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Sometimes, we may feature items that you (and we) may not necessarily agree with but we feel it's important to make our members aware of what is happening out there.
A great way to have a look at what's been happening over the last year is to go to our News page, and visit the pages below.
NSUN Members' Event and AGM 2020: last chance to vote and register
Voting ends today at 5pm for our AGM motions so please do check your emails for your voting details if you haven't already. We have extended the closing date for registration for the event itself until tomorrow (Tuesday 17th November) at 5pm. To register, click here.
This year, our free two-day event will be held online. After registration closes on the 16th, you will be sent links to join sessions and can attend as much or as little of the two days as you'd like. We have a new website just for the event: NSUN AGM 2020 website. Here, you can find more information about the schedule below, view video contributions from members, and browse our virtual creative exhibition.
"It is with deep sorrow that we share the sad news that our dear friend and colleague Pete Coward, passed away on 30 Sep 2020.
Pete was a very kind and caring man. In these past few years he had been proactively supporting our group and also chaired our very last public event at Kingsley Hall.
Among other things, Pete was the founder of the ‘Cool to Believe’ group at BowHaven, supporting people with feelings of paranoia and distressing beliefs.
Pete passed away far too soon as he battled with cancer and the severe treatments for it. He is sorely missed by many who have fond memories of him as it can be seen in the many beautiful messages shared in this memorial page created by Pete's dear ones to celebrate his life www.funeralguide.co.uk/obituaries/81560"
Dismantling the master's house: webinar
International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis
"Join us for our next webinar ‘Dismantling the master’s house’:
In the wake of this year’s widespread protests, and the continued work of the Black Lives Matter movement, there is increased urgency to address how the systems, services, ideologies, and institutions that make up our mental health system, contribute to the oppression of racialised people.
Themes the webinar will touch upon: Have 2020’s massive uprisings changed the landscape? How does anti-racism relate to ‘psychosis’ and the mental health system more broadly? Can mental health services be decolonised?
COVID-19 and The Impact on The Disabled Community: panel discussion
National Lottery Community Fund
"Join The National Lottery Community Fund and a panel of speakers as we discuss the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on disabled communities. We will also be sharing research from our recently commissioned report ‘Towards Equity’ on how funders can support and include disabled communities.
Chaired by Hannah Paterson, Senior Portfolio Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund, we will be hearing from disabled organisations about their experiences of the pandemic, how they worked in their communities through lockdown and how other organisations and funders can work to better support disabled organisations. Our panel will include voices from a variety of organisations from across the UK to help provide a broad range of insights and lived experience. You will also have an opportunity to directly put your questions to our panel.
Symposium #MadMeetUp 'The Second Wave' recording now on YouTube
"Mad Covid held a special event on the 28.10.2020, featuring a survivor / lived experience panel to discuss the impact COVID19 has had on the mad community. As well as looking back, we also explored what mental health services and others can do to support us during the impending second 'wave' and any further lockdowns.
Our panellists included:
Andrew Grundy, Service User Researcher
Tamar Jeynes, Lived Experience Practitioner
Nell Aitch, Mad Zine Maker and Mad Covid
Hattie Porter, Student Occupational therapist, and Macmillan Cancer Support Worker
The event also features personal testimonies from attendees and a message from Jo Edge about our Hardship Fund. Thanks to Bethan Edwards who hosted the event and Ellie Bradford who managed the event from behind the scenes and edited the video. This event was partially funded by an NSUN COVID19 grant and by the Mad Covid team themselves.
The London Housing Panel was set up in 2019 ‘to enable London’s voluntary & community sector and the communities it serves to influence the capital’s housing policies and practices’. Trust for London and the Mayor jointly funded and supported the Panel’s initial term to July 2020 and have recently committed to continuing to fund and support the Panel through to July 2021.
The London Housing Panel provides the voluntary and community sector (VCS) with a structured way of engaging with the GLA, and ensures the GLA has a clear mechanism for its engagement with the sector in relation to housing policy. It has 15 members drawn from a diverse range of voluntary and community organisations."
Recruitment for public contributors to join the SUPER PPI research group
SUPER members provide lay perspectives on developing, conducting and disseminating research about primary and emergency care services. This involvement helps to improve the relevance, quality and dissemination of research on these topics.
