Get Involved – the HEER group

The Help from Experts by Experience for Researchers (HEER) group is a well-established service user and carer group helping to shape research at LYPFT. We are a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group available to all people working in Mental Health research.

We are HEER!  

Man in green humper with thinking bubble with text "How could we make it better" inside the bubble

We are a group of service users and carers established in 2006. We all have lived or learned experience of mental health services, and we’re passionate about research.

We provide our time and expertise to improve mental health research outcomes.

The HEER group members:

  • are curious about research,
  • have lived and learned experience
  • feel that mental health research can be better when we work together.

What we do

We support students, academic and Trust staff through all parts of their research project, from idea to design and on to sharing the results. We provide guidance on how to improve and make the research more appropriate, relevant and accessible to service users.

We help to make good research.

Hear from the HEER group

“We’re giving our experience and talking on behalf of others as a role model and sharing it in a therapeutic environment. Different studies that we’ve been involved with include dementia, about anxiety and depression, eating disorders, cardiovascular and heart problems with medications”

Read interviews with our members and find out what we do –

Interview with a HEER member – Paul Fraser

Interview with a HEER member – Alison Potts

Join us

We are actively recruiting new members.

Are you interested in research and looking for a way to share your lived experience and skills? Have you always wanted to influence research but not had the opportunity or never known how?  If this feels like it could be you, come join the HEER group at LYPFT.  No research or academic knowledge is needed.

Are you:

  • 26 or over? Someone under that age can get involved at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust -Get involved with COMIC (
  • Someone willing to share their valuable lived experience of services provided by LYPFT; either as a service user or family/carer?
  • (generally) available for a monthly meeting of approx. 2 hours?  The majority of these are virtual with the option to meet face to face 1 to 4 times year.  We understand though that life can be unpredictable and that people cannot always attend.
  • Interested and curious about research? You don’t need qualifications or a professional background in research.

Can you:

  • Feel comfortable asking questions as a critical friend?
  • Use your experience to contribute, and advise and guide researchers?
  • Work as part of a team, listening and respecting others’ views?
  • Feel confident to question information and explanations when they are not clear?

If this is you, then please get in touch – you can either complete the Get Involved form or call us on 0113 8552387, let us know that you are interested in joining HEER and we can  talk you through the form.  If you have relevant community connections, through other Third-Sector, lived experience or local groups and forums, please tell us about it.  When we have received your form and had a chance to read it, we will be in touch to talk to you.

What will I do as a member of HEER?

You will be able to come along for up to two meetings to observe and see what it is like before you commit.  You can meet the other members and take part in discussions about research.

Our meetings will involve a guest (or two) who will be seeking advice and guidance from people with lived and learnt experience.  They may want to talk about their idea, the recruitment of people to take part in the research, the questions they should ask… just need to be willing to listen and feedback in an honest way as their critical friend.

Prior to the meetings, written material may be provided via email or post. We are committed to inclusion and make reasonable adjustments for members.

In line with LYPFT Policy for the Payment & Reimbursement of Service Users, Patients, Carers and Members of the Public, HEER group members receive payment for their time equivalent to the National Living Wage.  A small home payment fee is also given per month as a contribution towards internet costs, heating and lighting bills and any costs associated with joining a meeting in a person’s own home.  Payment begins after attendance at two meetings and continues in line with adherence to the HEER group ground rules.

Page last updated: 17th Jul 2024 11:47am