There’s many different ways you can get involved, depending on your particular interests and the time you have, so why not take a look?
The first step for many customers is getting involved at their own local service. This is a great way to have your say about how things are run locally.
You can attend customer meetings, give feedback, organise local events and suggest new customer activities. You could even become a customer representative, representing your service and fellow customers to others.
Different services have different ways of getting involved, so speak to your Support Worker about what’s involved at your service, or suggest some ideas of your own!
Hear from a customer involved at their local service – read Michael’s story.
Do you have personal life experiences that you feel could benefit our staff? Perhaps you’ve experienced mental health, faced the challenges of drug or alcohol abuse or survived domestic abuse?
Our Experts by Experience (EBE) training programme offers you the opportunity to share your personal experiences with our staff teams. We’ll support you to use your insight to help train our staff on the challenges many of our customers face.
The training currently covers topics including mental health, substance misuse and gangs and we are always looking to expand the areas the training covers.
The training has many benefits – our staff learn from our customers directly which means they can deliver better support.
Our customer trainers gain skills, confidence, great work experience and for many, most importantly, the knowledge their experiences are benefiting others.
Hear from one of our EBE trainers – read Daniel’s story.
You can also use your life experiences to offer support to other customers who may be in need.
Through our Peer Support Programme, we train current and former customers to support others who may be struggling with similar issues. This might be around issues like mental health, healthy living or maintaining their accommodation.
It benefits both the customer being supported and the peer supporter.
The customer receives extra support (on top of that received from our staff team) from someone who has a real understanding of what they may be going through. They know that they’ve ‘been there, done that’.
For the peer supporter, they gain skills, confidence and the knowledge they are making a real difference.
For many, it’s a useful first step into work. A large number of our peer supporters have gone onto paid work with us or other health and social care organisations.
The people that use services know better than anyone what a good service looks like, and just how important it is that we provide them. That’s why we’ve created a team of customer Quality Checkers.
Quality Checkers visit our services alongside managers to check the standard and quality of our service. Customers bring their experiences of using services to give feedback and suggest areas where improvements can be made. They are an important part of our Quality Management System.
Quality Checkers are trained, get to meet customers and staff from across our services and play an important part in helping to make sure we deliver great services.
Heads-up is our newsletter created by and for our customers. It is released every two months and is sent to all Look Ahead customers.
The newsletter includes customer news and interviews, creative writing and updates about opportunities and activities with Look Ahead.
You can get involved in different ways. You can work with us to make the newsletter, send us something to include or simply just enjoy reading it!Read the latest issue of Heads-up
Many of our customers volunteer their time to help run activities at their services or to provide feedback to help us make better services.
For every hour that you volunteer for us, you can earn one ‘Time Credit’.
Time Credits are provided through our partnership with Spice. Credits can be used towards different community, leisure and educational activities, as well as entry to many exciting attractions.
You also use your credits to take part in courses at City Lit, who provide adult learning courses in London.
"In 2009 I was unable to leave my house, but recently, thanks to the confidence I have gained, I stood up in front of 800 people and spoke about my experiences. That's quite a change for me!"Read Daniel's story
Getting involved brings many benefits - for you and others
Builds your confidence and skills
Chance to make a real difference
Opportunities to meet people
Great for your CV
Higher quality services
Better trained staff