SUPER meets quarterly, through meetings in person and online via zoom. At these meetings, researchers and SUPER members discuss research projects which are being developed or are underway. These are the sorts of points which SUPER members make.
They comment on issues that are important to patients, carers and members of the public.
They give feedback on the relevance of research topics and how feasible it is to collect information from people.
They suggest ways of publicising findings from research studies including how to explain complicated or technical messages to non-academic audiences.
Survey - experiences of informed consent for therapy
University of Teesside
"Hello, here is a link to a 5-minute survey about your experience of informed consent for therapy. I am doing this research as part of my Counselling Psychology Doctorate to get a better understanding of people’s experiences of giving consent. It would be very helpful if you could give 5 -10 minute of your time to fill it in and support better understanding of this aspect of therapy: please click here to access the survey."
University of Nottingham
"Narrative Experience Online (NEON) study:
The NEON study is running three trials looking at whether access to stories of recovery from mental health problems can help people affected by mental health problems. NEON is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
Stories have been collected from all around the world, and our collection includes stories of recovery outside of mental health services, despite poor experiences with mental health services, and with the support of mental health services. We have tried to be as inclusive as possible in our definition of the term recovery.
If you would like to offer your story for use in NEON, you can find out more here. All stories are welcome. Our current focus is on including more stories from people whose mental health has been harmed by the prejudices of others. We hope that these stories will make a big difference to others.
You can sign up for a NEON trial hereup until March 2021. All participants will receive access to the stories we have collected, either immediately or after a year.
Dr Caroline Yeo-Fox, Survivor Researcher and Activist"
Papers and reports
Convenience at a Cost
Money and Mental Health Policy Institute
"Exploring the aspects of online shopping that are putting those experiencing mental health problems at risk of financial harm.
The second report in our series on online harms highlights that while the ease and convenience of online shopping can be a lifeline for people experiencing mental health problems, pushy retailers are leaving people at risk of financial harm.
The report outlines that:
Symptoms of mental health problems can make it challenging to control spending.
This is made worse by the frictionless, pressuring and personalised design of online shopping sites.
Newer payment technologies like ‘buy now pay later’ are becoming more common, but can make it easier for people to get into debt and pose particular risks to people with mental health problems.
People experiencing mental health problems can also find it difficult to return unwanted purchases — which can worsen financial difficulty and mental health problems.
Retailers should offer customers more tools to manage online spending and avoid harm — such as the choice to opt out of ‘buy now pay later’ services, or to have a ‘cooling off’ period before completing purchases.
The government and regulators should look at compliance with current consumer protection laws and address gaps in current regulation.
"The final report of the Commission for Equality in Mental Health
Inequalities in health, including mental health, have been highlighted in national reports for at least 40 years. But despite multiple policies and programmes to address them, these inequalities persist.
The Commission for Equality in Mental Health was set up to explore what causes mental health inequalities, what perpetuates them, and what might help to break the cycle. Mental health for all?, the final report of the Commission, says that inequalities which have for too long been accepted or ignored can and should be reduced, through concerted action nationally and locally.
Mental Health for All? finds that mental health inequalities mirror wider economic and social inequalities. Wealth and power inequalities put at risk the mental health of people experiencing poverty, racial injustice and discrimination. This creates sharp social divisions, meaning that many groups of people face two or three times the risk of mental ill health. Yet the same groups of people find it harder to get help for their mental health, and in some cases also get poorer outcomes when they do.
This report highlights, however, that effective action is possible. It finds that mental health is made in communities, so action for mental health equality needs to begin in neighbourhoods, localities and community groups. And it needs to include schools, colleges, workplaces and charities.
Primary Mental Health Wellbeing Service, West London NHS Trust
"The Wellbeing Network is a non-clinical service within West London Trust that is definitely not afraid to break the mould. Wellbeing Network ‘Mapping Conversations’ are at the heart of this structured person-centred approach to support people with their wellbeing and mental health in enhancing hope and achieving self-determined goals. You would play an important part in building confidence, providing information, exploring ways forward and enhancing community contact.
Developed through coproduction it focuses on individual strengths, gifts and assets and the building of community networks to address isolation.
