The IF group make sure that the voice of lived experience is heard at decision making level as much as possible.
Aisha, one of our members regularly attends the Westminster Policy Forum, recent seminars included ‘Next steps for tackling Homelessness’ where Aisha was able to represent the voice of lived experience, this was the first time a member with lived experience had attended the event. In addition, Aisha also attended the APPG (All Parliamentary Party Group) on Domestic violence, ensuring that relationship education was put into school education. Having lived experience at the heart of decision making is something IF is proud to promote.
“Being able to literally sit with politicians on a normal level, in the same room, is something that does not happen every day. But by enabling a space for politicians to listen to us, understand us and then respond to feedback regarding homelessness and the delivery of services we can hopefully influence change.”
What IF has noticed from lived experience being involved is that people are talking to each other more and working with each other more creating a more co-productive space.
As a part of the Big Lottery Fulfilling Lives projects, IF meet quarterly with the other projects from around the UK. Seeing the 12 areas come together and feed in information about their experience allows a bigger picture to emerge on the power of lived experience. This forum also offers an opportunity to team build with each other project areas, there is a real positive energy and you can see that everyone is trying to strive for the same goal of change. Four year on into Fulfilling Lives programme, we have seen system changes and improvements. You feel at last, the barriers are coming down.