Changing Our Lives is a rights-based organisation. We work alongside disabled people and people experiencing mental health difficulties, of all ages, as equal partners to find solutions to social injustice and health inequalities.

All of our work is rooted in the belief that no one is too disabled and no one’s mental health is too complex to lead an ‘ordinary life’. Read about ordinary life stories here  As such we don’t believe people’s lives should be limited or defined by disability or mental health diagnoses. Disability and mental health difficulties obviously present challenges but with good quality support, resources and creativity anything is possible. 

Changing Our Lives has a co-worker model where disabled people and people with experience of mental health difficulties, whether volunteers or paid staff, work alongside team members with a range of experience including advocacy, social work, speech and language therapy, community development and healthcare. This co-working model enables disabled people and people with experience of mental health difficulties, as equals to other team members, to be in leading roles across the development, delivery and evaluation of our work. Although we do not define ourselves as a user led organisation, co-working and coproduction are at the heart of our approach.

Our Values

Our values guide all of us at Changing Our Lives, as they shape the culture of the organisation, the way we behave and the way we work to challenge social injustice and develop solutions based on equality and an improved quality of life. These are the values of Changing Our Lives:

People First

All people should be seen as people first. We should not be seen simply in relation to disability or a mental health difficulty. These things should not be used to define us as a person, segregate us or remove us from society, or limit us in any way.

Bravery

As a team and an organisation, we are brave in the work we do. We know that changing cultures, attitudes and behaviour takes time and patience but must be met with determination and a will to succeed. more text an some more text and some more text ans some

Independence

We are all inter-dependent; we all need support in our lives. No one is too disabled or too affected by mental health difficulties to lead an independent life.

Communication

All disabled people, even those individuals who do not use words, communicate and have a right to be heard and supported in their individual communication needs.

Coproduction

All of our work is rooted in coproduction with disabled people and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties. Coproduction is a philosophy, so what it looks like should seldom be the same. It is not about process, it is about people and a belief system that supports improved outcomes for people. It is a power shift that sees disabled people and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties as equal and reciprocal partners, having the skills and knowledge to create opportunities and solve problems.

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Equal rights

All people are citizens in their own right and have the same human, legal and civil rights as other members of society.

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All people are citizens in their own right and have the same human, legal and civil rights as other members of society.