Join The LEAG
The Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG)
Helping the people we support to shape our coronavirus response
What is the LEAG?
The British Red Cross wants to better understand the needs of the people we aim to support.
So, we have set up the LEAG (the Lived Experience Advisory Group). This group of people from across the country are experiencing the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in different ways.
Members of the LEAG draw on their own personal experiences to help shape our coronavirus response, so that our services are inclusive, accessible and reach the people who need them most.
We will also use their experiences and insights to raise important issues to the government and media, to show how different social groups are affected by coronavirus and to campaign for wider support.
Speaking to other LEAG members and volunteers, I've become aware of how the coronavirus and lockdown have created so many different experiences. It's helped me feel like my situation is actually real. And it's reassured me that I'm coping with it all right and that I can keep going.Tom, a Lived Experience Advisory Group member, Exeter
Your experience matters
By becoming a LEAG member, you will influence our services and activity during the coronavirus pandemic. As well as learning about the work of a national charity, you’ll also connect with other LEAG members and learn new skills at the same time.
How does it work?
All LEAG meetings happen remotely through individual and group phone and video calls.
We’ll contact you at least once a month for as long as the pandemic lasts to see how you are. We’ll also get in touch when there are opportunities to influence and advise on our services – you can then decide if and when you’d like to get involved.
Who can join the LEAG?
We’d like to hear from people particularly vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19, living in any part of the UK, including Northern Ireland:
- Do you have a long-term health condition? This could be something like diabetes, cancer, or asthma.
- Are you having a hard time with coronavirus because of your living situation? For instance, are you a single parent or an older person living alone?
- Do you have mental health difficulties, such as loneliness and depression?
- Do you have money problems? Perhaps you are on a low income, waiting for Universal Credit or seeking asylum.
- Are you disabled? This could be the result of a health condition or something you were born with.
- Do you have a long-term physical health condition?
- Are you from a black and minority ethnic (BAME) background?
Joining the LEAG - Carol's story
When Carol's husband died, she felt alone with her terrible grief. Then, isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic made this even worse. The Red Cross supported Carol through it all, phoning several times a week to chat and check she had enough food and medication.
We then approached Carol about joining the LEAG. As a member, she draws on her own experience of the pandemic to help shape how we help others. Carol feels the LEAG has given her a sense of purpose and helped her talk more openly with her son about their grief.
In this podcast, Carol shares her experiences with Dreanne, another woman dealing with the loss of loved ones.
It made me feel that I was at least reaching out and trying to help somebody, and at the same time that I was helping myself as well by talking about it, getting it out.
Carol, a Lived Experience Advisory Group Member, Newcastle
The time and skills you give us are very valuable, and we’ll recognise your contributions in different ways.
This may include thank you letters, records of your contribution that you could use in applications for jobs or courses, or giveaways related to the projects you support.
We will help to deal with issues that might stop you from getting involved, such as giving you mobile phone data if this is needed.
The LEAG makes me feel valued because people want me to join their project or share my opinions. It's really kind of them and I feel like they care about me. They really want me to help, and I feel much better - valued.Mika, a Lived Experience Advisory Group member, Birmingham