Learning from collective lived experience: a case study of an experts by experience group

Chris Pawson, Richard Bolden, Beth Isaac, Joseph Fisher, Hannah Mahoney, Sandeep Saprai

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this paper is to present a case study tracking the development and engagement of a group of experts by experience (The Independent Futures (IF) Group) who provided a lived experience voice to the Bristol Golden Key (GK) partnership within the Fulfilling Lives programme. The case study reports the genesis and impact of the group, as well as the facilitators of impact and experiences of the group members and those they worked in partnership with.

The research adopted an iterative approach drawing on multiple data sources over an eight-year period. An inductive ethnographic analysis of stakeholder and partnership meetings was combined with documentary analysis and thematic analysis of interviews with experts by experience and service providers.

The voice of lived experience provided by the IF group contributed to the GK partnership through various channels. Evidence of this contribution and its impact was found at programme, city-wide and national levels of the service ecosystem. Furthermore, IF members recognised the value of the group in contributing to systems change and service improvement, but also for themselves.

Practical implications
This case study serves to illustrate the impact of the lived experience voice on services and systems change, specifically the provision of that voice from a formalised advisory group. The successes and challenges of the group and the experiences of its members are reported with a view to sharing learning that may influence future co-production initiatives with experts by experience and service provision for those experiencing multiple disadvantage.

The insights provided by the longitudinal observation of the group as it was formed and evolved, coupled with insights provided by the experts by experience, have important implications for facilitating and supporting sustainable lived experience input.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHousing, Care and Support
Issue number3/4
Early online date10 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022


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