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Client User Group Purpose

The purpose of the group(s) is to be a forum for consultation with some of the Funds’ service users.

It is intended to provide feedback to the Funds’ management about the service we give and to suggest improvements.

This form of consultation will be one way in which the Funds will consult with and listen to its users. The Funds will also carry out surveys by post, e-mail and telephone and will record and monitor complaints, positive comments and requests for reviews received, as additional feedback mechanisms.

Remit of the Group

To give individual feedback on their experience of the Funds and suggest improvements to service.

To consider and comment on current and future changes to Funds’ literature and how this might impact upon users. (This does not include comment on the nature of the information required by the ILF but does include how the information is requested.)

To advise on future development of service and procedures for service users.

The group is not a lobby or pressure group and the group initially will not be involved in discussions on policy or developing links with other service users.


The Chairperson is appointed by the Chairman of the Trustees of the ILF.

The size of the group and the users invited to take part will be agreed by the Chairman and ILF Information & Service Director. They may decide to invite new members as they see fit.

Membership will include representatives of clients who are unable to represent themselves, as they will be the person using the service on behalf of the disabled person.

Members may be accompanied by a Personal Assistant, who will not be a member of the group and is not expected to contribute to discussion.

There will be no remuneration for being part of the group but travel expenses for the user and their personal assistant, if needed, will be met.

Should a member of the group cease to receive payment from the ILF membership of the group may continue for a further 2 meetings.


Meetings will be held every 2 months on the 4th Wednesday of the month, unless alternate arrangements are agreed by the group.

Meetings will start at 11.30am and end no later than 1.30pm.

Meetings will be held at the ILF offices in Nottingham.

The ILF Information & Support Director and User Liaison Officer will attend meetings.

The Chairman of the group will meet regularly with the ILF Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Trustees to report on the progress of the group.

Suggested Guidelines/Protocol for Meetings

  • Meetings should be accessible and welcoming to all members.
  • Be aware of the differing needs of people who are attending the meeting and remember that as an organisation for disabled people there is a particular responsibility to ensure that there is an example of best practice in this respect.
  • Meeting places should be accessible to all. Dates, places and times for meetings should be planned and advertised well in advance and should not be unnecessarily altered
  • All information to be discussed at each meeting must be provided to all members in good time (usually at least one week before) in their preferred format.
  • An access audit should take place at the beginning of each meeting to ensure the access needs of everyone is or has been accommodated and that everyone has appropriate information in their preferred format. Ask everyone at the beginning of every meeting to introduce themselves by name, position within the organisation (if appropriate) or who they are representing. This is particularly important for anyone who has a visual impairment.
  • It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that discussion at meetings is focused, effective, not repetitive or wasteful of time and that decisions are clear and recorded. To assist this process members should be discouraged from interrupting or speaking across each other, they should speak one at a time and through the chair.
  • The Chair should ensure that the meeting remains friendly and accessible for all members by encouraging everyone at the meeting to contribute to the work of the committee and to all discussions and decision making.
  • Ask anyone who uses jargon or sets of initials to explain what they mean in standard language, thus ensuring that the discussion is understood by everyone.
  • Tasks required at meetings should be shared out equitably and not left to the same group of people each time to action.
  • When an action has been decided the Chair should ensure that everyone present clearly understands what has been decided and who is responsible for taking action on the point
  • Wherever possible, any other business should be kept to minor matters of information and should not be used as an opportunity to bring up new matters unannounced and thus impair accessibility to members.
  • Where members of the committee represent the organisation at other meetings or events, they should provide regular reports to the committee.
  • New Members should always be welcomed to their first meeting. A more experienced member should sit with the new member to help them understand the procedures. If possible new members should be briefed on procedures prior to the first meeting.
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic, disablist or other discriminatory language or behaviour must not be permitted. Similarly personal attacks on individuals will not be permitted. It is perfectly in order for members to disagree with each other and each other's policies. These disagreements must not be personalised.
  • Members may need to have a personal assistant (PA) or facilitator present to enable the member's access to the full proceedings. It must be noted that such PA or facilitator should not take any part in the proceedings except in so far as to support the member.

Researched 2001

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