NSUN Bulletin 11th April 2016


NSUN news

Member Blogs

This week's blog is by Anne Beales, who recently retired from running Together's Service User Directorate. Anne reflects on the development of the service user voice in the past decade. Her blog is available here.

#NSUNthrive10 campaign

It is 10 years since the 'Doing it for ourselves’ service user conference in Birmingham.  It was at this conference in 2006 that the vision of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) was taken forward, leading to funding in 2007 and becoming a fully independent organisation in May 2010.

We have survived!  To enable us to continue to connect, communicate and influence, we need your help. We want to continue to communicate weekly with over 5000 people. Please spread the word to help raise funds to continue our work through our #NSUNthrive10 campaign.

You can also raise money by shopping online with the  Giving Machine

NSUN is about people 'doing it for themselves' with the right help, at the right time, in the right place.


Previously shared information available online

Please visit our website to find involvement opportunities, jobs and events we shared in previous e-bulletins. This includes our guides to support involvement in reducing the use of restraint in mental health settings.


Recovery In The Bin: Welfare Rights Training for ESA/ PIP

Recovery In The Bin  (RITB) is a mental health social justice group. In response to the news about the government recruiting 180 new presenting officers (see article above), they are fundraising to help train 16 volunteers to support people with mental health difficulties before and up to ESA/ PIP tribunals.

Welfare Rights training - ESA and PIP (form filling/collecting evidence/over view of tribunal process) - Last few places remaining.

Trainer: Tom Messere, author of the Big Benefits Book
Dates: 1st / 2nd June 2016
Venue: Rethink, 15th - 17th Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, London, SE1 7TP
Time: 10 am - 4.00 pm

FREE for 16 people (ex or current mental health service users preferably with experience of being a claimant).

All participants will receive a FREE copy of Tom's book.
There will be a strict no filming/photography request for both days.

RITB want people to attend with a view to assisting someone with their forms afterwards, be that a friend or someone you know in your networks. Or teaching the skills you learn (and to as many people as you can).

Find out more and help raise funding for the training here

Book via Twitter or Facebook.


Job opportunities

West London Collaborative: Admin/Project Support

The West London Collaborative is looking for a temporary Administration/Project support worker .

They are seeking someone with lived experience of accessing health and/or social care services for three full days per week, paid at a competitive rate, on a temporary and freelance basis. Anyone who took up the position would need to be responsible for their own taxes and National Insurance contributions. 

Duties will include communications upkeep, liaison with clients and events venues, note-taking in meetings, membership liaison, social media, and general admin duties.

For more information please email Melanie Anne Ball.

Disability Rights UK: Programme Officer

To work on the Disability Research on Independent Living & Learning (DRILL) Programme - England

Salary £28,000 per annum - Full time 35hrs per week

Closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 25 April. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place on Thursday 5 May

More info and how to apply, please visit here


Charities banned from using public funding to influence policy or law

The government has announced (6.2.16 ) a ban on charities using any public money to influence policy or law, by placing restrictions as part of funding agreements. This is a clear warning shot, that charities should keep quiet and not stand up for their beneficiaries.

This information was provided by the campaign



Franz Ruppert seminar & public lecture

"Who am I?"... and "What do I want?"

2-day Seminar with Franz Ruppert,
15-16 April 2016
NCVO Centre, London N1 9RL
to apply click here.

"The Trauma of Identity"

Friday 15th April, 6.30 for 7.00pm prompt start
The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
SOAS University of London
to apply click here.


Documentary screening - Behind the Locked Door: Mental Health in the Black Community

African-Caribbean people are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, 44% more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act and 29% more likely to be restrained than their white counterparts.

People from African-Caribbean communities are over represented among those who lose their lives while in police custody or when detained under the Mental Health Act.

SOAS Students' Union and  Brent Mind invite you to a screening of  ‘Behind The Locked Door: Mental Health in the Black Community’ at DLT Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG in heart of Central London on Friday May 27th at 6pm.

Behind The Locked Door intends to put the discussion of inequality in mental health support, back onto the national agenda, so that all communities can get the support and treatment they rightfully deserve.

To book your place, please visit this page


Consultation on mental health services

A six week consultation on mental health day services in Westminster has been launched.

