The Method
  • The varied skillsets within the team were vital to the success of this project. The mixture of research skills, experience with mental capacity assessment, creative arts expertise and insider knowledge of the Day Centre and its members meant we were able to develop an approach that worked for all.


  • It is important to consider the potential benefits and harms when carrying out any research, and to think about how you can minimise any distress.

    We wanted our participants to be part of shaping what the research activities looked like and for the study to end with them feeling more positive about participating in research than they were prior.

    It was absolutely key to us that all participants understand what the project was about and why we wanted them to be involved. We provided simplified versions of the information sheet and consent forms which were easier to understand, and we also had individual conversations with each participant, to make sure they fully understood what the project involved and what would happen with the information they shared.

    It was vital to us that participants understood how we were managing their data, and that they trusted us to keep any confidential data safe and secure. Participants were made aware that they could withdraw from the project at any time, and remove their data.

  • The members of the day centre all had incredibly varied needs and abilities. It was important to us that this did NOT impact their ability to engage with the project and that they would all have an opportunity to have their voice heard. To ensure this was a possibility, we developed workshop activities that involved many different methods of sharing, and discussed with the workers at the day centre how these activities could be made most accessible. We also made sure to have individual conversations with the participants, so they were able to share verbally with us in a quiet space.

  • Those members of the team with experience of carrying out mental capacity assessments, and with supporting people with learning disabilities developed a set of ‘areas’ of capacity which are commonly issues within decision making.

    At the beginning of the workshops, we also carried out a mind-mapping exercise with the attendees, in which they were asked to reflect on on their experiences with decision making and how they would like to be supported to make decisions in the future, and these reflections were used to further inform the conversations throughout the rest of the workshops.

    Below are some videos, which shows the Day Centre attendees talking about their hopes for the future and what they would need support with the achieve this


Learn more about the project