Co-created guidance with Experts by Experience exploring how to run effective and meaningful group sessions.

How do I get started running groups?

You’ve decided to set up an Experts by Experience (EbE) group, or you want to grow an existing group. You know that your work will be more effective if it is based on the knowledge, insights and understandings of people who have expertise through lived experience of the issues you work on.

You may be looking forward to the diversity of perspectives and innovative ideas that will come from a group that includes people with different backgrounds and experiences and can’t wait to get started!

You may also be feeling a little nervous if you’ve never worked in this way before, or have been put off by difficult experiences with groups in the past. Perhaps you have hesitated to take this step because you don’t know where to start or you are worried about ‘getting it right’. 

How Refugee Action's Jonathan and Ana became group facilitators

We know that there is a lot of experience out there but very little written information available to help people get started. We have therefore put together some guidelines based on our own experience of facilitating groups of people with lived experience and on research we have carried out, with other Experts by Experience and with organisations who have successfully run Experts by Experience groups themselves. 

We have decided to present our findings by focusing first on what you need to do before your first group session, then on issues that arise when facilitating sessions, and lastly on maintaining interest and supporting group members

The guidance

How to build trust and agree ways of working so everyone feels safe.

Read the guidance

How to develop the group's capacity, effectiveness and resilience.

Read the guidance

Groups Pilot workbook

Refugee Action ran a pilot programme to help organisations set up and run effective and inclusive EBE groups. Alongside facilitation skills training, the programme involved using a workbook, which is available for others to follow.

View and use the workbook

The workbook and the worksheets are google docs that you will need to make a copy of before you can use. There are instructions on how to do this in the workbook.

View the workbook


These resources are built by you, for you.
Email us if there’s anything you would like to add.

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