Involving people who use our services

User involvement means that people who use Shelter services and benefit from Shelter’s campaigns and research are actively involved in how these services and campaigns are planned, delivered and reviewed.

Involvement can range from simply being kept informed or being consulted, through to influencing, decision-making and implementation.

How our user involvement policy has translated into good practice

Service user groups

Our service users are involved in helping to organise events and activities, are consulted on Shelter policy reviews, create newsletters and get involved in staff recruitment.

Involvement in research

Our report Results and Recommendations: Outcomes of advice for struggling homeowners analysed eighty case files and in-depth interviews with thirty clients who sought advice from Shelter about their mortgage arrears.

Focus groups in prisons

Focus groups identify issues ranging from local authority housing/housing association tenancies and housing benefit through to what Shelter does and should be doing in prisons.

Peer advisers in prisons

We train service users within prison services to volunteer as peer advisers and inform new prisoners about Shelter and what we can do to help with any housing issues. Peer advisers work towards an NVQ in advice and guidance.

Community facilitators

Shelter recruits bilingual volunteers from the community and trains them in the rights and responsibilities of living in the private rented sector, or local lettings schemes. The bilingual volunteers are then trained as facilitators and deliver the training to other community members in their first language.

Reports and newsletters

You can find further examples of user involvement at Shelter in our report Involving our service users helps everyone and our newsletter for service users.


To find out more about how you can get involved with Shelter's services, please call our User Involvement and Diversity Officer on 0344 515 1217.

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