LIVED EXPERIENCE CONSULTANT - WEST MIDLANDS
Location: West Midlands
Salary: Up to £30,000 depending on experience
Contract type: Permanent
User Voice was created for and is run by people who have been in prison and on probation. Lived experience means that we engage empathetically instead of sympathetically.
We exist to reduce offending and improve rehabilitation by working with the most marginalized people in and around the criminal justice system. We ensure that practitioners and policymakers hear their voices.
Since being founded in 2009, we have given a voice to over 150,000 people, including nearly 20,000 in over 80 peer research projects, influencing change to the system around drugs in prison, the response to the covid pandemic, neurodiversity and the experience of young black and mixed heritage boys.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
This is a fantastic opportunity to work in an innovative and growing charity. We are looking for dynamic, authentic, and inspiring individuals to join our team.
At the national level there is a crucial need for insights from people with lived experience of crime, addiction and homelessness to inform system reform as this voice is often absent. At the same time User Voice has an unrivalled and significant footprint across the country engaging with the hardest to reach people, through elected and trained service users who can provide the information to fill this void.
There is no one better placed to identify what works or what doesn’t, and to be part of identifying the solution than people with current and recent experience of the system. More significantly, there has never been a time when it has been more important and timelier that service users are given the platform to be heard, and to be part of transforming services and systems.
User Voice peer research projects, delivered by Lived Experience Consultants, will use this insight to both influence fundamental changes to the policy and public debate, to innovate new services, and to reform systems. User Voice peer research and consultations projects have a positive impact on individual participants as a result of the peer-led approach, change institutions along the way by providing them with real time insight and give policy makers a massive reality check.
The successful candidate will be results and outcome-orientated with knowledge of the criminal justice sector and a have their own lived experience. We are looking for passionate and motivated staff willing to go above and beyond!
The Lived Experience Consultant role involves a significant amount of remote working on the front-line role, delivering research, consultations, and other service user engagement activities.
What we expect from staff/ volunteers:
- You are an ex-offender and have taken steps to change your life for the better.
- People should also be in a place where their life is manageable. They have the support structures and networks to deal with personal issues and pay their bills on time and have stable accommodation.
- Importantly, we all need to be passionate about wanting to help others. that when we are in a stable place ourselves, we can give back to other people and see their needs as important as our own.
- Giving people the opportunity means them doing it for themselves, recognizing their strengths, and not us doing it for them. For staff, there is the opportunity to progress within the organization, taking on more responsibility, with the opportunity to ultimately become CEO.
- To do this people need encouragement. When you have been told all your life that you are not capable you believe it. Our volunteers and staff need to be given the encouragement that they can do it from someone with their own lived experience.
- they also need the right support so that when they have the opportunity and belief, they also have the skills. We need to ensure that they have the professional training to be the best in their role and the right support structure to deal with any issues at work they will invariably face in their professional development.
- Engaging with people in prison and on probation
- Liaising with research partners, prisons, probation, and other stakeholders to access service users
- Contributing to project planning and project managing service user engagement activities
- Conducting interviews, surveys, and focus groups
- Collecting and entering service user insight
- Supporting the analysis, reporting and dissemination of service user insights
- Recruiting, training, and supporting service users to be involved throughout research, consultation, and other engagement projects
- Supporting the delivery of other User Voice councils and projects as needed
- Lived experience of the criminal justice system as a service user
- Ability to communicate with a wide range of people at all levels
- Experience of engaging service users in a range of ways, for example: interviews, surveys and focus groups
- Recruiting, training, and supporting service users
- Interest in research
- Computer literate to a good standard, including collecting and entering data
- Experience of contributing to project planning and project management
- Well organized with the ability to prioritize tasks effectively and meet deadlines amid a range of competing demands
- Ability to be flexible and adaptable to project needs
- Ability to accept and maintain confidentiality
- Commitment to Equal Opportunities
- A ‘can do’ attitude
- Experience of social research techniques in any environment
- Experience of working with prisoners and service users
- Good knowledge of the charity sector and/ or criminal justice
- Data analysis and reporting
- Good IT skills, with experience of using spreadsheets, databases, and mobile technology
WHAT'S on OFFER
- Full induction and training into the role
- Permanent contract
- Up to £30,000 depending on experience plus London weighting (pro-rata for part-time)
- 25 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays (pro-rata for part-time)