Free Opportunity for Experts by Experience

Have you lived through homelessness, addiction, violence or abuse, sold sex or been involved in the criminal justice system? Or perhaps you are from a marginalised group, such as the gypsy and traveller community, or faced struggles after coming to the UK as a migrant or refugee. Most importantly, would you like the chance to take a free 6-week course at University College London (UCL)? 

The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health has helped UCL to compile a 15-unit course on health and social exclusion, that can be taken by itself, as CPD, or as part of the UCL Population Health MSc. The course includes: 

  • The health consequences of exclusion and practical responses 
  • Social theories of exclusion 
  • Women and inclusion health 
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods 
  • Structural and legal factors  
  • Service development and evaluation  

The course is open to medical professionals, social care practitioners, hostel and housing workers, researchers and commissioners, but UCL is offering two free places for ‘Experts by Experience’ (EbEs) – people like you, who have lived through social exclusion and have extra insights that have come from real life, not just books and study. 

You don’t need to have previous qualifications, and you don’t have to tell other students on the course about your experiences if you don’t want to, but you will need to write a short statement explaining:  

  • why you should be given the ‘Experts by Experience’ rate 
  • why you want to study the course, and  
  • how it will further your career.   

Please let us know if would like to apply, but cannot cover travel, food and stationery costs, and we’ll do our best to help. 

Click here to visit the UCL website and find out more

Previous Learners 

Bean sat against a blue backdrop
Bean, former MSc student, now an outreach worker

Stan took the course as part of his role leading EbE inclusion for Pathway. He said: 

“My education wasn’t the best, I left school with no formal qualifications. Taking part in the course was both challenging and rewarding. I was able to study as an equal for most part, but I got additional in good study practice and how to focus. The teachers ranged from acclaimed academics to people with lived experience of homelessness and exclusion.  I’d recommend this course to anyone. If I can pass from a standing start then imagine what you can achieve.”  


Bean took the course in 2018. He’d never studied at university level before. He passed and successfully applied for a new job as an outreach worker with an infectious diseases unit.  He said:  

“Doing this course had a direct impact on the type of work I do. It gave me the confidence to apply for a new job, which is a step up in my, admittedly late, career path. I would recommend it to everybody no matter what their job or interests.” 

Click here to visit the UCL website and find out more



Homelessness Training for GP Receptionists

A young woman behind a GP receptionist desk, smiling and looking helpful.

A new homelessness training package for GP receptionists will be launched this week at Homelessness and Health, the annual international symposium of Pathway and the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health.

Over 70% of people who are homeless have physical health problems. Many are wrongly turned away from surgeries at the front desk because they do not have proof of address. People who are homeless attend A&E five times more often than the general population.

Everyone in the UK has a right to register with a GP, and proof of address is not required. The new video and training package is based upon current NHS England Guidance.  It offers simple tips to support patients and shows how important a doctor can be for a person who has lost their home.

Pathway produced the package with Experts by Experience and actors from Cardboard Citizens, on behalf of the NHS Healthy London Partnership.

Click here to view the video and find out more


The Passing of a Friend, Alister Ferguson

Alister Ferguson
Alister’s portrait from the Stories of Rebirth Project

Pathway ‘Expert by Experience’ Alister Ferguson has passed away at the age of 57.

Alister became involved with Pathway in 2013, and made a large contribution to the development of the EbE programme. His great honesty made him a fantastic example of the way that people with a ‘lived experience’ bring that missing ingredient to the table. He represented Pathway on many occasions, and was a regular face at International Symposium on Homeless and Inclusion Health.

Alister spent a large part of his childhood in children’s homes and his history of homelessness went back to the 1970’s. Despite this difficult history, he focused on the positive, and would often wax-lyrical about his exploits, good and bad. It was easy to be charmed by his ability to bring humour seamlessly into his story-telling.

His lively lectures with year 1 and 2 medical students means that doctors of the future will have a greater understanding of the needs of homeless and excluded people.

His hard-hitting education work with the Stories of Rebirth project helped to challenge public opinions about homelessness.

Alister proudly displaying his invitation to the House of Lords

As a result of his work he was invited for tea at the House of Lords with Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point, a moment he later said was one of his best experiences.

Alister recently took part in discussions about Pathway’s approach to including Experts by Experience, making valuable contributions from his insights over the last 3 years. We have compiled this work into a handbook for  involving people with lived experience of homelessness in the running of services. It is fitting that such an important step forward for us as an organisation has Alister’s input so heavily embedded in it.

The whole team are shocked at this sad news.  We can only reflect on the difference he made to our work, and the privilege we feel that he gave so much and allowed us to be part of his life for a while.

His legacy will live on.

Stan Burridge, Expert by Experience Project Lead