The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership supports a wide range of activities to enhance and improve engagement with those with people with lived experience.

Lived Experience Videos

Our participation groups discussed areas they are passionate about, including:


  • The role of participation in social work

  • What is excellence in social work

  • Relationships in social work

  • The impact of labels and language.

Mend the Gap

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership have been exploring ways to involve those with lived experience in social work education and practice.

A visit to another partnership introduced the Mend the Gap approach, an innovative programme to explore the gaps between experts by experience, policy, practitioners and academia. 


Mend the Gap is an egalitarian, inclusive approach and analytical tool that helps social work practitioners, educators, students, researchers, policy makers and people with lived experience to identify, critically reflect on and determine what increases, maintains or mends gaps between each other – especially between people with lived experience and others. 

The Partnership commissioned five Mend the Gap pilot projects across the West Midlands region. The pilots focused on identifying, exploring, reflecting on and discussing the gaps between each other. The pilot project supported the participants to explore potential changes and new ideas which remove or reduce the gaps.

What is participation?

Shianne - WMSWTP 

"Participation to me is the commitment to want to make things better. I’ve worked with the participation team for 3 years and have had endless opportunities to be involved in good practice within Children’s Services, which has always resulted in positive changes for young people in care.

Worcestershire Children First

Courtesy of

Worcestershire Children First