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Lived Experience Learning

Lived Experience Learning is an upcoming e-learning and training business valuing, building upon and applying the one of the most under-utilised resources we have: lived experience.

Our e-learning courses and online training is aimed at two audiences:

  • Peer to peer training between individuals with lived experience
  • Lived experience led training and e-learning for healthcare, social care and other sector professionals

Lived experience brings such richness and diversity to organisations, but it is also crucial because people with lived experience often hold the keys to solutions to make things better for all. These individuals become experts in the systems they encounter regularly, they see the gaps, they see the difficulties, and often, they know the solutions. Why aren’t we making use of such a valuable and vital resource?

Find out more below.

What do you mean when you say “lived experience“?

People with lived experience will be developing and leading the online courses and live e-learning. By lived experience, we mean people with experience of health needs, disabilities, mental health, caring, of health and care services, other public sector services, and also other unheard groups such as marginalised communities.


We will build a whole suite of online courses to fulfil the training of others, as well as live virtual training. This makes use of the technologies that exist, the fact that we do not always need to do things face-to-face; especially since COVID has reinforced our vision of remote based services. It is also important as virtual training and remote working provides greater accessibility to the people with lived experience who often cannot travel due to their own needs or the needs of the person they care for. It’s about accessibility for the end-user, but also accessibility for the teams building the online courses and delivering the training.

Professional courses and training:

E-learning courses and virtual training will take place in a dedicated e-learning website with some live virtual training taking place within the platform and others on platforms such as Zoom or Teams, recognising the needs of professionals and the tech they are permitted to use, especially for work purposes. We will seek CPD accreditation for our courses as well as to work with universities, royal colleges, sector-specific organisations and governmental bodies to accredit the courses provided.

Peer-to-peer courses and live training and workshops:

Peer-to-peer learning is often misunderstood and its value not fully appreciated. When you talk to people with lived experience, often the greatest knowledge gathering, empowerment and resource finding occurs through support from others with lived experience. We believe that peer-to-peer learning should be given the credit it deserves and to create a platform where people with lived experience can teach and empower others with lived experience. Our platform will give a way to facilitate formalised peer-to-peer learning and training in an environment where things are fact-checked, approved and validated and that the end user can save themselves time and energy by having all the information brought to them through our platform, rather than spending hours trying to find information, finding very little and it all being scattered across thousands of sites, and also helping them to personalise that information and make sense of it in relation to their unique case or experience.

Young Innovators Awards 2020/21

Lived Experience Learning is being set up with innovation funding and support from the Young Innovators Programme run by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network, who have awarded funding and a package of mentoring and support to our founder, Lucy Watts MBE.

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Our founder and her vision:

Lucy Watts MBE is a woman in her late twenties with vast lived experience. She has a life-shortening condition, extremely complex medical needs and a physical disability, depending on round-the-clock nursing and care. Lucy was not expected to live to adulthood, never thought she’d be able to work, and never even considered that she could have a career. However, over the last eight years, she has been able to carve a career for herself and in the last three years, to get off benefits and into work – something she, her family, her professionals and the system never expected her to be able to do – by working as a lived experience consultant, trainer, independent advocate, independent support broker and co-researcher. Much of this was a happy accident; through volunteering she built a profile for herself, a list of clients and contacts, she gained valuable skills and experience and this gave her a reputation for being knowledgeable and giving of her time, and in the process, she was positioning herself as an expert in her niches. Over time, these contacts and connections began offering paid opportunities and the rest is history.

Lucy had the idea for a lived experience led e-learning and training business a good few years ago, but at the time lacked the knowledge and support necessary to put that idea into action. However, through her knowledge, skills and experiences, and support from the Young Innovators Programme, Lucy is finally able to put turn her idea into a business and will be able to run a profitable business that has its social mission at its core. A business that values and elevates unheard voices and the hidden individuals, who often face barriers to recognition, opportunities and to paid employment, and proves that lived experience is an asset that can create change, but also be a means with which to have a career and paid opportunities.

Find out more about Lucy: