Maddi Cassell (They/them) 

Lived experience consultant and trainer with a focus on Lived Experience Leadership, Equity Diversity & Inclusion, Collaborative Working and Coproduction.

I am Autistic, ADHD, disabled and queer. I am passionate about using my lived experience and lived expertise to campaign, educate and support others in sharing and using their own lived experience to effect change. My lived  experience also drives my work as an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion specialist, in which I have advised on and designed multiple projects to improve EDI in a wide  variety of organisations large and small. 

I have…. 

  • Designed over 50 workshops and training sessions
  • Delivered to over 3000 workshop and training participants over 12 years
  • Designed and delivered lived experience leadership training programmes  to nearly 50 marginalised people
  • Set up and supported 5 Lived Experience Advisory panels for projects and  Scottish Government policy panels
  • Designed, delivered and facilitated workshops and discussions with Local  Authorities, Mental Health Trusts, well-established national charities, and  small grassroots organisations. I supported boards and staff to develop  and co-design strategies for EDI & lived experience and furthermore on  embedding Lived Experience and EDI in organisational strategy and  delivery reviews
  • Advised dozens of organisations on how to improve accessibility and  inclusion for recruitment, volunteering, communications, training and event  delivery

All these have one thing running through the heart of them. I aim to empower  marginalised and disadvantaged individuals and communities to raise their  voices and to be able to create change and influence or even become decision makers and change-makers themselves. This means all of this work has been  co-produced and co-designed partly or fully with people with lived experience of  marginalisation. 

Previous projects have included:

  • Designing and delivering a comprehensive 6 month Lived Experience  Leadership programme for disabled emerging leaders
  • Co-designing training and support for the Scottish Government People Led Policy Panel on Adult Social Care
  • Working with Samaritans volunteers across Scotland, supporting branch  leadership and volunteers with lived experience to develop co-produced  pilot programmes to increase diversity and inclusion for volunteers
  • Piloting study groups for Open University CVSL Collaborative Leadership  training
  • Co-designing a 5 year, organisation-wide Equity, Diversity & Inclusion  strategy at Samaritans as part of team working with volunteers and staff  with lived experience of marginalisation
  • Advising on accessibility & inclusion for events, training, recruitment and  volunteering for many different organisations as a consultant, staff network  leader and union representative 

 I have always had a passion for learning and training. Since starting my  career over 20 years ago as a teaching Assistant, I continued to develop my  skills in this area through Community Music workshops and then went on to  delivering a wide range of lived experience led and co-designed training in the  third sector over the last 12 years. Examples of these include: 

  • Designing and delivering campaigns and volunteer leadership training for  lived experience campaigners to engage with a national mental health  anti-stigma campaign at Time to Change 
  • Designing and delivering training for CEOs and senior leadership at Health  Trusts, Local Authorities and Mental Health charities to better engage with  and support lived-experience campaigners and volunteers 
  • Designing and delivering a series of workshops for Samaritans volunteers  in project planning, project management, co-production and evaluation.
  • “Working Together Well’, a new series of workshops aimed at groups from  professional teams to grassroots and peer groups on skills for working  collaboratively, including conflict resolution tools, boundary setting, and  forming group agreements 

I still continue to develop my learning in many areas, including lived experience,  social leadership and co-production. Most recently being part of the Clore  experienced Social Leadership programme has helped me to both understand  the role of supporting and developing lived experience and community and  social leadership and also my own personal development in social leadership.