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Challenges of involving people with lived experience

It's not always easy to involve people with lived experience in your work, even with the best intentions and lots of planning. There are lots of challenges that can happen. The important thing is to focus on learning from these challenges, and overcoming them.

When we made this toolkit, some of the people we spoke to talked about times when things didn't go quite as planned. These experiences are highly valuable, because you can learn from them in a number of ways:

  • You can reflect on what went wrong and why
  • You can make changes to how you do things next time
  • You can make sure your influence and participation activities continue to improve, so that everyone gets the most from the experience

I don't feel listened to

Always let participants know what will happen with their involvement - and if their feedback hasn't been taken on board, make sure they know why.

I don't know how to help

Read our tips on how to support participants who share difficult stories, and learn more about training staff for lived experience work.

I have competing priorities

You may have competing priorities in your workload. Learn how to balance these with the needs of participants in your lived experience activities.

I don't have the resources

Lived experience work takes time and resources. See our tips for managing your time, and working with fewer resources.

I'm worried about risk

Our managing risks tool can help you make decisions about involving people with lived experience in your work. Download it here.

I feel burned out

Burnout can be a challenge in influence and participation work. Here, we explore what burnout is and how it can happen in involvement work.

Useful tools for overcoming challenges

Annual influence and participation planning

This tool can help you identify how people will take part in each stage of your work.

Managing risks

This tool will help you to plan for any risks that might happen during lived experience work.

Thinking about your timeline

Use this tool to think about how your influence and participation activities fit into the bigger picture of your work.

You said, we did

This tool can help you give meaningful feedback to participants. It also helps you to be clear about the effect their involvement had.

Other ways to get involved

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