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Tools, case studies and videos for lived experience work

On this page, you'll find tools, case studies and videos to help you run influence and participation activities.

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Annual influence and participation planning

This tool can help you decide how people will take part in each stage of your work. It makes sure people can meaningfully influence your work.

Application form

This is a template for people to apply for your lived experience opportunity. It will help you make informed decisions about who should take part.

Creating a group agreement

If you're asking people to join a one-off focus group or discussion event, a group agreement lets everyone know where they stand. It also helps to create a safe space for openness and honesty.

Defining and refining

You can use the defining and refining tool to decide what  questions you need to answer and which methods you'll use in your influencing activity.

Developing your opportunity

This template will help you take everything into account when planning your activity. It takes you through all the things you need to consider to promote the opportunity and attract people to take part.

Facilitation plan

This tool will help your event to run as smoothly as possible. It has tips on how to present questions, and how to work out what resources you'll need.

Feedback form

Use this template to get feedback from your participants. It'll help you to ask consistent questions across all your activities. The feedback you get will help you understand people's experience of taking part. 

Identifying participants

Use this tool to help you decide which audiences and groups you'd like to take part in your work.

Invoice for involvement

People who've taken part in your work will need to fill out an invoice to make sure they're paid or remunerated properly. Use this template as a guide, or develop your own.

Managing risks

Use this tool to plan for any risks that might take place during your lived experience work.

Setting a good agenda

This tool can help you structure your agenda so participants know what's expected of them, and they'll know what topics you'll discuss.

Thinking about your timeline

Use this tool to work out how your influence and participation activities will fit into the bigger picture of your work. This will help you run meaningful initiatives that have a strong impact.

You said, we did

This tool can help you give meaningful feedback to participants in your activity. It'll help you to be clear about the effect of their involvement.

Case studies

  • Champions celebrations. In February 2016, Mental Health Champions in Norwich planned and delivered a Time to Change Champions' Celebration. This event was an opportunity for Champions from across the region to network and share skills.
  • Mentally Healthy Universities. We worked with university students, local Minds and peer supporters to design mental health courses.
  • Mind Membership co-design group. We co-designed our membership offer with people with lived experience of mental health problems.
  • Norfolk and Suffolk recovery college. Norfolk and Suffolk recovery college coproduced a course with Szara Froud, a mental health professional and Anastacia, who has bipolar disorder.
  • Physical Activity Advisory group. We co-designed and co-delivered a physical activity programme called Get Set To Go. This case study explains how we worked together and how we adapted to remote working.
  • PeerFest. PeerFest is an example of successful co-production. Each year, different groups of people with lived experience plan and run the celebration of peer support.
  • Mind Trustee, Sarah Rae's experiences. Sarah Rae has been a Mind trustee since 2011. She explains how her involvement has benefited her and Mind.
  • Sheffield user survivor trainers. Sheffield user survivor trainers (SUST) is a network of mental health trainers with lived experience of mental health problems. They share their experiences of influence and participation.
  • Strategy advisory panel. We developed our strategy with people with lived experience of mental health problems through Zoom.
  • The Qur'an & emotional health project. Mind, in partnership with Suffolk Mind, ran a project to better engage with Muslim groups. During the project, we created a booklet called the Qur'an and Emotional Health: An Introduction.


  • Andrew talks about how he helped to develop the influence and participation toolkit.
  • Anthony talks about the benefits he gained from being part of the Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) project.
  • Overcoming challenges 1. Will and Nikki have lived experience of mental health problems. In this video, they talk about when the influence and participation process wasn't too successful.
  • Overcoming challenges 2. In this film, Sarah-Jane and Charlotte from Mind discuss some of the problems and challenges of lived experience work. 
  • Charlotte talks about being part of an advisory panel that helped shape one of Mind's campaigns.
  • Jonathan, who has autism, became involved with Mind's work in disability equality after writing an article about autism and anxiety. In this film, Jonathan talks about his experience of taking part in Mind's work.
  • Nikki explains her journey working with Mind. She explains the support she received and the benefits she experienced.
  • Paola talks about working with people with lived experience of mental health, and how that helped the work of Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind.
  • Sarah-Jane talks about the way the Mind equality improvement team works to make the organisation more accessible for different communities.
  • Terry explains how his insights from having mental health problems have contributed to services he's worked in.
  • Tom discusses how people with lived experience of mental health problems influence Mind's information resources.
  • Will has taken part in lots of Mind's influencing activities. In this film, he talks about how taking part helped his self-confidence.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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