Our approach to involving people with lived experience in our work
We believe that the knowledge and expertise that people with lived experiences can bring will directly improve the quality and effectiveness of what we do.
Important principles underpinning our approach to involvement are:
- We will give preference to deeper and more active forms of involvement, such as co-design, wherever the activity suits this type of involvement, over more one-way, passive forms of involvement such as consultation.
- We want to ensure that our involvement approach is inclusive of the diverse experiences of different people in later life, and so will make particular efforts to involve people from seldom-heard groups.
- We will recognise that involvement can lengthen the time a project would otherwise take, and can challenge our assumptions and plans resulting in a need to change our approach. We will ensure we take the time and space necessary for this.
- We will document the impact that involvement is having on our work, learn from our activity, and adapt our approaches over time.
- We will ensure that we support the people getting involved with us, for example being clear what they might get from being involved; agreeing clear roles and expectations; paying for their time and expenses; ensuring they have the information and practical support needed to make a meaningful contribution to our work; feeding back to them about the effects of their involvement; and gathering feedback from them about their experiences of working with us.
Recent activity has included:
- Codesign work with people aged 50 and over who are involuntarily out of work to develop innovative new interventions to support them back into work
- We are undertaking in-depth primary research with people with lived experiences in several of our programmes, including our work on home adaptations, community contributions, and getting the most out of digital.
- Social research exploring the dimensions of a good later life and what helps and hinders people in achieving this carried out by Ipsos MORI. As part of the research project we conducted a survey of a representative group of 1,400 people aged 50 years and older to understand what they feel are the opportunities and barriers to a better later life.
- Deliberative workshops with people aged 50 and over to inform the further development of our work programmes
- People with lived experience attending and contributing to our expert roundtable events
- Staff spending time visiting and speaking with older peoples’ forums and representative organisations to discuss our work programmes
Please see our Get involved section, where we will post specific open opportunities to get involved in our work as they arise. We will also promote opportunities for involvement through all our communications channels as and when they are announced.
Activities we are planning for the future include:
- People with lived experience co-designing interventions, for example an intervention to support people aged 50 and over who are involuntarily out of work back into employment
- People with lived experience joining advisory groups for our evidence reviews, such as our reviews on inequalities and home adaptations
- Using lay experts in the peer review of our publications
- Conducting focus groups and qualitative research to explore issues and scope topics
You can sign up to our email updates to hear more about the Centre for Ageing Better as our work develops.