The Lived Experience Development, Governance & Education Project

Opportunities, Have a Say / Get Active

Alt LELAN we are excited to have our newest project, the Lived Experience Development, Governance & Education (LEDGE) Project up and running! 

There is increasing awareness of the broad range of benefits that comes from having people with lived experience actively participating in mental health and social sector organisations as members of advisory groups, in co design sessions and as part of other consultation initiatives.


The LEDGE Project aims to increase the capacity of our community to contribute to these decision-making processes and create pathways for people who want to use their lived experience for influence. 

To help us get started we are looking for four people with lived experience to be involved in shaping and guiding the project as part of the Project Advisory Group (PAG), and eight people with lived experience to contribute to the creation of relevant, useful, and accessible governance and leadership training as part of the governance training co-creation group.


Why should people with lived experience be included in organisational leadership and decision making?:


There are significant benefits for the organisation when people with lived experience are involved in the discussions and decisions that impact on its direction, the allocation of resources, workplace practices and policies, feedback and evaluation, and how the organisation represents itself and the work it does.

Having people with lived experience participate in these decisions can increase the organisations’ accountability to its consumers, its legitimacy to funding bodies. It is also more likely to meet the needs of the community.

The unique perspectives that people with lived experience bring to discussions has the potential to improve services and create better options for the people accessing them.


For the individuals involved, the benefits include gaining new skills, knowledge and experiences and having the opportunity to use their lived experience to make positive change which can be both rewarding and empowering.

Ultimately, mental health and social sector organisations having decision making processes that include people with lived experience is a social justice issue.

People deserve to have a seat at the table when there are decisions being made that affect them.


How will the LEDGE Project support the involvement of people with lived experience in organisational leadership and decision making?:


Organisations are becoming more aware of these benefits and are looking for ways to involve people with lived experience. To prevent this becoming a tokenistic exercise, the LEDGE Project will support organisations to improve their policies and practices so they are inclusive and do not limit the genuine and skilled contribution of people with lived experience. People with lived experience also need access to relevant training so they have the skills and knowledge to fulfil the responsibilities of their role effectively and can apply lived experience within that context.

The LEDGE Project will create pathways for people to use their lived experience for influence by co-creating a range of education, development and support options for people with varying levels of skills and experience. This includes people who are just beginning to think about getting involved right through to people who are already on boards and have governance experience.


We anticipate that this will include:

  • Introductory workshops for those for those who are new to lived experience representation and leadership;
  • Comprehensive, targeted and relevant training modules and resources developed in partnership with LEDGE training co-creation group and governance experts;
  • Ongoing development, coaching and mentoring opportunities for people who are already placed on boards;
  • Regular reflective circles for anybody who wants to participate to encourage peer support, and sustainable networks;
  • Linking training graduates with appropriate organisational opportunities.


The LEDGE Project is funded until June 30th 2022 and it is our hope that it will result in improved opportunities for genuine partnerships between people with lived experience and organisational leadership. 

If you are interested in getting involved with LEDGE through the Project Advisory Group or the co-creation group you can find out more information and submit your expression of interest here.

Closing date is 22nd January 2021.