Previous Events

What is user led?

And how can being user led have a positive impact in disabled people’s lives?

A free two-part event: May 9th (Bournemouth) & May 30th (Southampton)

Given the pressures on the disability social care sector and the demand for more person- and community-led support, we are hosting a free two-part event to discover the opportunities that user-led practice can bring to community disability organisations, researchers, service providers and commissioners.

SPIRIT User Led Flyer

Aim of Event

To create a space to share and learn ideas together about:

  • what being user led means in practice
  • how being user led can have a positive impact on the lives of disabled people, particularly people with learning disabilities.

Who should attend?

Community disability organisations, disability researchers, service delivery providers, and social care commissioners.

What will I get out of it?

You will have the chance to:

  • meet other people working towards being user led in different ways and different types of organisation
  • examine how user led principles can be applied within your context
  • explore ways to co-produce solutions to improve disabled people’s lives
  • learn from others about how they have applied user led practices and found solutions to barriers.

It is designed as a two-part event:

Part 1 – Internal Focus: What does being user led look like now for you? What should it look like? How can we improve on thinking about principles to address how organisations function?


People First Dorset who have sought to embed user led principles within their work.

Ian Loynes, SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living CIC

Part 2 – External Focus: How can being user led help to co-produce solutions that improve the lives of disabled people? How can user led organisations, researchers, commissioners and services reach out and work with others? This event is more about finding out ways to embed co-production and an asset based approach.


Dorset County Council (Adam Fitzgerald and Chris Skinner) who has sought to embed user led principles and co-production within their commissioning and community engagement.

Barod (, a Community Interest Company, which works with people with learning disabilities and helps organisations to think about ways to be more inclusive. 

In both events, there will be talks by individuals from organisations who have sought to embed user led principles and co-production within their work. There will also be workshop sessions where you will meet and share ideas with other people in your sector (community disability organisations, researchers, service providers and commissioners).

Collectively, we aim to co-produce solutions to the growing challenges facing disabled people and the organisations/sectors that seek to support them. There will be a focus on developing a consensus statement.  This will record the position we reach and provide useful guidance, with clear ways to make what you do more user led.

Where will the event take place?

Part 1 will take place at Citygate Centre in Bournemouth, two minutes walk from Bournemouth train station.

Part 2 will take place at Wide Lane Sports Ground in Southampton, two minutes walk from Southampton Airport Parkway station.

If you are interested in attending, please register at our Eventbrite page  (places are limited. We would love if you could attend both events, however if you can only attend one, you can book each ticket separately)

If you would like to find out more, please send informal inquiries to Andrew Power, University of Southampton (