Lived Experienced Research Ambassador

What is our role?

Our goal is for everyone who uses the Trust’s services to get the chance to take part in research. It is well known that service users benefit enormously from research, and we are lucky to be building on solid foundations at the Trust since it is the top mental health Trust in England for the number service users involved in research! However, there is still patchy participation in research across the Trust and we are committed to improving access and understanding the barriers to underrepresented groups.

Saskia Evans Perks, Lived Experience Research Ambassador 

Some of the reasons to contact us

If you have lived experience – you are our community! I want to speak with as many of you as possible to raise awareness of research opportunities and to understand the barriers that might stop you participating in research.

If you are a clinician – you are often the conduit for offering research to service users, so please reach out if you’d like to discuss the benefits of offering research to service users or to help me understand what would help you make this offer routinely.

If you are a clinical researcher – you provide the service that we are promoting. I want to work with you to help you reach and meet the needs of diverse service users across the Trust. Please get in touch if you want to know more about the service user networks that exist across the Trust and its community.

If you are a Research Champion – you are our partners in promoting the benefits and importance of research with clinicians. I want to support the growth of the research champion network and represent the service user voice as a motivator for your work. Let me know how I can help!

Research club

The Research Club is a collaboration between the SLaM recovery college and Lived Experience Research Ambassadors. It was developed to ensure that research at the Trust and the IoPPN, King's College London is discussed with service users, staff, and all at Trust. We aim to ensure that our research is accessible to our service users.

The sessions involve researchers talking about their findings and how the research has shed light on how improve their current work and treatments as clinicians. A participant of the study often attends and explains what it was like to take part in the research study.

Email for more information.

Enrol via the Recovery College website:

The online meeting is held monthly. The upcoming dates for 2024 are:

Thursday 28 March, 2-3pm

Topic: The RECOLLECT Study - How can Recovery Colleges provide the most benefit to people with mental health conditions?

Speakers: Mariam Namasaba and Merly McPhilbin

RECOLLECT stands for Recovery Colleges Characterisation and Testing, and is a programme of research investigating Recovery Colleges. Recovery Colleges are a mental health intervention that use co-produced adult education courses focused on mental health as opposed to more traditional clinical approaches. RECOLLECT aims to find out how Recovery Colleges can provide the most benefit to people who use mental health services.

Thursday 25 April, 2-3pm, Online

Topic: Survivor-led research

Speaker: Síofra Peeren

Síofra Peeren is a trauma survivor researcher. She will be discussing her work which focuses on amplifying the voices of survivors to transform health and social care. This mission is shaped by both her lived experience and previous experience working in the gender-based violence sector and the NHS. She has a strong interests in trauma-informed approaches and gender-based violence, and in using trauma-informed, creative and novel methods to harness the expertise held by survivors. She currently works in Lambeth Council as a Research Practitioner in an NIHR-funded Health Determinants Research Collaboration that aims to democratise research and reduce health inequalities.

Enrol via the Recovery College website:

Service User Research Advisory Group

Service User Research Advisory Group (SURAG) aims to better understand the needs of the people who take part in research. It is an open space for service users to talk about their experiences of being research participants. It ensures that services users, as experts by experience, can advise on the research, engagement and dissemination activities. Attendees are encouraged to reflect on personal experience to ensure their voices are heard and can shape the design and implementation of the research locally.

 The meeting is held monthly on MS Teams 2pm - 3pm and is open to all Trust service users and staff with lived experience of menta health difficulties. To join, email:

Global Banner