“People with lived experience really have the best insight into what’s going on, the challenges they’re facing and what can be done about them.” - Charlotte Lamb
In this episode we speak with Charlotte Lamb, Principal for Involvement and Decision Making at NPC, about lived experience. We talk about why charities should consider bringing lived experience into their organisational culture and why this is important and could help them to thrive.
1. The benefits of lived experience
Lived experiences of the work that your charity is doing and space that it is working in can be a real benefit to meeting your organisation’s objectives. It can give a head start in thinking differently about problems and bringing new solutions to stop the system from making the same mistakes all over again.
Lived experience led organisations have the power to challenge perceptions about who can lead and who can contribute to affecting change. By demonstrating that lived experience is ingrained in their work to external stakeholder, such as funders, an organisation can also show its commitment to the work it is seeking funding for.
You don’t have to be founded by or led by those with lived experience to be effective. By demonstrating an openness, willingness, and proactivity to bringing lived experience into your organisation, from the staff you hire and the makeup of your Board of trustees, your organisation will demonstrate a values led approach.
2. Lived experience on Boards
Organisations must avoid being tokenistic in their approach to lived experience. You need to embed the experience in the culture by changing processes and the culture on the Board. This might involve changing the structure of the Board, meeting differently, chairing meetings differently, skill building among your trustees.
3. Structures to bring in lived experience into your organisation
The idea of changing your Board makeup, structures and processes might be daunting for organisations. However, the benefit of bringing lived experience into your organisation could bring benefits both internally and externally.
Making a start is the first step, and then building from there. The free NPC guide will be coming out in the next few weeks and will be listed here when published. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback and how you are getting on with making lived experience a part of your organisational culture.
4. Useful links
NPC’s webpage on User involvement: User involvement - https://www.thinknpc.org/categories/user-involvement/
Link to sign up to NPC’s newsletter if you want to be notified when the guide is out: https://www.thinknpc.org/newsletter-signup/
Link to sign up to the launch event for the guide: How can charities centre lived experience? - https://www.thinknpc.org/events-and-training/how-can-charities-centre-lived-experience/
We are going to be making a change to our Charity Chat scheduling from here on, moving to a monthly episode, and bringing on some wider discussions about a number of topics relating to the sector. We will help to untangle some of the challenges that many of us face in our daily work, and provide guidance on how we can improve our approach, our efficiency and our effectiveness. Stay tuned for our next episode in November.
We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.
Related episodes that you may be interested in:
E260 - How LGBT+ People Really Feel About Giving To Charities With Joe Nicholson -
E261 - Driving Change For Autistic And Learning Disabled People With Jeremy Hay And Simon Steed -
E256 - Creating a more inclusive sector with Larna Mewett-Mayer -