Lived experience, solidarity & social change

line of people holding hands with arms crossed

This workshop will provide you with practical tools and approaches to thinking about power, allyship and participation of people with first-hand experience in your social change work. 

The workshop will draw on lessons from SMK’s  two year Power Project inquiry, and our new guide, It’s All About Power. ‘Lived Experience’ has become a buzz word in the social sector. The Power Project took on the challenge of asking what it really looks like to work together with people who have direct experience of social injustice and inequality, in active solidarity to drive social change.

We think understanding power can help set us off on this journey, to shift the way we all think, work and campaign. This will help civil society to become far more than the sum of its parts – and unleash our power to create change.   

Three things you will do in this workshop: 

  • Explore the power dynamics at play in the social change sector, and in their work 
  • Develop an understanding of how and why those with direct experience should be central to any campaign 
  • Explore how to create space for people with first-hand experience of an issue to be central to campaigns 

Read more about SMK’s approach to solidarity in social change in this blog 

Workshop dates

Wed 20th Nov 2024 2-5pm
Weds 12th Mar 2025, 2-5pm
Weds 11th June 2025, 10am-1pm

The Campaign Carousel runs on a progressive pricing model.

Small orgs: turnover of £10k – £100k = pay £797.50 plus VAT
Med orgs: turnover of £100k – £1M = pay £1155 plus VAT
Large orgs: turnover of £1M to £10M = pay £1650plus VAT

Individuals not affiliated to an organisation pay the ‘small orgs’ fee. If you would like to speak to someone further, please email

Campaign Carousel dates

Starts September 2024

Starts January 2025

Starts April 2025

Campaign Carousel dates

Starts September 2024

Starts January 2025

Starts April 2025

Shaista Aziz

Sarah Thomas

SMK Head of Power and Participation

Sarah has twenty years’ experience in the charity sector, working in leadership roles at a range of community and educational projects.

Read more about Sarah here

What participants say:

Siana Bangura

Zaimal Azad

Senior Campaigns Officer, Fawcett

”The reflective space created was really valuable as were the examples and tools shared. Great combination of theory, reflection and practical tips. The session was brilliant.”

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