Inclusive Governance to support leaders with lived experience thanks to National Lottery funding

We are celebrating today after being awarded £49,091 in National Lottery funding to support more people with lived experience of learning disability or autism to get involved in the governance of the organisations that work with them.

The new grant from the UK’s biggest funder of community activity will see the employment of two people with lived experience as Leadership Coaches and one as a Project Support Officer.

The team of three will run a leadership course for 12 people with a learning disability or autism – designed to equip them to take on the role of Director or Trustee of voluntary sector organisations.

The team will also work with 6 organisations to support them to make their governance more inclusive. By the end of the project the twelve people will have become Directors or Trustees within one of the six organisations.

Karen Parry, CEO of Inclusion North said: “It is really important that organisations set up to support people with a learning disability or autism have people with lived experience on their Board of Directors or Trustees. People have a lot to offer and bringing lived experience into governance is one of the best ways of making sure that organisations are doing the right thing to support people. We will give people the knowledge, skills and confidence to make great Board members. We will also support organisations to make sure that their governance is accessible and inclusive, so the twelve new Directors or Trustees can slot right in and start making a difference.”

The grant is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s £800,000 Lived Experience Leaders Pilot Programme, an initiative which aims to better embed ‘experts by experience’ in all aspects of an organisation’s operations – and enable the Fund and the wider sector to continue testing and learning about how people with first-hand experience can become leaders and how funders can support them.

Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, people with lived experience will use their unique expertise to lead social change and help their communities to thrive. We know that supporting those with first-hand experience to become leaders is a key enabler for civil society to do more, help more people and for our sector to have a greater impact.”

This pilot programme, which was developed through workshops across the UK involving more than 70 lived experience leaders, is a core part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘people in the lead’ strategy.

Today’s announcement is also a key part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to enabling civil society to be fit for the future – helping organisations and the social sector create opportunities for people with first-hand experience to be at the forefront of decision making.

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If you would like to be involved in this project or to find out more contact Karen 

The full press release can be found in the downloads