Lived Experience Panel
As part of our collaborative and community-focused approach, Common Health Assets has embedded a Lived Experience Panel at the heart of the research project to ensure that the research is informed by ongoing community expertise, voice, and perspective.
As a project which focuses on how communities can build and mobilise their assets to improve health and wellbeing, engaging and working with people in the communities that the research is taking place in is crucial to improve our understanding of the real-world contexts that impact how community organisations deliver their activities, support community members, and improve the health and wellbeing of the individuals who engage with them.
The Panel is composed of about 12 participants, from the study areas across the UK, who are beneficiaries of the community-led organisations that the project is partnered with. Members meet at key stages of the project, roughly every 6 months, to help shape the research and study design as it develops, and to participate in activities relevant to the project phases and methods. They will also have a role providing guidance to the research team and in informing the interpretation of findings, as they emerge, to ensure they are relevant and meaningful to community organisations. Members of the Panel are also members of the Study Steering Committee to ensure that the value and importance of community voice is integrated across the research project.
Within Panel meetings, opportunities to develop participants knowledge of community-based research and to develop a variety of interpersonal and community development skills are provided through a range of training opportunities. Meetings also provide an opportunity for participants to learn from and build relationships with others involved in the research from across the UK.
The first Panel meeting took place in July 2022, divided into a series of three shorter meetings to account for being online, due to COVID-19 recommendations. These first meetings focused on introducing the Common Health Assets research project, and Lived Experience Panel, the social determinants of health and assets-based approaches, including community asset mapping. These sessions helped to lay the foundations of the research and the context that it is situated within. We used existing materials from the SCDC course: Health Issues in the Community and videos from the Health Foundation and GCPH, including the Power animation. Building upon pre-existing materials helped us to create informative, digestible, and engaging sessions.
During the third session, the Panel advised and gave feedback on the delivery of the longitudinal study outcome questionnaire and shared views on strategies to support the recruitment and retention of participants. Informing and influencing the activities of the research project is a crucial role of the Panel. This activity was also important to set the tone for ongoing engagement recognising the importance and value of individual expertise and perspective in the project.
We are embedding evaluation throughout the Panel to assess the overall impact of the Panel on those who participate, and the contribution of the Panel to the Common Health Assets project. We will also evaluate the effectiveness of the methods of implementation and delivery, communication, and facilitation of the Panel to ensure ongoing learning and improvement.
There are a number of approaches being used in the development and facilitation of the Lived Experience Panel to promote inclusivity, empowerment and mutually beneficial engagement. We will share our resources on this page throughout the project to showcase the work of the Panel and provide learning for others engaging in PPI activities within research.
To read our learning from the Panel so far, please see the blogs listed below:
For further information on the Lived Experience Panel please contact:
Dr. Jennifer McLean Jennifer.McLean@glasgow.ac.uk
Miss. Mohasin Ahmed Mohasin.firstname.lastname@example.org