How we recognise and use lived experience at Care City.

Care City works with people who live in the communities we work within to design and deliver projects to improve health, care and community services.  People who get involved in our work bring their life experiences and observations of health and care services.  This may be through their own experience, as a carer, friend or family member, or as an engaged resident within the community where they live.  We use their advice to help us design, implement and evaluate our work – examples of what we do can be seen throughout the website. 

We think it is important to recognise people’s experiences and the time they take to speak to us, which may sometimes include travel to a venue (for example, for an in-person focus group).  Below we summarise some of the ways that we use lived experience in our work, how we recruit and support participants, and how we recognise participation.

How we use lived experience in our work

Some ways in which you may be able to participate in our work could include the following:

There may also be additional opportunities to get involved. When we have opportunities that may be relevant for you to take part in, we will contact you through the method you said you preferred when you signed up.  Sometimes, we will be looking for people with particular types of experience (e.g. being of a certain age or living in a particular place) to make sure you can contribute to the session.  You can register to take part here.  Your input will usually be anonymised, but if we want to share quotes or photographs we’ll always ask you in advance.

How we’ll support you to take part

On submission of your interest to be involved in our Focus Groups, you will be invited to an Induction Session. These run every month and you can select a date that suits you. The Induction is a great opportunity for us to introduce ourselves, the work we do and get to know you a little better. We can also give you examples of how our Focus Groups run and what we require from participants to ensure they are as effective as possible. Plus of course, give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We ask each participant to have attended an Induction Session before being invited to join a Focus Group.

Following your induction, suitable opportunities for you to take part will be identified and shared with you to see if you are interested in participating. Before you take part in a Focus Group or activity, we will give you an overview of what will be involved, times/locations for any events, and what financial (or equivalent) recognition will be available for taking part.  Sometimes our partners, for example local NHS or Council workers or community groups, may be present at sessions.  If you want to know in advance which partners might be at a session, please contact us before the session to ask.

You will always be able to contact us in advance to ask questions or during the event.  We want to remove any barriers that stop you from taking part in events, so if you need extra support to take part or need to bring someone else along with you, let us know, and we’ll do our best to help.

How we recognise participation

Care City pays people to take part in our work.  The amount you receive will be determined by the length of the session and may also be influenced by factors like whether people are likely to need to spend time or money on travel to get there. Beforehand, we will let you know the amount and method of payment. Payment is normally made either through cash or an One4All voucher.

We know that some people who take part in our work will be eligible for benefits from the government.  The guidance around benefits changes and can be complicated.  Before taking part in our work it might be helpful to speak to your benefits office, which may ask you to complete a PW1 form, or to a support organisation, some of which are suggested below.  If the money received for taking part in our work may impact your entitlement to benefits or may need to be declared to HMRC, it is your responsibility to do this in advance of taking part.

Places to get additional information and advice

Government Benefits Advice and Calculators

Citizens Advice (online or through your local office)


Other support may be available through local voluntary or community organisations in your area.

Expectations when you are participating in a session

When you are taking part in a session it is important that you feel comfortable and able to fully participate.  If you have any questions or if we can do something additional to help you participate, please let us know in advance.  To ensure the quality of our work, we require the following from people taking part in sessions; if any of these requirements cause a problem get in touch with us at

Expectations for taking part:

For the fairness of everyone taking part, if the above expectations are not met we may ask you to leave a session.

Participant’s statement