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Family group at care home

Our approach to lived experience

Our approach to involving people with lived experience in our work.

We believe that the knowledge and expertise that people with lived experience 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
  • We have announced a partnership with Leeds Older People's Forum and Leeds City Council to work together to make Leeds 'the best city to grow old in'.
  • We undertook 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 experience in several of our programmes, including our work on Improving current housing, Contributing to communities, and Getting the most out of digital.
  • We commissioned 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. We held deliberative workshops with people aged 50 and over to inform the development of our work programmes.
  • We invite people with lived experience to attend and contribute to our events.
  • We spend time visiting local projects and speaking to people with lived experience.
  • We involve lay experts in our review advisory groups.