real lives

About Us

About Us

Real Lives has been providing social care packages in Nottingham since September 2012 when the company was set up by Directors Sue and Nicole, who brought decades of experience from the mental health field with them. The Real Lives team are passionate about providing support packages to the people who may otherwise find it difficult to find a provider with the experience and values we hold individually and collectively. We named our support workers PALs – Peers and Allies for Living, to reflect the way they work drawing on experiences to empathise with their clients and create respectful and consistent relationships that work for both parties.


Real Lives took over running of Crocus Café in 2013 as the directors wanted to have a safe and welcoming space for our clients and staff but also the general public and those who may be isolated from social and health care or their families and friends.


Real Lives is a community interest company and our directors do not take a wage from the business. Any profit we make is re-invested into our clients, workforce, the community and our café.

Case Study

A case study on Real Lives and the support provided was published in the Mental Health and Social Inclusion Journal in 2015: Real lives:
promoting recovery through personalisation and peer support


Our Values

The beliefs that guide the way we work

Here at Real Lives CIC we believe in people. Real Lives exists to support people to realise their potential and achieve their goals, whether that is the people who work with us or the people we support through personal budgets. We aim to work in the following ways, implementing our values across all levels of our company:

People Focused – Everyone is interesting, has an amazing story to tell and gifts and talents to share. Everyone is unique and special and everyone has the potential to do the things they want to do with their life. Real Lives is led by the person so support is tailored to everyone’s specific situation; building on their talents, working towards their goals.

Acceptance – We strive to make everyone feel welcome and valued. We give everyone a chance and work on having a mutual respect and shared wish to work together.

Language – We use inclusive language, for example our support workers are called PALs [peers and allies for living] this draws on shared interests and experiences and personal rather than professional expertise.

Personal Wellness Planning – We work with people to develop a personal wellness plan that helps us to understand what drives and motivates them, to support them to reach their goals in a way that works for them whilst knowing these are different for everyone and will change over time.

Safe – It is essential for everyone involved in Real Lives to be safe, emotionally and practically. This means that we take getting to know our clients and workers seriously and want to understand them, from the first time we meet people we will put in place recovery focused ways of working to keep everyone safe.

Flexible – We are able to adapt to the needs of different people and to the changing circumstances and wishes of each person; all decisions are negotiated in a careful process and reviewed regularly to give that person the best chance of success in reaching their goals.

Empowering – We want to be building peoples’ confidence to make decisions and choices for themselves therefore we honour their wishes, preferences and decisions.

Creative – We believe that everyone has a right to the support they need to achieve their personal recovery goals. We will go the extra mile to help them do this. Often this means working together to look at their challenges from every angle, and together finding how we can work with each person differently.

Community – Real Lives provides a warm and welcoming community for people who both receive support and provide this support but our support does not stop here. Everyone has important people in their lives and we will work with family, friends, neighbours, workers and colleagues. For many people the roles and relationships that they aspire to exist outside of any support services. We will therefore explore other community amenities, resources and activities together to promote their social inclusion.


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