NSUN weekly bulletin
Monday 28th September 2020
Dear Amy
Welcome to the Monday 28th September 2020 edition of our weekly ebulletin - full of news, views, events and involvement opportunities.
Help and support
If at any time you need immediate support you can find out where to go, who to call, where to get information from here.
Bulletin items 
Please send any posts (about events, involvement opportunities, jobs, news, blogs or anything else) you'd like to post in the bulletin to
You can view our previous NSUN weekly bulletins and subscribe to get them sent directly to your mailbox here.
This bulletin is FREE. You can join as a member here - it's free for individuals and user-led groups. If you would like to make a donation to help support the continuation of this work you can do so here.
Please note: sharing is not endorsing
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.
Our work  
A great way to have a look at what's been happening over the last year is to go to our News pageand visit the pages below.
Save the date: 2020 AGM 
Our virtual Annual General Meeting will be taking place over two days on the 24th and 25th of November. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!
NSUN news 
Some quick NSUN updates. We have published a blog post by Andrew Lee, Director of People First, on the recent CQC report outlining the physical and emotional abuse of people with learning difficulties at Yew Trees Hospital in Essex.  You can read "Another shocking scandal- why does this keep happening?" here.
We have also published a video by Talking Sense, a Hearing Voices Group in London, on how they moved online thanks to the NSUN Covid-19 Fund.
We have a number of reports coming out over the next few months- on adult safeguarding and hate crime, on peer support and safety, and on what User Led Organisations need. Our 2020 AGM will be online on the 24th and 25th November- more details soon. Our annual Members' Survey should be out next week- we will keep you posted! Finally, our 2019-2020 Annual Report has been published - you can read it here.
Warm wishes
Akiko Hart
Pronouns: she/her
Calls to action
Creative callout!
We are looking to put together a small "virtual exhibition" for our Annual General Meeting at the end of November, featuring creative pieces by our membership under the broad theme of mental health (and of course we welcome anything produced throughout and about the turbulent past several months).
This means we would love it if you could send in:
  • Artwork: paintings, photography, drawings, collage, digital art, visual art, short films or animations...
  • Poetry: written, or you can film/record yourself doing a reading
  • Original songs or music 
If you have something you'd like to share, please send it (along with the name you'd like displaying and any links to your website/Instagram etc) to
Articles, blogs, vlogs, and more
We want to use this space to feature members' blogs, posts, vlogs, podcasts and articles. Please email us at if you would like to share yours with the network here.
Article Image
Blog by Andrew Lee (People First) for NSUN
Blog by Danny Sherwood via Linkedin
Article by Micha Frazer-Carroll via the Independent
Episodes via Cripchat Podcast
Article by Mario Koran via the Guardian
Article by David Ellis via The Polyphony
Blog by Harriet Lowe
Article by David Monk via the Centre for Mental Health
Article via New Statesman
Events and membership news
Annual Report 2019-2020
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Our 2019-2020 Annual Report has now been published and you can read it here!
It includes our Chair's Report, a section on our history by co-founder of NSUN, Anne Beales, and outlines of the work we've done in the past year: research, capacity-building, and involvement and influencing.
It also covers the beginning of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our aims for 2020/21.
This annual report also includes tributes to Jan Wallcraft (1949-2020), who was a pioneer in the survivor movement as a researcher and activist.
Call for submissions 
Dear GP zine
Article Image "Dear GP issue 2 is looking for submissions!
Want to write a letter about your mental health professional?
Dear GP zine collects letters written by mental health service users, reviewing their mental health professional in the style of a clinic letter. Perhaps your MH professional has 'overvalued beliefs' they're unwilling to let go of. Has Covid19 made them (extra) mad? Perhaps they need a full risk assessment and exploration of protective factors. Write to your GP and let them know!
We also welcome art made from clinic letters, illustrations and direct quotes from letters you've recieved.
Deadline TBC. Send submissions and Qs to
Twitter and Instagram: @dear_GP"
Connecting remotely: peer support conversations 
Mind, Bipolar UK, Get Up Set Up, NSUN, Together for Mental Wellbeing
These sessions are useful for any of our member groups who use, or want to use, peer support:
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"Join the conversation the become part of a growing peer support community  
The Connecting Remotely; Peer Support conversation is a fortnightly forum held on Zoom, hosted by Mind, GetUp SetUp, Bipolar UK, Together for Mental Wellbeing, and NSUN (National Survivors User Network). Setup in the wake of COVID-19, the conversation was started to provide a safe space for peer leaders, community groups and organisations to connect, share learning and experiences of peer support during the pandemic and beyond.  
You can download the shared learning resource that was written by Alison Faulkner, drawing from the conversations we have been having.  
On each session we breakout into up to 3 rooms giving us the opportunity to talk about different topics. This can include conversation around the principles of peer support, how to facilitate online peer support, creative ways of working, and staying safe online. As time evolved so do the topics, which are selected based on what you tell us you want to talk about.  
Click Here – To register for the next Session - Thursday 1 October 2020, 11am  
  • Breakout Room 1 -  BAME communities; peer support during COVID-19.  
  • Break out Room 2 - Peer support and social action. 
This event will be hosted on Zoom. You can join via video call on your laptop or smart device. You can also call in by phone from anywhere in the UK. We will send out the joining instructions to you in a confirmation email on the day. 
If you need any help signing up to this event, please get in touch by emailing us at 
Future Dates  
Thursday 15 October 2020, 11am – Click here 
Thursday 29 October 2020, 11am – Click here (register from 1 October)  
Thursday 12 November 2020, 11am – Click here (register from 15 October)"
WHAT WE NEED NOW: What matters to people for health and social care during COVID and beyond - new "I Statements" 
National Voices
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"At National Voices, we have been listening to, learning from, and capturing people’s experiences. We wanted to make sure those living with ongoing physical or mental ill health or disability, who have been suffering the most due to service suspensions, could tell their stories and be heard.