This role is your opportunity to make a big difference to people to support wellbeing and mental health by assisting people to map their current network and identify potential new links into existing community and other resources.
Your interpersonal skills and local knowledge will be a key contributor to people developing choice, enhancing hope, gaining independence or inter-dependence, developing meaningful connections and activities and empowered.
For an informal discussion regarding the post, please contact Sally Gomme, Wellbeing Network Team manager, 07966 566699 or view the job listing here."
Eight Bells for Mental Health
"We are a unique organization, set up by users of mental health services we have grown into a charity supporting over 300 people in West Berkshire. We are now looking for new trustees, we would particularly welcome people with financial, legal or HR skills, however it is more important that you share our values, support real service user empowerment and leadership, and are able to work constructively with our members’ management committee, who are jointly responsible for all decision making.
In return we can offer the opportunity to work with an amazing group of members, staff, volunteers and trustees, and make a real difference in people’s lives
"Expert Citizens (EC) is an organisation powered by lived experience and with a mission of improving support — as well as the wider debate — around multiple disadvantage. They are currently looking for a new Chair.
As Chair you would:
Lead our governance — ensuring the strengths and skills of the Board are harnessed to continue steering Expert Citizens on a bright and sustainable path.
Strengthen & develop our team — working closely with and providing strategic support to the CEO, to together lead the organisation.
Be an ambassador for lived experience — flying the flag for those experiencing multiple disadvantage in general and our brilliant organisation in particular.
Time commitment: approximately two days per month.
Remuneration: this is a voluntary position; travel expenses will be reimbursed.
Start date: the appointed Chair will attend our (online) January Board meeting alongside the outgoing Chair; handover details can be arranged.
"Location: A mix of home and central London. Hours: Permanent, 35 hours a week (we are open to hearing about flexible models and/or slightly different hours). To apply: See our website for details. Deadline: Midday, 30 November 2020.
This role is central to the communications function of the National Voices movement and covers the breadth of our operations. We are looking for an experienced comms and engagement professional who is ready to work creatively within a small team and on their own initiative."
Chair of the Board of Trustees
What Works Centre for Wellbeing
"We are seeking to recruit a new Chair of our Board of Directors for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing (the Centre), the UK’s premier organisation committed to creating a robust evidence base for improving wellbeing in society.
You will take the reins when our current Chair steps down in April 2021 after six years in the role and guide the organisation in the next phase of its journey.
You will lead a well-motivated and balanced Board that sets the strategic direction for the Centre and ensures effective governance. You will engage with academics from a wide range of disciplines and you will have the opportunity to influence policy makers in government, business and the voluntary sector. You will exercise your existing intellectual and persuasive skills but you will also learn a great deal in an environment where happiness is a fundamental goal.
"We are a new user-led organisation fighting the stigma surrounding trauma related mental health distress from queer intersectional perspectives. We seek to provide community for those with identities on the intersection of queerness and mentally distressed, with platforms focusing on activism and education surrounding trauma.
We are seeking people who, like us, identify as queer and have experienced trauma. Many of us have experiences of being diagnosed, and being in recovery from, severe and stigmatising diagnoses. We encourage self-disclosure of mental health diagnoses, but this is by no means mandatory.
We currently have some representation from ethnic minorities, but we are keen to strongly represent the perspectives of people of colour, so we warmly encourage those who identify as such to reach out.
Equally, we would love to hear from those identifying as: disabled, neurodiverse, with lived experience of homelessness, on a diverse age spectrum, who have faced immense stigma and those who have had experience of their voice not being heard.
We are largely a group of activists, who welcome a great array of opinions and enjoy being challenged. We feel that the broader the range of voices and span of intersectionality, the clearer we can reflect the diverse and important opinions of those usually thrown out onto the side lines. We are here to create change and we cannot wait to hear from you.
As a grass roots group, our current trustees currently work extremely hard, building the organisation from the ground up. We all have separate roles, from managing our social media platforms, to finance, operations, grant applications, website content and design. Meetings are every 1-2 weeks. For a few trustees, this is their main or primary job, and for a couple of trustees, this is a side gig. We would potentially fit your responsibilities for Feeling Queer around your other commitments and jobs and work would be dependent on how much time you would be able to put in.
