Reward and recognition for people with lived experience

National Voices works directly with people with lived experience to shape our work and ensure it is truly person-centred. People with lived experience involved in National Voices work are recognised and rewarded for the knowledge, skills and expertise they bring.

Expenses

For involvement in which people are contributing their experience

National Voices will cover reasonable expenses which may include travel, accommodation, child care or replacement carer/person providing support, an interpreter or the cost of a Personal Assistant where required and agreed in advance. Expenses will be reimbursed by BACS* (or cheque on request) after receiving an expenses form and proof of spend (such as a receipt). Fuel expenses will be processed at the agreed amount (currently 40 pence per mile).

Please note that any expenses beyond travel expenses need to be agreed in advance. We are unable to reimburse you without proof of spend (e.g. receipt, travel ticket).

People with lived experiences attending National Voices events (e.g. conferences)

National Voices has set aside a small amount of budget to enable people with lived experience to access events that we are involved in organising. We agree this with individuals on a case by case basis, and in the interests of fairness, we are only able to pay expenses for the same person or organisation a limited number of times.

Payment for involvement

Where people are actively contributing to National Voices’ work (i.e. beyond attending an event), National Voices offers recognition of £50 for half a day’s involvement and £100 for a full day, including time for preparation. This is in addition to expenses.

The payments are processed by BACS* (or cheque on request), in response to receiving a claims form. We aim to process payments within 2 weeks whenever possible.

If you are working you may need to declare these payments for tax purposes. Please seek advice from your tax office or local Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you are in receipt of benefits, please seek advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or JobCentre Plus in order to make the best decision for your circumstances. You are free to accept or decline payment at your discretion. You may also ask to be paid a lower amount, or ask for the payment to be made to a charity, without being treated as if you had been paid the full amount on offer. You are required to inform JobCentrePlus about this involvement, even if you decide that you would like to be involved in a voluntary role.

If you are in receipt of benefits due to ill health or disability and would like National Voices to provide you with a letter explaining the difference between involvement and employment, please email info@nationalvoices.org.uk to request this.

National Voices does not offer payment for people attending events where they have not been invited to make a direct contribution.

*BACS is an electronic payment system which allows payments to be made directly into a bank account.

SCIE's briefing: 'Co-production and participation: paying people who receive benefits' has further useful information.