Lived Experience Volunteers – Help make a difference

Your story matters and can be a powerful tool for change.

Its really important to us that people with lived experience of thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts and bereavement by suicide, and their supporters, are at the heart of every aspect of the work we do, and we are looking for volunteers to share their stories and experiences through film, through words and through the media.

Sharing your story of hope and recovery has the power to help others through a crisis and to dispel stigma and myths about suicide.

If you are interested in sharing your experience you can contact us for an initial conversation on 07908 537541 or Or alternatively fill in a contact form and we will get back to you at the earliest opportunity.

For more information about getting involved have a look at our Sharing your Story Handbook

Hearing other people’s real-life experiences can be one of the most important and effective ways of changing attitudes and offering hope.

Current Opportunities

Suicide Bereavement – We are looking for people to share their experiences on film of loss through suicide – whether that be a family member, friend or colleague – and what has helped you on your journey. This will be for inclusion in our half day “Understanding Suicide Bereavement” training, which we are currently delivering to NHS staff and others across Cumbria. And for inclusion on our new website to offer words of support and hope to people bereaved by suicide.

Safety Planning – We are looking for people who have either used a Safety Plan previously, or are willing to create a Safety Plan with us, to talk through the process on camera. This would be for inclusion in our half-day “Safety Planning” training and for our new website resource on Safety Planning, to be launched in Summer 2023.

How will your story be shared?

We will discuss with you in detail about how we will share your story and you will have full control of what part is made public, in what format and where it is shared. This is outlined in the permissions you give us in your Agreement.

We may want to include your lived experience contributions to our work in a variety of formats across;

  • Our training programmes
  • Our social media and website
  • Within campaigns
  • Contact with the media
  • Conferences and other events
  • Developing our campaigns, awareness raising and suicide bereavement support.

Formats for sharing your contributions might include;

  • Video/film – this could include talking heads shots, video that doesn’t identify you but uses your voice, or video that uses actors to share your words.
  • Audio recordings – these may be used over video, animation or within training, or may be used as pre-recorded contributions to radio/tv articles.
  • Written stories – for instance using your words to illustrate social media posts, as quotes within training materials, or to be voiced by others.
  • In-person contribution – for instance supporting print/tv/radio interviews, or speaking at training, conference or other events.
  • Ideas and feedback – Ensuring that lived experience development of our work is really is really important to us.

You will have full control of how your story is used by Every Life Matters, as detailed in our Agreement and Permissions Form.

You can chose between giving us ongoing permission to use any image and likeness and/or interview statements you have given, or getting us to seek permission from you every time we want us use them. Regardless, we will endeavour to check with you on a yearly basis if you are still happy for us to use your story. You also have the right to withdraw use of your image and likeness and/or interview statements at any point.

Supporting you

When you share your story with Every Life Matters one or more of our staff will support you through the whole process. We know that it can be a rewarding, but also emotionally demanding thing to do. We will support you through;

  • Having clear information and guidelines on how to share your story safely and effectively.
  • Clear boundaries and permissions around how your story is shared now and in the future.
  • A variety of ways to participate and share your story from video through to artwork.
  • An identified staff member to support you through the whole process.
  • The opportunity to debrief after any involvement and sharing, plus follow up contact to check-in.
  • At hand information about local support if needed.

Our commitment to co-production

We are committed to ensuring that the support we offer is led and shaped by the views and experiences of people who have been bereaved by suicide.

Your contributions will ultimately help towards improving the breadth and quality of suicide prevention activity and suicide bereavement services for people in the Cumbria.

For more information about getting involved have a look at our Sharing your Story Handbook

Or contact us on 07908 537541 or

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