About the Involvement Service
What is Involvement?
For us, involvement is about building relationships and creating structures that encourage professionals and citizens to share power to design, deliver and evaluate services together, recognising that all people have vital contributions to make, in order to improve quality of life for people and communities.
Involving people with lived experiences of being homeless, in prison, or struggling with issues relating to mental health and/or substance misuse at every level of decision-making processes is the most effective way to improve related services and achieve good outcomes.
To bring all of the involvement activity together, an Involvement Policy Statement was developed for the programme. This is intended to be used as a foundation for strengthening the voice of people with lived experience in such a way that it becomes an important legacy from Waves of Hope, and can also be transferable across different policy agendas across the city.
We’re investing in the development of a ‘Lived Experience Hub’ and a ‘Lived Experience Team’.
We’re also exploring how we can best connect different people working in this area and share our experiences and learning from ‘doing coproduction’ across the criminal justice, homelessness, mental health and substance misuse systems – and are exploring the concept of a ‘Lived Experience Network’.
The Lived Experience Hub
In November 2016, having listened to feedback from people with lived experience and services, the Board decided to invest in a central space where people with lived experience could meet informally, engage in activities and share experiences. Relationships developed through the Hub enable the programme to benefit from the skills and attributes different people offer, and create opportunities for people with lived experience have a voice which is heard throughout the programme.
The Lived Experience Hub currently opens four times a week and is based in central Liverpool on Parr Street.
The Lived Experience Team
Building on relationships at the Hub and learning from our experience of facilitating a ‘Service User Forum’, we are currently investing in a dedicated team of people with Lived Experience. This model was agreed in January 2018, and volunteer members of the team are now being trained to develop an in-depth understanding of systems, governance, and points of influence. This foundation will permit the LET to have “the right conversation” and to offer impactful insight into the matters in hand and effectively represent current views and experiences of the wider population with experience of multiple complex needs.
The team contributes to internal strategic and operational decision-making forums – including the Core Strategic Group, Partner Meetings, the Evaluation, Learning and Legacy Group and MCN Community of Practice – as well as inputting on external work-streams and staff recruitment.
Meeting fortnightly, the team also provides staff members and external stakeholders with a standing group with which to interact and consult, providing an important scrutiny function for the programme.
If you’d like to find out more, or connect with the Lived Experience Team, please email Heidi.Clark@thebiglifegroup.com
The Lived Experience Network
LCVS are facilitating a conversation about how we can best connect different people working in this area and share our experiences and learning from ‘doing coproduction’ across the criminal justice, homelessness, mental health and substance misuse systems as part of the multiple needs Community of Practice.
If you’d like to be part of this conversation, please email Paula.Atherton@lcvs.org.uk
National Expert Citizens Group (NECG UK)
We are members of NECG UK, the national voice of 12 lived experience groups from across England. This provides a quarterly opportunity to share knowledge, discuss current issues and advocate systems change that improves service delivery. Visit the NECG website to see recent examples of the work the NECG have undertaken to help understand and shape the future of multiple needs services in the UK.
Liverpool is hosting the NECG national conference in June 2018.