Lived experience

I have thought a lot recently about what drives and motivates campaigns. When I look back on my campaigning, I know that it was when I had time with people who had lived experience of the campaigning issue that I really felt a sense of drive and purpose for the campaign.

At Oxfam campaigning against the use of supermarket vouchers to support asylum seekers, it was my time with asylum seekers who were using these vouchers, which really motivated me and showed me that this campaign needed a priority focus. At the Refugee Council looking at our campaigning priorities, it was travelling around the country meeting refugee communities, which highlighted to me the need to campaign on destitution, detention, access to legal support and the right to work. And at the Red Cross, it was meeting with asylum seekers around the country who were struggling with the Azure card which propelled me to keep campaigning on this issue.

Lived experience is so powerful in motivating campaigns. And increasingly I have seen how lived experience is so important in also shaping and running campaigns. I have loved seeing how campaigning experience and lived experience come together, with both being valued, to push for real change.

In my next blog post I will look at how this new focus on lived experience is beginning to have an impact on the charitable sector in the UK.

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