Historical research projects

At Inclusion Barnet, we believe research is important. Research is a process that helps us to discover new things; it usually involves picking a subject and engaging with it, often through a careful and detailed study. As a peer-led organisation, we feel that there is a lack of research that deals with the realities of work that is led by disabled people. The research that we read does not always describe or take into account how different working life can be for a disabled person, and especially how different a working environment can be when it is led by disabled people. Because of this, Inclusion Barnet is working hard to carry out this work ourselves.

Our research and lived-experience inform the services we offer and the way that we work with customers as well as other organisations. This research also provides the basis for resources that we produce.

As part of our Barnet Together partnership, we also have resources developed for community and voluntary organisations. You can access those here Barnet Together

Report on the impact of lifting Covid-19 restrictions on people with Chronic Illness

Inclusion Barnet’s awareness-raising Instagram campaign, Equivox, conducted a survey among its followers to find out about the impact of removing Covid-19 restrictions on people with Chronic Illness. We asked 18 people five questions, exploring the psychological and practical impacts of the pandemic, Covid infection, and the lifting of restrictions. Despite the small sample size, the results painted a stark picture of psychological distress and a sense among this community of having been left behind by society.  The results of the ‘snap-shot’ study indicate a real need for these issues to be studied in more depth.

We also asked people in what ways people could support them during this time, and the suggestions have been turned into posters that can be downloaded and shared for free among employers, businesses, schools and friends and family.

Download the Chronic illness and COVID report in .pdf format

Download the Chronic illness and COVID report as a Word document

Equivox eclipsed no more. Inclusion Barnet logo and Community Fund logo.

The Enablement Partnership

The Enablement Partnership was a four year programme of work in which Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust secured the services of Inclusion Barnet as a critical friend, offering user focused and person centred consultancy and expertise. The Enablement Partnership ran from 2018 – 2022. It saw Inclusion Barnet contributing across multiple workstreams and departments in the Trust to design, deliver and evaluate a wealth of projects across BEH under the Enablement ethos.

“What the Partnership did for BEH was to give them a user focused sounding board, a ‘critical friend’ who could input at strategic level as well as deliver on the ground. The Partnership developed over its four year journey into a trusted relationship which continues to benefit both parties even after its end.”

Testimonial from Clare Scott, Interim Director of Nursing, BEH-MHT

4 years of the enablement partnership. It's been quite a journey, and these are some of the highlights.

What is Enablement?

Enablement is an approach to delivering mental health services which focuses on empowering people to take control of their own mental health. Enabling services empower people by:

  • always aiming to do with people rather than to or for people;
  • focusing on what people can do rather than what they cannot do;
  • supporting people to develop skills to help themselves stay well;
  • working with the whole person, not just their diagnosis, including their own support networks.

What did the Enablement Partnership do?

  • Supported the Trust to increase its Peer workforce by 400%
  • Trained and supervised that Peer workforce
  • Supported managers with recruitment, developed Wellbeing at Work system and peer management infrastructure
  • Initiated and delivered coproduction projects.
  • Coproduced the Trust’s first ever Recovery Strategy – a large piece of work involving public focus groups and coproduction with over 250 people accessing services, staff and stakeholders.
  • Maintained a clear image and easy communication of the Enablement principles going forward with the launch of the Recovery Strategy.


“I was very positively impacted by the excellent information that you delivered as well as your personal styles and the experiences that you so generously shared with the team.”

Clinical Psychologist, BEH

“As I said on the training, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity, it has been a really good experience. It helped a lot to be more confident within my role as a Peer Worker.”

Peer worker, BEH

“I just wanted to thank you for your fantastic work on incorporating the recovery principles into the clinical strategy work. Your slides are excellent – clear advice, with many good suggestions. The section on putting the principles into action are also gold dust for our next steps with this work.”

Deborah Dover, Deputy Medical Director

The Co-Produced Support Project

This project involved carrying out in-depth research with Barnet Council’s adult social care users, whatever their needs.