This position is voluntary, however, if the new trustee was a talented writer and interested in creating content for our website, there might be a potential opportunity for being paid, should we secure our next round of funding.
If you are queer, have experienced trauma, and are great at writing, admin, social media posts or anything that might be relevant to us then we would love to hear from you. We will aim to find a role that suits you.
£4m funding available for London's civil society organisations during the second lockdown
London Community Response Fund
"London’s funders have once again come together to provide new funding for civil society organisations. Applications for grants of up to £10,000 have now opened to help groups to support Londoners affected by covid-19 over the winter months. Applications will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis, with a final deadline on Thursday 3 December 2020.
London Funders and partners have used needs analysis based on insights from over 2,600 groups who’ve already been funded, from equity and inclusion partners, and from groups completing the London Community Response survey. As a result, London Community Response funders are prioritising organisations that are led by and for marginalised communities; that are trusted by people at high risk of negative impacts from covid-19; and groups that have a turnover of less than £1m a year.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership
"Our new (November 2020) £100 000 Targeted Prevention Grant Fund for West Yorkshire and Harrogate aims to support targeted community level preventative interventions that will reduce harmful health behaviours, improve health outcomes and contribute to a reduction in inequalities for people who are likely to be disproportionately at risk or affected by COVID-19 and the indirect social implications of measures such as isolation and shielding.
The fund welcomes innovative ideas which deliver a partnership approach to reducing health inequalities by working across health and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) partners.
Partners will be invited to apply for eight grants of funding between £1,000 - £5,000 and four grants of funding of between £5,001 and £15,000.
We encourage smaller community organisations with an income under £20k to apply for funding.
We can offer support to review your application before submission on request. If you would like additional support please contact Emmerline Irving – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hardship Fund for the Mentally ill during COVID-19
"We are Jo Edge and Bethan Edwards, both survivors of mental illness and the psychiatric system. Jo is a doctor of medieval history, currently working at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester, beginning a stint as Women's Rep on the National Executive Committee of the University and College Union in May 2020. Bethan is a Research OTemployed by the NHS, and is also undertaking her PhD. She is professionally registered with the HCPC. Both Jo and Bethan are Welsh. Money will only go to those who need it: folks who do not have access to other available funds from employers or through the government.
Please see below for an update on the Mad Covid fund (16th November 2020):
As the fund is becoming more depleted, we have decided to close the application process for a while - we don't know exactly how long but perhaps until after Christmas - so we can replenish the pot and give ourselves a break from the spreadsheet. 8 months ago when we began this fund we had no idea we'd still be awarding grants at this stage and we're humbled to have lasted this long. This is not the end! It's a breather. We've given out over 200 grants and raised over £25,000 and we're dead pleased, but we are all very busy and need to take care of ourselves. We ask that you do your best to keep promoting the fund to donors so we've got a nice healthy pot by the end of 2020. There are two things you can do:
1. Create an email signature pledging your support for MadCovid. A template:
NSUN is a community of people and groups who come together to support each other. We come together in many ways: physically, digitally through social media or through sharing information.
During these uncertain times, we will try and share with you what we can that is useful. In particular, we will think of ways of being together, when we can’t physically be together. And finally, we will continue our campaigning role, ensuring that policy and legislative changes are scrutinised and are rights based.
NSUN is a VCSE (Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise) partner of the Dept. of Health and Social Care's (DHSC) Health and Wellbeing Alliance (HWA).
Covid-19 Health Inequalities Task and Finish Group
Meetings are continuing with HWA members being linked in to the Task & Finish group, its priorities and subsequent actions. We will update you with news when we have any.
Food for vulnerable people
Further conversations are taking place with Defra about access to priority supermarket deliveries (which are still oversubscribed) and a number of other commercial food box schemes they have collated in this guide.
We will update you on these items when we receive more news. In the meantime, if you have any questions you would like us to put to DHSC, please email us at email@example.com.
Food banks - find your local one and donate/help out
Food banks are playing a very important part in ensuring people have enough food to eat in these challenging times.
If you are either in need of help yourself or would like to find out how you can help, find and contact your local food bank here: