Changing Realities is made up of parents and carers from different backgrounds, living in a variety of circumstances across the UK. All have different strengths, needs and experiences. All are living on a low income and many face a daily struggle to get by.

One thing that all the parents share is a commitment to pushing for change, trying to make the future better for everyone.

“I really hope that collectively we can make huge changes for the future, so other people don’t suffer such struggles to live.”
Lili K

It’s vital that project work happens in a very open, flexible, engaging way that works for as many people as possible.

That’s why Changing Realities:

  • Takes a participatory approach
  • Uses a range of media to communicate and challenge
  • Uses bespoke online platforms and digital technology to aid participation

We’re always happy to talk to other practitioners, academics and charities about the methods we’ve used and what we’ve learned from these approaches.

Participatory approachChanging Realities is a collaboration between participants with lived expertise, researchers at the University of York and the national charity Child Poverty Action Group. It is essential to the project’s success that participants are equal partners, driving decision-making and working together for change.

Changing Realities uses online platforms specifically developed for us by Fork Studio (LINK) to help us collaborate and share our work more easily.

**Maybe we could show a visual example of the platforms/tech here?****Add a “meet the team” CTA?

We are always carefully considering and balancing the ethical implications of a participatory approach. We acknowledge where traditional power imbalances exist and seek to challenge them wherever possible.


Changing Realities is a way for parents and carers to get more involved with politics, speak directly to those in power and campaign for change.

Changing Realities participants from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have travelled to Westminster to speak to MPs about the challenges they are facing and the changes they want to see.

Our collectively written letter to the Prime Minister was read out in parliament and was exhibited at the Wellcome Collection.

CTA: Read our letter to the prime minister

Arts-based methods

The Changing Realities participants and project team share their insights and experiences using a whole range of creative media including zines, poems, podcasts, audio, video and blogs.

We work collaboratively with a range of artists including writers, sound artists, zine makers and illustrators.

Laura Lindow | Hector Maciness | Jean McEwan | Cat Fortey | Ros Fraser

By using a range of outlets for communication and self-expression, Changing Realities gives parents and carers a space to discover or strengthen creative skills and connect with each other, as well as amplifying experiences that need to be heard.

CTA: Explore our work

How we share Changing Realities

The Living ArchiveWritten, video and audio diary entries and conversations updated in real timeCTA: Visit the Living Archive


Rapid response briefings, sharing experiences and setting out co-produced recommendations for change

CTA: Read our briefingsZinesTelling our stories through DIY, self-published magazines 

CTA: Read our zines

VideosTelling our stories through video clips and animationsCTA: Watch now (link to videos)

Poetry and writing workshopsRegular creative workshops held both on and offlineCTA: Read our work (LINK TBA)

Media engagementSpeaking to radio, press and TV

CTA: See more (link to media page

PodcastAn hour-long podcast broadcast on community radio across the UK CTA: Listen to our podcastLetter writingOur collectively written letter to the Prime Minister was presented in parliament and exhibited in LondonCTA: Read our letter to the PM (link to letter)

BlogsOur reflections on the challenges of life on a low income, and ideas for where change is most neededCTA: Read our blogs

Methodological outputsDocumenting our methods through toolkits and other resourcesCTA: Explore our toolkit – “How to include lived expertise in research, policy and campaigning”

Changing Realities in conversation

Big Question of the week

Responding to a topical question on policy or everyday life. 

Big Idea meetings

Getting together with project partners on Zoom to make decisions and develop recommendations for change

Coffee mornings

Connecting with each other via informal meet-ups, online

Public speaking

Speaking at conferences and events to share our stories and push for change

“It's great having a voice that influences things and to have recognition and remuneration in kind for the time spent. As a disabled working class woman, I often feel invisible and overlooked. The Changing Realities project makes me feel valued.”
Changing Realities is a collaboration between parents and carers, researchers at the University of York, and Child Poverty Action Group.
Changing Realities is funded by abrdn Financial Fairness Trust.
Changing Realities' sister project is Covid Realities, which ran from 2020 to 2022, and was funded by the Nuffield Foundation
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