There is a proposal for a Mental Health Recovery Service that is focused around key workers supporting people towards recovery. People will be supported by key workers including those who are eligible for Adult Social Care funding to use their personal budget to buy therapeutic courses or activities such as befriending.  This approach is likely to improve outcomes for people and cost less than current services.

To share your views please visit this page


Conference: Dementia, quality of care 2016

The third annual Dementia: Quality of Care conference will help you to develop a greater understanding of how we can actually create a society where every person with dementia, and their carers and families, receive high quality, compassionate care from diagnosis through to end of life care.

Presentations from people living with dementia and their carers will be supplemented by practical sessions which are designed to be transferable, encouraging adoption across different teams and organisations.

You will have the opportunity to question, discuss and debate the very latest policies, projects and emerging models of care, as well as sharing your own stories and experiences.

Manchester Conference Centre, Wednesday 27 April, 8:30am - 4:30pm

The full programme and registration link are availble here


AbilityNet Tech for Good Awards - entry now open

AbilityNet's Tech4Good Awards celebrate the people using digital tech to make the world a better place.

Seven categories:

AbilityNet Accessibility Award
BT MyDonate Fundraising Award
Community Impact Award
Digital Health Award
Digital Skills Award
IT Volunteer of the Year Award
Young Pioneer Award

Special Awards:
Tech4Good People's Award
Judges' Special Award
Winner of Winners Award

It's free to enter and open to any charity, business, government body or individual with a base in the UK.

Entry closes 6th May 2016.

Please visit the website for more information and to enter.


Campaign to keep volunteering voluntary

Back in November 2015, the Government announced in its Autumn Statement that the schemes known as Community Work Placements (CWP) and Mandatory Work Activity (MWA ) will end in 2016. These schemes are part of government policies to force unemployed people to work unpaid or face ‘sanctions’ – in other words lose their benefits, for up to 3 years. CWPs were specially aimed at voluntary groups and charities, and often sold as “volunteering”.

This camapign aims at persuading charities to avoid involvement with these exploitative practices and make sure they use only genuine volunteers. To support the campaign you can sign the pledge if you haven’t already done so and encourage others to do so. Here’s the link.

Nearly 650 voluntary groups have signed the pledge to foreswear workfare and the associated publicity has persuaded many more to avoid involvement with the scheme.

For further information please contact mail@keepvolunteeringvoluntary.net including your name and contact number. The campaign organisers will arrange a callback.


Independent Lives are looking for Trustees

Independent Lives is a user led charity working towards a society where everyone can live their life independently, regardless of any disability, care need or caring responsibility.

Understanding that it would be difficult to convey the meaning of being a Trustee in a few bullet points, Independent Lives have compiled a document which tells you all about the role and also introduces the organisation and some of the people it works with.


Share your views of the mental health system in the West Midlands

The West Midlands Combined Authority is seeking the views and opinions of all involved in the mental health system. It is doing this firstly through a Citizens Jury for service users and carers (which has now started its work), secondly via online submissions and thirdly through a series of three Open Space Listening events. 

 Listening events:

  • Tuesday 26th April: Coventry Central Hall: 13:30-17:00
  • Friday 29th April: Dudley Town hall: Main Hall: 13:30-17:00
  • Tuesday 3rd May: Birmingham BVSC: Rooms 4/5/6: 13:30-17:00

Each event will host up to eighty people and will be an attempt to bring together the main stakeholders to try and answer the questions:

1.      What do the members of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission need to hear?

2.      How can public services be transformed within current spending limits to build wellbeing, keep people mentally well and  reduce the impact that poor mental health and wellbeing have on public services, the economy and communities in the West Midlands?

To register your interest in attending one of the listening events visit:

West Midlands Combined Authority - Open Space Listening events

If you are interested in making an online submission visit:

West Midlands Combined Authority - Mental Health Commission Submission form

For more information on the work of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission chaired by Norman Lamb MP visit:



NHS Outcomes Framework

The NHS Outcomes Framework 2016-2017 sets out the framework and indicators that will be used to hold NHS England to account for improvements in health outcomes. The at-a-glance document lists the indicators along with their status.

Five Year Forward View - Local Leaders

NHS England has published a list of leaders who will be responsible for delivering the Five Year Forward View in their area (or ‘footprint’, to use the jargon!). They will lead work on Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), working with local health and care leaders, organisations and communities.

Out of 44 STP areas in total, and 41 of the leaders have been named so far.