A digital place for people who access services, carers, staff and partner agencies, to share ideas around care co-ordination & care planning in mental health

Posts tagged ‘Service User Network’

Spirituality & Recovery Event

Guest post from Bev:

Service User Network meet monthly. It is for people who are or who have accessed LYPFT services within the past 12 months, including carers.

In January 2015 we had Reverend Michael Mkpadi attend to discuss Spirituality and Recovery. We all completed a Compassionate Care survey, to score from a list of values their importance, when people are unwell; here are the top themes:

sun dec 2015Love

Being accepted







The event in January was well attended, over 40  people were there. It was a very inspirational interactive discussion, where all  people shared their own spiritual experiences. Everyone’s feedback was extremely positive and they requested this session should be repeated again. You can read the testimonials here

I wish to advertise  16th December SUN meeting (see poster above) where  we will again be  discussing with Michael Mkpadi Spirituality and Recovery. I hope to see many new faces there. If you wish to find out more information please contact the Chair Bev Thornton, details on the poster.



My Journey through Mental Health

In this post, Sabine writes about her journey with Mental Health……

By Sabine

My journey with Mental Health started in 2010 when my life went from being normal with a job and a happy home life, after 2 major events I no longer knew who I was, I had fear of leaving my house, being judged and being attacked again.

In 2011 I was referred to Touchstone and then onto the PD Network to do a programme called Journey, with the combination of the two I was able slowly to come out of my home and start to live my life better. Also in 2011 I was informed about a group called The SUN (Service User Network), and it was for service users using or used the services.

I was sure about going as I still had a fear that everybody knew what I had gone through and I would be judged again and worst still attacked for what had happened to me in 2010, a very nice gentleman called Tony, an Independent Involvement Worker from the PD Network, said he would come with me so that I wouldn’t be scared or alone, so I went and the rest is history.

I don’t know why I was scared as the first people I met were Beverley and Anne and they welcomed me with big smiles and made me feel so welcomed I went back month after month. Since I have been with the SUN I have got involved with a Hospital Inspection, reviews, events and helping with the refreshments and my confidence has grown that I now have a job working for Touchstone (Service User Consultant) and the Network (Involvement Worker) and it has also given me the confidence to try new things that even before my melt down would never have heard of or thought of doing.

So I would like to say a huge thank you for everyone who have helped and encouraged me to move forward in my life, given me that extra boost of confidence, encouragement and power to get my life back and to do the things I am doing today, because without Touchstone, Tony, Beverley, Anne and everyone else who have helped me to get to the position I am in today I don’t know what I would be doing or where I would be.


Thank you for listening

Peace/Joy/Love/Kindness/Laughter at SUN

An update from Bev Thornton about Leeds Service User Network, sounds like it was a very lively event…..

SUN logo.JPG 3

Hello Everyone,

I wish to give some information about our SUN in Leeds of which I Chair, as well as an overview of our last SUN (Service User Network) event on the 7th January 2015 where we had Deacon Michael Mkpadi (LYPFT) discussing Spirituality and Recovery in mental health.

The SUN was re-launched in September 2012 and we were then having monthly meetings at Inkwell, our membership has steadily grown which meant we had to find larger more accessible premises. We then moved to St Chad’s function Hall Otley Road. We continue to promote and publicise SUN to have more people attending as we want to hear the service user/carer voice. SUN has become recognised in the Trust and we are now consulted on all policies/practises. A great achievement! We have guest speakers of member’s choice at every event.  All new members are welcomed and are encouraged to participate; it is a friendly environment, with refreshments available – you can read about the meetings here.

At SUN we have been involved in a piece of work which identifies important issues, from service users and carers points of view e.g. (Key Messages from SUN). Our Chief Executive Chris Butler has endorsed this. We have also initiated looking at YOU having a say in YOUR CHOICE of mental health worker, changing worker. Donna Kemp responsible for the Care Programme Approach in LYPFT is jointly working with us on this.

The SUN wouldn’t be where it is today without on-going support and contribution of Zara Farshi RASI (Recovery and Social Inclusion Team Manager) and Anne Perry RASI Team Administrator.

In our January 2015 event Deacon Michael Mkpadi was in for a big surprise when he arrived at St Chad’s there were 43 people there all welcoming him and were keen to discuss their individual stories of how their own spiritual beliefs had played a major role in their mental health recovery. We had people with diverse faiths and beliefs even Atheists, yet for those who shared their own story they had utmost respect shown to them. The atmosphere for the event was well in my opinion spiritually Awesome. Michael handed round a form and we collectively completed it asking us about Compassionate Care, in times when we are anxious/in crisis with emphasis on how important certain values rated to us. For example Peace/Joy/Love/Kindness/Laughter was among the list.

