Press releases

Press Release: “Being Seen: Being Heard”

New ALLFIE project to support leaders with lived experience thanks to National Lottery funding

Community Fund logoThe Alliance for Inclusive Education is celebrating after being awarded National Lottery funding to put people with lived experience in the lead in looking at how disabled community leaders can create change for Disabled people and combat discrimiation.

The new grant from the UK’s biggest funder of community activity will bring together the Disabled young people from the RIPSTARS project with a group of disability rights leaders to share intergenerational experiences of what makes a good leader, what the barriers are for Disabled people and what Disabled people have done to challenge disablism and discrimination and create change.

Michelle Daley, ALLFIE’s Chief Executive said:

“We were incredibly impressed with how these young people went about their research on the RIPSTARS project and stated their case for disability rights loudly and clearly. We’re very excited to see what comes out of the Being Seen: Being Heard project, which will bring them together with older people who have been campaigning for years or even decades.”

The grant is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s £800,000 Lived Experience Leaders Pilot Programme, an initiative which aims to better embed ‘experts by experience’ in all aspects of an organisation’s operations – and enable the Fund and the wider sector to continue testing and learning about how people with first-hand experience can become leaders and how funders can support them.

Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, people with lived experience will use their unique expertise to lead social change and help their communities to thrive. We know that supporting those with first-hand experience to become leaders is a key enabler for civil society to do more, help more people and for our sector to have a greater impact.”

This pilot programme, which was developed through workshops across the UK involving more than 70 lived experience leaders, is a core part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘people in the lead’ strategy.

Today’s announcement is also a key part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to enabling civil society to be fit for the future – helping organisations and the social sector create opportunities for people with first-hand experience to be at the forefront of decision making.

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Notes to Editors:

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.


About The Alliance for Inclusive Education

ALLFIE is a unique voice. Formed in 1990, we are the only organisation led by Disabled people focused on campaigning and information-sharing on education, training and apprenticeship issues. We campaign for the right of all Disabled pupils and students to be fully included in mainstream education, training and apprenticeships with all necessary supports. ALLFIE believes that inclusive education is the basis of lifelong equality. Children who learn and play together will grow into adults who can understand and respect each other’s differences.