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Welcome to the main website of Shaping Our Lives.

Shaping Our Lives National User Network is an independent user-controlled organisation, think tank and network. We started as a research and development project but became an independent organisation in 2002. We now work with a wide and diverse range of service users. Click here to find out more about Shaping Our Lives.


Click here for Shaping Our Lives Daily Digest of news and views from service users and disabled people.



Shaping Our Lives and PowerUs

Shaping Our Lives was involved in the first meeting of PowerUs, The Social Work Learning Partnership. PowerUs is an international network of Norwegian, Swedish and British university and service user representatives. Its purpose is to develop service user participation in social work education in all countries.

To go to the PowerUs website Click here


Reports from Shaping Our Lives

Engaging people with lived experience of severe and multiple disadvantage.

Shaping Our Lives and User Voice carried out research into the experience of user led organisations and programmes in securing funding and the challenges they face.

Beyond the Usual Suspects (pdf and word formats)

The focus of this report is making it possible for everyone who wants to, to be more involved in and have more say over their lives and the services they use to live them.


The Standards We Expect

Several reports have been published from the Standards We Expect project, which Shaping Our Lives worked on with De Montfort University, Brunel University and Values Into Action and Policy Press.

CLICK HERE to read the reports


Supporting people Towards a person-centred approach

“Supporting people is quite simply one of the best books I’ve read on ‘social care’. It is without doubt an essential read for everyone involved in the delivery and receipt of services and support.” Colin Barnes. Professor of Disability Studies, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds

There is widespread agreement that care and support services must change radically if they are to meet the rights and needs of the rapidly growing number of people who require them.For the first time, Supporting people explores with service users, practitioners, carers and managers what person-centred support means to them, what barriers stand in its way and how these can be overcome.

Click here to order your copy


To read comments and blogs from the chair of Shaping Our Lives and others

Click here


It was with great sadness that the board of Shaping Our Lives learnt of the news of our colleague Munir Lalani in July 2013. We have listed here some of the tributes paid to him by his friends at Shaping Our Lives

Tributes to Munir Lalani can be read here ( opens as a word doc.)

SOLNET - have a look at the networking website of Shaping Our Lives at


Website feedback

We are always keen to hear feedback about this website. If you have any comments please email

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