This followed a round the table discussion about how we all felt spirituality had aided our personal recovery. There were very moving stories, even people sharing who had attended SUN for the first time.  Everyone seemed to feel safe, secure and comfortable as well as knowing what was discussed was all confidential.

The event lasted 20 minutes longer than usual and at the end I was approached by some members to enquire if we could do this again but in an intimate way as they found it to be very uplifting. We intend to invite Deacon Michael Mkpadi to another SUN event later on in the year. So watch this space! You can read more about the impact of spirituality on mental health here.

Our next SUN event is on the 4th February 2015, 12.45pm – 3.00pm at St Chad’s when we will be having a discussion on ‘Increasing service-user involvement in care planning project’. Hope to see you there.

Bev Thornton, Chair

Please contact me know if you require further information tel O113 30 56758; email beverley.thornton1@nhs.net or SUN.lypft@nhs.net

Service User Networks – January dates

sun york janThe next LYPFT York, Service User Network Meeting will be held on 30th January 2015. The network covers Easingwold, Selby and Tadcaster as well as York. I am pleased to inform you that a representative from the Charity Together: for Mental Wellbeing which is an initiative to tackle mental health issues working with vulnerable groups of people who as a result of mental distress are intensive users of council, police, ambulance and fire services is going to attend to provide an update of the project and how it operates within this area.

As ever all are most welcome.

sun leeds janThe next LYPFT Leeds Service User Network meeting will be held on 7th January; the topic will be Spirituality. All welcome to come along; if you want to know a little more about what the meetings are like, then click here. The minutes from the December 2014 can be found here.


York Service User Network

sun. novThe York Service User Network started in September 2014 and now meets monthly. The next meeting is on Friday 28th November at 1.15 and is at a new venue on Friargate. The meetings are relaxed and informal, the first half hour is devoted to welcoming people and sharing a cuppa. There is an agenda and this month there will be a discussion about Recovery, followed by a Q & A session. Some time will be put by to discuss the coming year and what the group would like to be included on the agenda. Everyone is welcome!



‘Service User Network’ York

Delighted to share that the next meeting of the York Service User Network (name yet to be decided) is 31st October; all welcome to attend:York sun

Service User Network: what it’s all about

SUN logo.JPG 3

Here, Bev Thornton and Anne Perry tell us all about the Service User Network…….

What is the Service User Network (SUN)?

It’s a monthly get together which service users, carers and staff attend to share their ideas, give feedback and shared experiences which are used to directly influence practice. The main aim of the group is to work hand in hand with Trust aimed at improving services provided.

The events have a very friendly atmosphere which is hosted by two recovery and social inclusion workers, Bev bec and anneThornton and Anne Perry, who help encourage service users to give their views on topics that relate directly to the members.

Service users are also encouraged to participate in community involvement events as well as socialising and bringing general queries about Trust services to SUN. SUN meetings are based on the Recovery principles of empowerment, hope and equality, acceptance, choice, actively encouraging interest and participation in doing something meaningful, believing in people.  At the same time incorporating the Trusts values of respect, dignity, commitment to quality of care, working together, improving lives, compassion, and everyone counts.

SUN has guest speakers every month to involve and advise the service users giving them valuable information and two way feedback in aiding service users continued personal recovery.

Who are the SUN members?

They are service users, carer’s and staff who represent a diverse community groups.  Bev and Anne have promoted the SUN to outside community groups and have established a good attendance from these groups, providing diverse and wide range of knowledge and life experiences.

Current Membership

Current membership is 47.  Bev and Anne are continually canvassing to increase membership.  They are now looking to establish a SUN in the West of Leeds and in the future the South.

 What can SUN do for me?

You can bring your ideas or concerns about Trust Services to SUN and it will be reported to the Trust governance/committee meetings for comment and action ensuring service users issues are addressed and dealt with.

From service users point of view SUN has helped them in their own recovery by giving them a voice, which is listened to and valued.  For example changes to the Care Programme Approach were due directly to service user’s feedback, which shows how valued and respected the SUN’s opinion is.

People are encouraged to tell their own stories, which prove to be a positive experience for all service users and unites the group. People are invited to participate in involvement requests from the Trust i.e. interview panels, Psychiatrist training, test ward rounds prior to Care Quality Commission inspections

SUN‘s success has meant that all Trust policies and procedures are brought to SUN for consultation prior to implementation.

When and where does SUN & mini SUN meet?

St Chad’s

The first Wednesday of every month 12.45 to 15.00 at St Chad’s Community Hall, Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS16 5JT.  Refreshments are provided.  Public Travel expenses can be reimbursed.

sun members say


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