A presenter speaking at a conference to an audience seated facing a projection screen displaying a slide titled "activities.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the HOME? Heritage Project website alongside our animation and toolkit.

Partner organisations have already organised screenings and launches throughout February. Global Link in Lancaster and Dragons Voice in Manchester launches were well attended by the local community members and other organisations. Attendees were engaged, informed, and enlightened by the issues highlighted in the animation and toolkit. Some audience members expressed that they gained a deeper understanding of the migrant experience and the valuable contributions made by migrant communities in the UK. 

‘It was very useful for me to receive new experience and learn more about migration’.

Audience member feedback

Additionally, the majority felt they had ideas to effect positive change within their communities based on the insights gained. One audience member commented on how to create employment networks.

‘Enhancing and expanding local networks for refugee employment in collaboration with other organisations’.

Audience member feedback

The Home? Heritage project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and started back in May ’22. Working in partnership with the following vital organisations who offer crucial support – GLOBAL LINK in Lancaster, MAP in Middlesbrough, LASSN in Leeds, DRAGONS VOICE in Manchester, REFUGEE WOMEN’S CONNECT in Liverpool, and NACCOM who are a national organisation who supported us with the creation of the toolkit. We worked across Northern England, collecting and curating the lived experiences of migrants (including refugees, people seeking asylum, and other migrants) living in Northern England during the last 10 years.

The animation and the toolkit is designed to assist groups in listening to the stories of lived experience of people who have come to the UK in the last 10 years and promote discussion about how we can help people arriving in the UK feel at home. In listening to the stories, we can gain a better understanding of the challenges that displaced people living in the UK face and this understanding will deepen, helping empathy and compassion to grow.

We hope that these resources will support schools, youth groups, community groups, informal education projects, charities, local councils, and other organisations to work with lived experience stories that focus on recent contemporary migration to the UK. Helping to foster a culture of compassion and understanding to counteract the culture of the ‘hostile environment’.

The next and final stage of the project will be the Co-Evaluation Workshop that we will be holding on 18th March 2024. This will be attended by our 5 organisation partners and some of the participants who took part in the project. As a substantial part of the workshop, we would like to carry out some Ripple Effect Mapping. This is an interactive, group evaluation method that encourages people to think about the consequences, effects, and outcomes from a social change project – intended and unintended, big and small.


Friends United Together are a group of adults with learning disabilities from Swansea. Last year they became Community Reporters as they wanted to create a video to share their story about setting-up a co-operative.

This short film is a story about of how their friendship and determination helped them to overcome challenges and achieve better life choices. The film charts the Friends’ journey in setting-up a care co-op, improving their lives and being in control of the support they receive. This process and film was supported by IMPACT.

The video was co-produced by the Friends United Together Co-operative, Community Lives, Anna Sellen and People’s Voice Media, with contributions from Swansea Council and Cwmpas Coop.


Picture depicts a Ripple Effect Map outlining some of the impacts of Public Living Rooms.

Between May and October 2023, People’s Voice Media has been delivering a series of Ripple Effect Mapping Workshops and Storytelling Sessions with members of the Camerados Public Living Room movement. 

Camerados is a social movement – which really just means that there are lots and lots of people (from Baltimore to Blackpool) who think being a bit more human is a good idea. The movement started in 2015 and the main thing you’ll see them doing is opening Public Living Rooms in different communities across the world.

During November, we spent time curating the insights from the stories and Ripple Effect Mapping sessions to create a set of initial findings which we will build upon in the next round of story gathering and Ripple Effect Mapping. The findings reveal the positive impacts that Public Living Rooms have on the lives of the people who use them.

  1. For some people, Public Living Rooms have a transformative or healing effect, simply through offering a space where they can be themselves and verbalise what’s on their mind.
  2. For people who have spent time if various systems and services, Public Living Rooms provide an antidote to that. The lack of social stigma and the emphasis on not trying to fix people and just being alongside each other makes them a low-pressure environment for people used to the stresses and pressures of services.
  3. Public Living Rooms have demonstratively brought communities together simply through allowing people to meet each other. They grow spaces and initiatives by creating a nice space to be in.

