High-quality service provision in rural areas is becoming increasingly difficult due to social and demographic challenges, exacerbated by welfare cuts. Members of disadvantaged groups, such as the long-term unemployed, migrants and people with disabilities, may be particularly affected by shrinking social services as they often lack the resources to influence or compensate for this loss. How can user involvement in service design and delivery contribute to addressing these challenges? What is needed to make service-user involvement work? This policy brief, based on the learnings from the SEMPRE project financed by the Interreg BalticSea Region Programme, gives an introduction to a user guide that has been developed to empower disadvantaged groups in rural areas.