The lived experience of social issues provides valuable knowledge and power. It helps to drive and lead positive social change. In addition, it allows space for valuable conversations,  raises awareness, and influences policies. However, when lived experienced voices are shouting for change, society fails to recognise them. Instead, their voices are often ignored and silenced. 

Aspire4u is passionate about improving our communities. For instance, we regularly support social enterprises and community initiatives in crime prevention, community resilience, violence, and antisocial behaviour.

Why should people with lived experience be leading the conversation in communities?
  • Provides Hope – Simply meeting or talking to someone who has overcome similar experiences can provide a living example of hope to those currently facing challenges. 
  • Starting Conversations – Having conversations can help raise awareness. It can also increase the number of young people accessing services when facing social issues.
  • To Advocate – People with lived experiences can advocate on behalf of those currently unable to do so. Katie Price’s documentary with her son Harvey is a prime example. Many parents of children with disabilities received the documentary positively. Sense – a charity that supports families encountering complex disabilities – reported many parents had contacted them since the broadcast. Reassuringly, Katie and Harvey’s story is inspiring others to seek support. 
  • Equal Opportunities – It provides opportunities and support for individuals with lived experience. Organisational structures can give a platform to those aspiring to use their experience to cause meaningful change.
  • Influence Policy – Lived experience voices improve policymaking – simple but true. Key problems that might have been missed can be identified. For example, nursing home staff are not being given sufficient training to support adults with complex needs, according to research by Community Care. Therefore, this means policies can now make sure staff receive full training. 

Lived Experience In Action

Between April and May 2020, there has been a 9% increase in domestic abuse cases, worsened by the Covid-19 lockdown. This increase aligns with the easing of lockdown measures from 13th May 2020, when it may have been safer for victims to report to the police. Therefore, That’s All Media discusses domestic abuse and relationships with their new podcast “Hidden In Plain Sight” (HIPS). Recently, the podcast highlighted the challenges domestic abuse victims face at Christmas, with the added challenges of lockdown.

Furthermore, That’s All Media is organising meetings with the Violence Reduction Unit and Office of Police & Crime Commissioners. These will provide valuable knowledge on how best to support domestic abuse research.  

How To Use Lived Experience Voices In Your Organisation 

Aspire4u can provide your organisation with training through our Youth Influenced Education Leadership Development (YIELD) programme. With our extensive history of building connections and listening to those combatting youth issues, we can help elevate your work with the youth voice. 

To find out more get in touch at hello@aspire4u.co.uk

Written by Danni McKee

For Aspire4u CIC,

The Mindset-Led Organisation

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We are a not for profit community engagement organisation. We use the arts to develop mindsets to improve well-being, foster financial literacy and give people employability skills.

So get involved! You can contact hello@aspire4u.co.uk to discuss our current opportunities.

Finally, for more information get in touch 

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