Expert by Experience Herefordshire Programme

Your views, your influence, your experience

Experts by Experience are involved in our Trust in many different ways. We are keen to recruit more people to join our programme in Herefordshire.

Who are experts by experience?

Experts by Experience are people who have personal knowledge of our services in Herefordshire - either through their own use of those services, or through caring for someone who has.

 

Are you interested in getting involved? Email karenbent@nhs.net

Location:   Benet Building, Ruckhall Lane, Belmont, HEREFORD, HR2 9RP

 

What can I get involved in?

There are lots of different ways to be involved, depending on your interests and preferences.  Here are some of them:

  • Taking part in staff recruitment
  • Project work, co-producing the planning, design, delivery, development and review of services
  • Evaluating services and quality assurance
  • Staff training
  • Peer training in Recovery College
  • Engaging with the public at events, on a stand or co-delivering a workshop
  • Attending meetings to give feedback
  • Taking part in research

Over time, your interests might change - that’s fine.

How are you going to support me to become an Expert by Experience?

You can register your interest by completing and returning Expert by Experience Programme Application Form [docx] 164KB.  If you would like to discuss the role in more detail email karenbent@nhs.net

We will ask you a bit about yourself and the sort of activities you would like to be involved in.  We will go through our Agreement Form with you. Once Experts by Experience are registered with us, we contact them by email or telephone when new opportunities are available, to see if they might be of interest.

We provide training for certain roles (for instance recruitment training).  We also arrange for any reasonable adjustments people need, to help ensure that opportunities are open to as wide a group as possible.

 

What happens if I become unwell, or don’t want to continue with my role?

Please do not worry as we fully understand that this may happen.  You can opt out of the programme at any point or take a break.

 

Why might I want to get involved?

There are lots of reasons that people choose to get involved.

Here are some of the things our current Experts by Experience have told us: 

  • Carers are an often overlooked resource.  We have more information and background knowledge.
  • Being an Expert by Experience means that the bad things I have experienced in life have not been wasted experiences; to inform and give insight on behalf of others.  
  • I’d like to pass on my knowledge, to help others going through similar experiences.
  • Because the Trust was there for me in my darkest time.  I like to give something back.
  • I can use my professional experience to help others, as well as develop my professional skills.
  • Being an Expert by Experience a voice which is so significant when in my life experiences my voice had been denied. 
  • I have been able to practice skills I need to move forward with my life in an environment which is supportive and validating.  
  • I feel I am giving back to the system, feels that I am worthy, helpful and have a purpose in life.
  • I can use my professional experience to help others, as well as develop my professional skills.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to be a current patient/service user?

No. Many of our volunteers aren’t current patients/service users.

What age do I have to be?

You would need to be over 16 to volunteer within most of our opportunities so you can make a useful and safe contribution.

However, we do have a youth board for those aged 14-25 who want to get involved in developing services at a strategic level.

How much time do I need to give?

In general, there is no minimum time you must give you can discuss with us what arrangement works for you and the role you are applying for

Will I be paid?

As a volunteer you will not be paid. We will however ensure you don’t lose out financially through volunteering so will cover agreed expenses, such as travel.

Will I be trained?

Yes, we have a full induction and training process. You will receive a thorough induction to your specific role so that you are confident in what we are asking you to do.

Once I start volunteering how will I be kept in touch with?

All volunteers will receive a quarterly newsletter (email) with updates on news and opportunities across the Trust.

You will be managed and supervised in the place where you volunteer.

How do you reward and recognise volunteers?

We hold an annual Staff Awards night to celebrate the outstanding achievements of all staff including our volunteers

What happens if I become unwell, or don’t want to continue with my role?

Please do not worry as we fully understand that this may happen.  You can opt out of the programme at any point or take a break.