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Careers

Changing Futures - Expert By Experience / Lived Experience Representative (Voluntary)

An exciting opportunity to be part of the Changing Futures Team, making a difference in the lives of those with multiple complex needs.

About The Role

At Changing Futures Sussex, it is important to us to make sure all of the work we’re doing has the voice of lived experience at its heart. As part of our commitment to this, we would like to recruit a small volunteer team of around 20 people with previous lived experience of multiple complex needs/multiple disadvantage (homelessness, offending/contact with the criminal justice system, substance misuse, violence & abuse, and/or poor mental health).

This role isn’t about just ‘telling your story’ or repeating your lived experience to different audiences; it’s about being part of team who can represent as many voices of lived experience as possible. We are looking for volunteers who can use their lived experience perspective as well as representing other lived experience voices too, to give a unique insight and really influence changes to improve the systems that are supporting or working with people with multiple and complex needs.

 

The activities you’ll be involved in

• Attending meetings (usually online but could also be in-person and involve travel) and representing the views and perspectives of people with lived experience such as:

  • The monthly Lived Experience Network meeting

  • The monthly Lived Experience Team meeting

  • Attending one or more of our other network meetings

  • Stakeholders and Partners (monthly)

  • Strategic Partners (2-3 times a year)

  • VCSE (Voluntary and Community Sector- monthly)

  • Other meetings with organisations in the Changing Futures Sussex

  • Programme networks or working alongside this work

• Working on our Systems Change projects alongside members of the team and the Changing Futures network. By this we mean:

  • Taking part in activities and pieces of work that help to improve or change

  • for the better, the systems and services that people experiencing multiple

  • disadvantage need to access.

  • Taking part in discussions and bringing your unique perspective and ideas

  • to the work, both from your own experience and from the experiences of

  • other people who have used/needed services.

  • Using your skills and experiences to help our work make a real difference

  • (e.g. IT skills, presentation skills, group facilitation skills, relationship building

  • skills, design and creative skills, listening skills, administration and

  • organisation skills…really anything you’d like to and feel confident or happy

  • to offer as part of a team)

  • Opportunities to be informed about and take part in other activities,

  • projects, events and pieces of work to improve the system for those

  • experiencing multiple disadvantage (these might be organised by other

  • networks and organisations)

 

What we can offer in return:

Of course, although this is a voluntary role, we don’t expect you to do all of this for nothing!

 

We have designed and set up a process so that we can repay you for your time and commitment (including any travel costs to in-person meetings), not just financially but also with support to develop your own skills and interests while you’re with us. You can find out more about this by reading our Rewards Framework and Flowchart of Process. You should receive them with this document but if not make sure to ask to have a look.

 

What we need from you:

We need you to:

  • Be able to share the experience of using and needing services, both your own and other people’s experiences, in a way that highlights the positives, the areas in need of work and how we might improve and change things for the better.

  • Be able to talk to and represent the voice of a wide variety of people experiencing multiple disadvantage at different stages of their journey.

  • Be objective and fair, as well as bringing your passion and commitment.

  • Attend meetings regularly, especially if you have agreed to participate in a particular meeting or group

  • Be comfortable with speaking in, sometimes, large groups of people.

  • Effectively manage your own well-being or have support in place to help you with this.

  • Use IT for online meetings such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom

  • Be able and willing to travel sometimes to attend in-person meetings and activities (we’ll pay for your travel and expenses of course)

Of course, we understand that there may be times that you might need to step away from an activity or may not be able to attend something as planned (illness, personal commitments, change in circumstances). That’s absolutely fine and we will support you to return when you are able or wish to.

 

If you feel this might be ‘right up your street’ then let’s chat. Give me a call or a text or pop me an email (details below) and we can sort out a time to chat about the role a bit more.

 

If you don’t feel you’re quite ready for this particular role yet, don’t worry - there are lots of other opportunities and activities you can still be involved in for the Changing Futures Programme. Why not drop me an email or text anyway and we can talk about it a bit more?

Andree Ralph

Lived Experience Co-ordinator – Changing Futures Sussex

Email: andree.ralph@westsussex.gov.uk Phone: 07933 182476

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