In all, this demonstrates that people benefit from spaces – like Public Living Rooms – that are a bit more human and that allow them to be human too.

We will continue working with Camerados over the coming months to further these findings.


Understanding lived experiences of pain can only lead to effective change for all. Empathy was at the heart of all the lived experience stories within the CAPE project.

Empathy is a powerful tool that allows us to understand and share the feelings and experiences of others. It is an essential aspect of our humanity, enabling us to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. This is particularly important for those living with pain, people shared how empathy was often lacking in their relationship with health and social care and unemployment.

I have learnt too much about the challenges that people face when living with long-term chronic pain. “Not being believed”. These lived experiences are full of the good, the bad and the indifferent responses that people get when seeking help and understanding to manage their pain. Empathy is also crucial in creating effective and sustainable change in society and service for people. Through empathy, we can see these challenges from different perspectives, develop more inclusive and equitable solutions, and ultimately, work towards a better world for those living with pain.

Empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings and experiences of others. It is more than just sympathy or feeling sorry for someone; it requires us to put ourselves in another person’s shoes and experience their emotions and struggles. Empathy is a fundamental aspect of our social and emotional intelligence, allowing us to connect with others on a deeper level. When we empathize with someone, we are acknowledging their experiences and validating their feelings. This can be a powerful tool in building trust and strengthening relationships.

Empathy is important for creating effective and sustainable change because it allows us to see issues from different perspectives. When we empathize with others, we can understand the root causes of societal problems and how they impact different people. For example, if we are working to address poverty, we must understand the lived experiences of those who are living in poverty. This means recognizing the systemic barriers that prevent individuals from accessing resources and opportunities. By understanding these experiences, we can develop more effective strategies that address the root causes of poverty and create sustainable change.

Through empathy, we can develop more inclusive and equitable solutions to societal problems. When we take the time to understand the lived experiences of different groups, we can develop solutions that are more inclusive and equitable. For example, if we are working to address racial disparities in healthcare, we must understand the experiences of marginalized communities and how they are impacted by systemic racism. By centering their experiences and perspectives, we can develop solutions that are more effective, equitable, and sustainable.

In conclusion, empathy is a powerful tool that allows us to connect with others, understand their experiences, and create effective and sustainable change. By recognizing the importance of empathy, we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable society, where everyone’s experiences are valued and respected. By taking the time to understand the lived experiences of different groups, we can develop more effective solutions that address the root causes of societal problems. Ultimately, empathy is essential in building a better world for all.

Take a look at an example story gathered as part of this project over on the Community Reporter Website.

Written by Isaac Samuels (PVM Team Member)


This pilot project aims to strengthen our knowledge of people’s lived experience of racism and how this affects co-production.

PVM and the Co-Production Collective will be using lived experience to explore experiences of racism with co-production and identify ways in which structural racism can be addressed within the co-production arena.

Our objectives are to…

  • Ensure that diverse voices are present within our co-production communities
  • Understand how racism plays out within co-production
  • Understand what we can do to be an anti-racist co-production community & put this into practice
  • Gather 12 lived experience stories
  • Deliver sense-making sessions exploring these stories
  • Produce a short thematic film pulling out the key learning from the stories
  • Host a Learning Exchange event sharing these finding with the wider co-production community & beyond

As part of this project we’re aiming to bring about social change on an individual, organisational, community & societal level including…

Bringing individuals together to share their own lived experiences, knowledge and experiences of exclusion and inclusion around coproduction, lived experience and racism.
Strengthen the knowledge of the Co-Production Collective to be able to respond to the need of our community or the people our work tries to best serve that are from diverse backgrounds & catalyse action/generate ideas for making the co-production ‘space’ more diverse.
Create safe spaces to talk about systemic racism, coproduction, lived experience and the lack of diversity that the spaces can often show. Contribute to a wider mission to create social change for everybody to find a fair and just society where they have purpose and meaning regardless of any protected characteristics.

Over the next couple of months we’ll be collecting stories, delivering online sense making sessions and editing together a film based on the findings – all in preparation for the Learning Exchange event in January 2024.

Watch this space for more updates, including how to get involved!