Our purpose is to create a world where people with lived experience of multiple disadvantages are treated as equal partners in decisions made about their lives.

We believe that to achieve this people with lived experience should be at the heart of any policy change. And we know that this is possible - our network has an abundance of skills, talents and wisdom, with people with lived experience working together to bring about real change to our world.

Expert Link is grateful for the generosity of the Lankelly Chase Foundation for their continued support with our influencing work.

Our work

National Advisory Panel

We are people from across England with lived experience of disadvantage who are passionate about giving people a voice in key decisions made about their lives.

We were set-up in April 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way of ensuring that national Government heard the impact of pandemic from those with direct experience of disadvantage.

Welfare Change Lived Experience Group

Expert Link has been funded by the Lloyds Foundation to support a group of experts from across the UK with lived experience of multiple disadvantage and the social security system influence change.

The group are passionate about improving access to benefits for those experiencing multiple disadvantages, and can provide expertise, practical advice and solutions to help overcome the barriers people face.

Changing Futures

Expert Link is working with Westminster City Council as part of the Changing Futures programme – ‘testing new ways of bringing together public and community sector partners to help people change their lives for the better.’

Gambling Lived Experience Network

Expert Link have been funded by GambleAware to support people with lived experience of gambling harms develop a network that is an ‘independent voice raising awareness and delivering support for people with gambling related harms.’

Co-production in London Day Centres

Thanks to the generosity of Trust for London, Expert Link is working with five day centres across London to develop their ways of working so that people accessing the services are treated as equal partners in strategic decisions within them. As part of the project, those accessing services will also be empowered to collectively influence key Government policies affecting rough sleepers in London.

EEA Nationals Lived Experience Group

Expert Link have been funded by Crisis to train and facilitated a group of EEA nationals with lived experience of homelessness with a range of experiences, multiple disadvantages and English language proficiency.

Participants now form part of Crisis’s national campaign to influence government policy around provision for people with No Recourse to Public Funds, which includes supporting the communications, policy and research part of the campaign.

#WordFromTheStreet

Latest views from our network on the issues affecting our community

#HomelessNotHopeless

Our 2020 campaign sharing inspirational stories of who we are. We dispelled the myths that people need to be fixed and instead showed the abundance of talents and skills that we have.

Making a difference

If you would like to work with us to bring about positive changes to local and national policy, please get in touch.

Latest responses

Expert Link Response to local connection requirements for social housing for victims of domestic abuse consultation

For this submission, people with direct experience of domestic abuse have shared their experiences relating to applying for support from local authorities and the application of local connection criteria through a series of focus groups and written submissions. Their wisdom highlights the importance of appropriate access to housing and an urgent requirement to re-dress current practices around gathering evidence.

 

 

Expert Link Response to Vagrancy Act consultation

Expert Link strongly believes that forms of criminalising people who are engaged in begging does nothing to solve the root cause of the problem or do anything to increase access to support that meets their needs. Worse still, as many people engaged in begging have experienced childhood trauma, an approach that focuses on enforcement risks re-traumatising individuals which in turn will have negative effects on recovery. People with direct experience of begging have shared their wisdom on the underlying drivers of begging, why people aren’t engaged in services and what police should do in response.

Spending Review 2021

Our submission focuses on the Government priority to ensure strong and innovative public services. We call on
the Government to:
1. Ensure staff within public services are working with an effective understanding of trauma
2. Ensure Government Departments have evidence of how their policies are effecting those with experience of trauma
3. Invest in public sector delivery that emphasises strengths based approaches rather than deficit[1]based working
4. Work with people with lived experience of multiple disadvantage to develop more employment opportunities within public services and the voluntary and community sector
5. Build on the success of the Everybody In programme by requiring evidence of effective partnership working and co-production to access Government funding

Expert Link Response to Health and Disability Green Paper

Our submission to Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper focuses on improvements to the claims process for people with experience of multiple disadvantages. It has been solely informed by people with lived experience of multiple disadvantages and accessing the benefit system. Implementing these recommendations will further support the Government meet its critical commitment to end rough sleeping by the end of the Parliament.