Experts by Experience

Our group of ‘Experts by Experience’ are helping to inform policy and design more effective services to support clients with multiple and complex needs.

For the purposes of this project, we have defined clients with multiple and complex needs as experiencing at least two of the following:

  • Homelessness
  • Addiction and problematic substances misuse
  • Risk of reoffending
  • Mental ill health

Each of our experts has first-hand experience of finding themselves in a difficult and damaging position as a result of one or more of these, but being able to turn their lives around and get to a positive, happier, position with the right help. 

Experts by Experience Message for 2016

Following the success of the Experts by Experience launch film in 2015, we at Birmingham Changing Futures Together decided it would be fitting to create a new film for 2016.  This film features some new year’s resolutions, a variety of stories and successful journeys and recommendations for services for 2016.

Birmingham Changing Futures Together will continue to work with Experts by Experience to help improve services across Birmingham, and make the lives of their users more fulfilled.

We really hope you find it as rewarding to watch as we found it to make.

Below some of them share their stories, hoping that they will inspire others in a similar position to seek help as well as enable service providers to gain a clearer understanding of what kind of help is needed.

HOW IT FEELS TO BE ME – experts by experience - Birmingham

Experts' Stories

Read Mark’s story





Read Barry's story





Read Leighton's story





Read Patrick's story





Read Ralph's story






Read Senan's story




Read Chris's story






EVERY STEP OF THE WAY – experts by experience - Birmingham

The experts by experience felt that the best way to communicate their thoughts and feelings about their involvement in the project was through film, which you can view below. Mark explains:

"This video came about from a conversation we had as a group of 'experts by experience'.  We decided we wanted to experiment with audio visual and see what we could produce for two reasons. Firstly to influence the Big Lottery Fund Board, but more importantly to show other experts by experience that what we are doing is valued, satisfying and fun.

"We conceived, filmed, edited and produced the short docu-film without assistance (we chose it to be this way as we believed it would be more authentic) and with no previous experience. Borrowing a very old camcorder, taking a few pictures and using Windows Live Movie Maker we eventually came up with the final version you can see here.  It took twenty hours in total to create and we're fairly happy with the result.

"We are pleased that training for video –reporting and access to good quality is included in the programme going forward."


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