Our involvement and participation services

We create bespoke projects to ensure that people who will use services are involved in shaping them and are able to access the support they need. 

We do this for local authorities, government departments, care and support providers and NHS organisations of every size.

Our experience includes:

  • peer mentoring
  • social prescribing
  • user involvement in government consultation
  • feedback collection and focus groups
  • process audits
  • service user forums and networks
  • Expert by Experience schemes, including providing Experts by Experience for Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews
  • supporting people to navigate and access appropriate local services, through Social Prescribing and IAPT methodologies

Their determination to build a better future for others has reaped enormous rewards

Service Commissioner Mick Skipworth
Service user involvement in Lincolnshire

A team of volunteers from the Service User Involvement project at our Total Voice Lincolnshire office were finalists at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards last year.

Service commissioner Mick Skipworth at Lincolnshire County Council nominated the group in recognition of their achievements in helping to​“revitalise” Lincolnshire's Learning Disability Partnership. In 2019, they:

  • educated GPs about learning disability.
  • addressed the Lincolnshire Council Health Scrutiny Committee.
  • represented the Partnership at a national conference.
  • produced a video to champion equal rights.


They worked with:

  • JUST Lincolnshire, to deliver hate crime awareness training to their peers.
  • SW Lincolnshire CCG, to keep Transforming Care and annual health checks on the agenda.
  • Lincolnshire Police, to improve the complaints service provided to people with learning difficulties.

Mick Skipworth said:​“The selflessness shown by this group of people, and their determination to build a better future for others, has reaped enormous rewards.”

Nominee David B. said:​“It has definitely helped me to gain more confidence within myself, being able to stand up at meetings and give presentations to groups, it has given me the little bit of knowledge to get my voice out there so that people in my position aren’t afraid to speak up for themselves.”

When I first went in, expectations were low, and even so they weren’t being met. Now the home has been rated Outstanding’.

Allison, VoiceAbility advocate
Allison’s story

Amersall Court in Scawthorpe, Doncaster is home to 18 people with physical and/​or learning disabilities. Our advocate Allison regularly visits the people who live there.

When Allison first started visiting Amersall four years ago, she found that everyone who lived there was very different, but they all seemed to be stuck in the same routine. She says: When I went in, their expectations were low, and even so they weren’t being met.”

Allison worked with staff to change the way the service was managed, away from the traditional, top down’ approach, to be much more person led. At meetings with residents we make a list of actions needed, which is fed in to the staff meetings – and there have been some real big changes noted. The staff are very proactive,” says Allison. 

Things have changed a great deal at Amersall since Allison first arrived. People feel empowered to leave the care home to go to church or to the theatre. They plan their own menus, and choose whether to eat together or separately in front of their favourite TV shows.

Following an unannounced inspection in 2019, Amersall was rated Outstanding” as a result of the collaborative achievements of Allison, the care home staff and the people they support.

We’ve improved recovery rates and increased BAME referrals for wellbeing support

Our work on non-clinical wellbeing

Over the last 4 years, we’ve built a successful navigation service for Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust. They subcontract us to deliver non-clinical wellbeing services as part of their Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) contract.

Our Service Manager Sharon Lee was tasked with improving access to wellbeing services for BAME communities, and recognised that barbers and hairdressers offer the ideal safe space for people to talk about their wellbeing.

I started to visit BAME barbers and hairdressers in Ipswich, and introduced the Wellbeing Service,” says Sharon.​“I provided a short Mental Health Awareness Session, to help the hair professionals understand stress and anxiety as being a low level mental health illness. They are often the first person a customer might open up to.”

I leave them with leaflets, cards and referral forms that customers can take away with them after a haircut. I’ve been visiting barbers within the Kurdish, Polish, Romanian and Turkish Communities every 8–10 weeks, and this has greatly improved access rates for the Wellbeing Service from BAME groups. Only last week, one of the Kurdish Barbers spent some time supporting a client to self-refer to Wellbeing online.”

We’ve recently developed the project further, adding peer support and coaching for people with sub-clinical mental health conditions and for those stepping down from clinical support, which has improved recovery rates across the contract and provided employment opportunities for people with lived experience of mental ill-health.

Get in touch

To discuss your needs, contact business.development@voiceability.org or call 01223 555800