It is called The Co-Produced Support Project because it was be guided by our Steering Group of deaf and disabled people – many of whom will be using Council services.

Shaping social Care in Barnet

Inclusion Barnet have been awarded a grant by Trust for London to research and campaign for deaf and disabled people to have the best social care possible from the Local Authority.

We are carrying out in-depth research with Barnet Council’s adult social care users, whatever their needs.

It is called The Co-Produced Support Project because it will be guided by our Steering Group of deaf and disabled people – many of whom will be using Council services.

It is called The Co-Produced Support Project because we at Inclusion Barnet as a peer led Deaf and Disabled Person’s Organisation (DDPO) will be taking our research learning and our lived experience to the Council and work with them shaping adult social care services. .

Our steering group

Minutes of our first steering group meeting on the 2nd July 2021

The group is made up of members who have experience of disability including mental health issues and many are Barnet Council social care users.

We also have some professional members who have experience of Social Care, Co-Production and Disability research methodology.

The group will meet once every three months, and the group agenda, materials and minutes will be made available on this page.

About co-production

The 2014 Care Act made a number of changes to the way local authorities were to assess and provide social care. It brought a number of new responsibilities and duties.

One of those duties was the duty to co-produce adult social care policy. This is a very difficult duty to enforce, and there is always a danger that local authorities will say they co-produce but are simply consulting or researching users.

Co-production at its best is where users are involved throughout the process of policy development. Involved in finding what the problems are, involved in thinking about what solutions can address those problems and being involved in the decisions that then need to be made.

We think that the Think Local Act Personal ladder of co-production is a really useful way of thinking about the approach. This is our ambition on the project.

Next year we will be producing a conference on co-production activity across London. So watch this space!

Trust for London logo

The Co-Produced Support Project was funded by Trust for London.

Peer support in practice

Inclusion Barnet won funding from Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) in order to learn more about mental health peer support in April 2017. Our research focused on finding out more about the organisational values, structures and practices that best supported the implementation of successful peer support programmes. To do this, we looked at how organisations manage peer support workers and services, and how the working environment can be organised to promote and enourage the best quality peer support possible.

We worked alongside Inclusion London, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Real Lives and Barnet Voice for Mental Health. It was one of the first projects to be awarded funding from the DRILL programme, which is a five-year scheme led by disabled people and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Read our research report below:

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Management Handbook

The Inclusion Barnet Management Handbook is a free resource to support leaders of Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPOs). The Management Handbook also offers managerial insight to any team leader.

The Management Handbook is written by Aman Ahluwalia with Caroline Collier and Richard Banks. DDPOs from across London were consulted in the drafting of the handbook which focusses on the essential concepts that underpin many DDPOs such as the social model, independent living as well as being user-led and value-led. The handbook traces the history of DDPOs from their Civil Rights Movement roots and offers leaders information on concepts such as  co-production, to include people in decisions that impact them, to help them form a value-led strategy, consider reasonable adjustments for team members and more.

Management Handbook.pdf

Cross-cutting research

Inclusion Barnet has an ongoing partnership to deliver research for Healthwatch Barnet. These research projects usually focus on understanding more about disabled people’s experiences of accessing services, or elements of their lives that might be affected by the way services are designed.

We have written three reports so far, this includes finding out more about how people with learning disabilities experience domiciliary care, personal assistants and floating support workers; understanding more about the effects of rising support thresholds on people with mild-moderate care needs who do not qualify for long-term support; as well as better understanding the experiences of people who are experiencing mental distress and the process they go through when making complaints.

Cuts Impact Action Now (CIAN) Research Report

The learning disability team, People’s Choice, were involved in a joint research project with People First from 2012 to 2016 which was funded by Trust for London.  The research looked into how government cuts and changes to benefits and services have impacted people with learning disabilities in Barnet.

By undertaking this research we have shown how important it is for people with learning disabilities to have their voices heard and their experiences understood.

 Read the Cuts Impact Action Now Research Summary Report (28 pages).

 Read the Cuts Impact Action Now Research Full Report (155 pages).

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