give us tasks to do, give actions to take away and keep us informed along the way, and we would obviously know that we’re needed, not because we’re a tick-box.” – Expert

  • Support for Experts
  • Consider and monitor the potential risk of harm to Experts
  • Tailor support to meet individual needs
  • Ensure Experts have a contact they know and trust
  • Offer access to emotional support
  • Provide a space for Experts to share experiences
  • Give detailed information in advance of an activity
  • Match Experts to opportunities
  • Help Experts to represent the views of others
  • Provide practical help to get to and take part in activities
  • Offer training in systems change
  • Provide opportunities to develop transferable skills and confidence

For the Organisation

  • Aim to sustain and embed Expert involvement
  • Ensure buy-in to Expert involvement across the organisation
  • Provide training on the principles and practice of Expert involvement
  • Share examples of the benefits of Expert involvement
  • Keep Experts informed of progress and provide timely feedback
  • Reduce power imbalances between Experts and other stakeholders

“[Hearing real-life experiences is] reminding quite a few of us around the table that this is not about imposing our own cultural norms onto other people. It’s actually identifying what the cultural norms are for each individual, and how do we work within that. So what some people might find acceptable, or expectations, if you like, of what success is, actually differs.” – Jobcentre Plus stakeholder

Creating a Charter for Employing People with Lived Experience (PwLE)

BVSC will be consulting on the creation of an Employing people with Lived Experience (PwLE) Charter.

The vision for the Charter is that it will eventually become embedded within services and organisations as standard practice and will be the catalyst for significant culture change across organisations in all sectors within Birmingham.

The hope is that it will help to break down barriers, challenges and negative assumptions about the recruitment of PwLE and create systemic changes across organisations.

The Lived Experience Charter has the potential to change employment structures, systems and attitudes concerning the recruitment and retention of PwLE and to improve the access and inclusivity of PwLE in the workforce, whilst bringing about an overall culture change and more opportunities for all.

The process of adopting Charter status will enable organisations to review their policy structures, work environments and implement positive practices, which will improve awareness of the barriers facing PwLE and enable a more open and inclusive recruitment and retention process.

Charter Values will include

  1. We support the open and inclusive recruitment of people with lived experience within our organisation, by our partner organisations and within the community.
  2. We raise awareness within our organisation of the benefits of employing people with lived experience, the barriers people often face and how to overcome these.
  3. We provide people with lived experience the support they may need from the start of their employment and throughout, including an exit interview and support should they leave.
  4. We strive to have clear progression pathways for people with lived experience, including accredited training, from entry level through to leadership and we provide opportunities for personal and professional development.
  5. We take responsibility to ensure a workplace environment and culture that is free from discriminatory practices, unconscious bias or prejudice and we implement organisational improvements to support inclusivity.
  6. We commit to share good practice and to ensure co-production of our services with people with lived experience.

Get in touch

If you would like to know more about our work,
please contact Harpal Bath, Head of Multiple Disadvantage.

Email: HarpalB@bvsc.org

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