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Who We Are

We challenge social injustice and health inequalities. We work alongside disabled people and people with experience of mental health difficulties to make an ordinary life achievable for all.

Changing Our Lives is a rights-based organisation

Our approach rests firmly on the social model of disability. As such, we don’t believe people’s lives should be limited or defined by labels or diagnoses, and we are committed to reframing how society views mental health and disability.

Our Vision

Our vision is of a society in which disabled people and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties of all ages are afforded universal human rights, resulting in them being in control of their own lives as equal citizens

Our Values

The following values shape the culture of the organisation, underpinning the way we behave and the way we challenge social injustice as we work to develop solutions based on equality and an improved quality of life.

Our Brand

At Changing Our Lives, we pride ourselves on our unique brand. These elements are what makes up this brand:

Bravery

As an organisation, we are brave in the work we do. We are not afraid to be maverick. We know that changing cultures, attitudes and behaviour takes courage, time and persistence, but can be done if met with grit, determination and a will to succeed.

Outcome Driven

We are not a talking-shop: we focus on achieving outcomes that result in sustainable and meaningful change.

Community Development

We work in the heart of communities as we know the people in those communities are often best placed to find solutions to local problems: the closer you are to the problem, the closer you are to the solution.

Informed Practice

The accuracy of our information, an attention to detail, up-to-date knowledge, and a questioning and reflective approach provide us with a solid footing to create positive change.

Ethical

We only pursue and accept funding if we believe a piece of work will result in outcomes that align with our values and brand. We don’t seek to grow the organisation for its own sake; neither do we hunt for funding to sustain areas of work that have little impact.

Coproduction

The philosophy and principles of coproduction underpin our entire approach. Coproduction is about people working together as equal and reciprocal partners, having the skills and knowledge to create opportunities and solve problems.

Developing relationships

Developing the right relationships is key to our success. We proactively build strategic partnerships and nurture alliances with influential, value driven people and organisations. We draw on these relationships to bring about improvements to people’s lives.

Innovation and creativity

We use creative approaches, including media and the arts, to communicate and engage with people and to bring about positive change.

Work local, think national

We pride ourselves on improving people’s lives at a local level. We then take this learning and best practice to a national level.


How We Work

We work with disabled people and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties of all ages. Whilst all of the individuals we work with experience multiple disadvantages and discrimination, some of our projects specifically target the following groups of people:

Whether we are working with disabled people, people with lived experience of mental health difficulties or professionals, we never have one standard approach or set of tools. We look at the issue at hand and work out which tools and approaches best suit the situation.

Annual Report

You can read our 2020-2021 annual report by clicking here.

Changing Our Lives Annual Report 2020-2021
The cover of our annual report for 2020 – 2021