Skip to content


Need help with getting people with lived experience involved in your work?

We offer a variety of services to help you, drawing on our two decades’ of experience in service user involvement and inclusion. As a non-profit, user-led organisation with excellent links with a wide network of other user-led groups, we are in a unique position to help you ensure your involvement is inclusive, meaningful, and effective. The organisations and individuals we have worked with think so too! See the testimonials and recommendations below.

What our clients say

Shaping Our Lives’ work with us was invaluable. We asked them to do a review of a user-led project and facilitate a collaborative process among a number of organisations. They enabled us to find a clear way forward with clear communication, sensitivity and an approach that included each person. They listened carefully and modelled their values in every part of their engagement with us. I would highly recommend them.

Jané Mackenzie, Trust for London

It has been a pleasure working with Becki and Roxane from Shaping Our Lives on the design, delivery and evaluation of a series of co-production training workshops for King’s College London researchers. Their extensive expertise and passion around ensuring the accessible involvement of marginalised communities in research, skills in facilitation and willingness to respond to the needs and interests of our researchers, meant the workshops were fully booked in days and received excellent feedback. They were a breeze to work with, and I highly recommend partnering with Shaping our Lives on any coproduction training programmes.

Mel Davies, Public Engagement Manager, King’s College London

I have been a qualified social worker for more than 40 years, and learnt more from Shaping Our Lives about disability and true partnership working than from any other source. They are passionate, ethical and effective partners, blessed with humour and common sense, two attributes often missing from contemporary ways of working. I highly recommend and respect Shaping Our Lives.

Dr Peter Unwin, Principal Lecturer, University of Worcester

We have found that advertising through Shaping Our Lives, has made our group more diverse than it was previously.

Sophie Walters, University of Suffolk, Social Work Voices Group

I think you have a goldplated winner here. This is an exemplary piece of work you all should be very proud of.

David Batchelor, service user, about the My Involvement Profile

Thank you so much for advertising the research, it is very appreciated. And, most importantly, thank you for the inspiring work you are doing! I always find your resources to be very useful. 

Auréliane Fröhlich, Consultant, The Social Investment Consultancy 

Your insight really did enrich the ability of the Board to get started. We greatly appreciated your independent scrutiny and pointers especially when first establishing the Board.

Personally I found your guidance around accessibility and diversity really helpful. Thank you. All the members and myself wish you every success for the future and hope our paths may cross again. Thank you for helping to pave the foundations of our Board.

Gemma Cartwright, on behalf of The Community Investment Board, Southend-on-Sea

Through our ongoing work with Shaping Our Lives to try and build new collaborations between user-led organisations and academic research teams, we have drawn heavily on their extensive experience and expertise in working with people from marginalised communities.

Working together, we hope to increase the positive impact of research in society by making it possible for Disabled people and other service users to be meaningfully involved in research, policymaking, and the design of services which will better meet their needs.

Professor Glenn Robert Chair in Healthcare Quality & Innovation, King’s College London

We are just finalising the patient ambassadors role and we confident people will get involved. We had three enquires from people from advert on your website and one was very interested. Therefore I feel it was really worth posting this opportunity on your website, so thank you.

Carl Adams, Head of People Participation for Academy of Research and Involvement, NHS Solent

Feedback from workshops, events and training

King’s College London

We ran training workshops for researchers and students on how to do co-production in April and May 2023. The aims of the workshop were:

  • Explain what co-production and other involvement approaches are.
  • Increase confidence and knowledge about co-production.
  • Provide attendees with the practical knowledge to do co-production.

Some feedback from participants:

  • The workshop was really well delivered and everyone was encouraged to get engaged
  • Speakers were great. Great ethos, nice tempo, great how all opinions were heard and valued. Great practical advice on how to take co-production
  • Really excellent session. Helpful to understand the different types of involvement. Lots of practical information which I have never been able to find before. So helpful.
  • Clear, accessible, interactive
  • Great facilitation, relaxed style, insightful
  • Really friendly, safe environment to share views and experiences

Hertfordshire University

At a recent workshop with Hertfordshire University in 2022, 100% of those who completed the feedback forms said they were very or quite satisfied with the content of the workshop and the delivery of the workshop.

Comments from attendees on the strengths of the workshop:

  • Gaining a variety of perspectives around research participation
  • All attendees engaging, felt easy to speak, facilitators great, nice environment
  • Talking to persons with lived experience, open discussion

When asked what was most useful responses included:

  • Access for participants and joint collaboration
  • Challenging my researcher brain, hearing other people’s views
  • Hearing others’ experiences

Find out more about the workshop on our blog

King’s College London

During training with the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London in 2022, we received the following feedback: 100% of those who filled in the feedback forms said they were very or quite satisfied with the content of the workshop.

Comments from attendees about the strengths of the session:

  • Nice, relaxed delivery, right length of time
  • Time for discussion and questions, experienced presenters
  • Practical tips that I wouldn’t think about, need for an attitude change
  • Honest, open reflections on problems + potential solutions
  • Really enjoyed how you involved us. So much to think about, will go away and think and explore.
  • Opportunities to ask questions, interactive and engaging
  • I have done a fair amount of PPI [public and patient involvement] but still learnt loads today

Liverpool Hope University

At a workshop in 2022 with Liverpool Hope University involving the Service User Group at Hope (SUGaH+) alongside academic staff from the Social Work team and wider School of Social Sciences, we had excellent feedback. 100% of the participants that filled in feedback forms were very or quite satisfied with the workshop, and 100% found the day enjoyable and worthwhile.

Here are some of their comments:

  • Kept interactive-active. Loads of opportunities to hear others
  • Place to be creative at the start. Be free as well as serious.
  • Every part was useful
  • Space felt open, respectful and democratic.
  • Great opportunity for academics to work with people with lived experience
  • Respectful – everyone’s voice valued, inclusive, good pacing.
  • Discussing challenging institutional barriers around finance processes was really useful.
  • Loved it. Loved I learnt about others’ struggles or barriers
  • Thanks for facilitating such an energising, thought provoking and constructive day.

If you’d like to find out more about the workshop and the outcomes, please visit our blog.

Shaping Our Lives is committed to increasing the inclusive involvement of people experiencing exclusion and unequal service provision, we have lots of knowledge and we would love to talk to you about how we can work together. Find out more about what we offer and if we could help you. Sign up to our newsletters to stay up to date.