Get Involved – the HEER group – draft

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

Cartoon man in green jumper with speech bubble asking how could we make it better?

We are HEER!

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

What we do

We support researchers 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.

Join us

We are actively recruiting new members.

Are you interested in research and looking for a way to share your 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.

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. 2.5hrs?  The majority of these are virtual with the option to meet face to face 1 to 4 times year.  We understand though that life ebbs and flows and that people cannot always attend.
  • Interested and passionate 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 advise, aid 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?
  • Review and provide feedback on written material?

If this is you, then please get in touch – you can either complete the Get Involved form or call us on (insert number) and we can  talk you through the form.  If you have valuable community connections, through other Third-Sector, lived experience or local groups and forums, please include tell us about it.  When we have received your form, we will be in touch to talk to you.

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 an interview with one of our members and find out what we do –   Interview with a HEER member

What will I do?

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

Prior to the meetings, written material may be provided via email or post. We are committed to inclusion and can make reasonable adjustments to enable you to be part of the HEER group.

Attending as a researcher

Please get in touch If you think that the Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust might provide a population for your research. The HEER group can help you shape design, improve recruitment and review the appropriateness of methods and language.  We are an established Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group.  Recent feedback on group involvement includes:

“We made changes to language used, we discussed and used feedback to inform ideas about placement of a device and procedure in a ward intervention. We also asked the group about preferences and feelings about data collection methods (observation on wards), the feedback we received was around how to introduce this sensitively to service users on wards which may have been done differently without this advice. The HEER group also made suggestions about where the current research could lead and what might need to be done next – essentially informing future research priorities.”

You can email us at