We are sharing with you what they told us, as we look forward to launching "WHAT WE NEED NOW: What matters to people for health and social care during COVID and beyond - new National Voices "I Statements" 2020.
Register for the launch webinar on the 6th October, 10-11.30am: click here."
You can read about the I Statements here.
Protect human rights and judicial review 
Humanists UK
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NSUN supports the Humanists UK campaign for the Government to drop plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and undermine current powers of judicial review that enables citizens to to challenge the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies.
You can read more and sign the petition here.
New programme 
361 Life Support
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"361 Recovery programme, funded by NSUN, is a 12 week programme for women survivors.
Our new programme starts on Sunday October 25th 4-6pm on zoom and each participant receives a 361 journal in the post.
Our 13th session forms a user led group which becomes part of the 361 Life Support survivor network - a new UK network specialising in emotional education. A gift from survivor to survivor.
More information (and podcast) here:"
Loneliness update 
Small Charities Coalition
Message to members - become a member for free here.
Article Image "Small charities are so often at the heart of addressing loneliness.

SCC is now serving on the DCMS Loneliness Task and Finish group around Place, and we are eager to make sure that the work of small charities is noted and understood. We remain members of the Connection Coalition and will be working with them and the Jo Cox Foundation on a winter campaign to help us all understand the power of connection.

To help with all of this, we are looking to create our own small working group to feed back to policy makers on how small charities are addressing loneliness. One of the examples that has been shared by members of the Animal Cluster Meet Up group was the importance of pets in providing companionship. We want to amplify your voices, in order for ministers, funders and policy makers to better understand the role of small charities in addressing loneliness.

To register your interest in discussions around loneliness email"
Upcoming events 
HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network
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October and November events from HEAR:
Social Prescribing with Refugee and Migrant Populations 6th October, 2.30pm-4.30pm
"Exploring barriers and opportunities for regufee and migrant populations in social prescribing practice". More information and register here.

Re-Opening Differently: Inclusivity in BAME Arts and Culture 7th October, 10am-12pm
"HEAR and fellow members of the Steering Group for the 'BAME Inclusion in Arts and Wellbeing' work led by Flourishing Lives are pleased to invite you to aninformal peer learning and sharin gevent". If you would like to attend please send your name, organisation and email address, together with any access orcommunication needs, to:

Equality Act 10th Anniversary Intersectionality workshop 14th October, 11am-1pm
"HEAR is pleased to be partnering with Equally Ours for the first in the series, which will examine Intersectionality and the Equality Act". More information and register here.

Ethical and Responsible Data Use for small charities, 14th October
More information and register here.

Intersectionality Good Practice for Refugee and Asylum Organisations 6th November
"The HEAR Network, Refugee Women Connect and Refugee Action are planning an interactive workshop exploring Intersectionality and what it means for holistic service design for voluntary and community sector organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers." Register your interest, tell them what you'd like them to cover or ask a question by emailing, including your mame, organisation and contact details.
Surveys and involvement opportunities 
New survey request - remote communication technology
Shaping Our Lives
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"During the Covid19 pandemic many appointments, meetings and leisure activities have taken place remotely. Shaping Our Lives want to find out if remote communication technology is a good way for you to take part or receive a service. Or, if remote ways of communicating are difficult or impossible for you to use.

Shaping Our Lives would be very grateful if you answer a short survey. This survey is only for d/Deaf and Disabled people.

You will not be asked to give your name and all answers will be kept anonymous. What you and other people tell Shaping Our Lives will then be used to tell people in national and local government the support d/Deaf and Disabled people need to use remote communication technology and if it is suitable all the time.

To complete the survey you can either:
1. Click here
2. Send an email to: and we can send a Word version of the survey for you to complete.
3. Call Becki on 07956 424511 and do the survey over the telephone or by Zoom.

The survey will take about 15 minutes."
COVID-19 and Voluntary Sector Organisations in the UK: Impact and Response 
Nottingham Trent University, NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) and Sheffield Hallam University
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"COVID-19 is having a major impact on the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector.To assess its effect on the sector, researchers have secured funding from Economic and Social Research Council to conduct an investigation into the way that COVID-19 is impacting the sector and how organisations are responding.
As part of the project, our team will be conducting a monthly barometer which will run for 15 months, from mid-September 2020 to November 2021. This barometer is unique as the results will be publicly updated monthly.  Organisations can use the results to compare themselves against other organisations of similar type and size. The barometer will have a dashboard, that allows organisations to see how their experiences compare to other organisations. This will help organisations better understand how they are doing and learn lessons from others.
Every month, organisations that complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw with the potential to win £200. At the end of the project all participating organisations will be entered into a prize draw to win £2,000.
To find out more about this project, please contact the project team at or the project lead Daniel King ( To participate in the survey please visit COVID-19 and VCSE Organisations' Responses." 
Public consultation on a better benefits system 
Commission on Social Security
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"COVID-19 has shone a light on the failings of the benefits system. The Commission on Social Security, which is led by Experts By Experience, wants to build a better one and want to know what you think about their proposals."
Have your say here. Deadline for submissions is the 30th September 2020.
Understanding alcohol use among people with lived experience of a mental health problem 
University of Liverpool
Article Image "Do you have a diagnosis of either bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other psychotic condition? Do you currently drink alcohol or are a non-drinker (but have previously drank alcohol)? Are you aged 18 or older?

If you answered yes to these questions, we would like to invite you to take part in a telephone-based research study at the University of Liverpool. We want to interview you about your experiences of drinking or not drinking alcohol and how this may have changed over time. We are a group of individuals who have lived experience of a mental health problem. If you take part you will be paid with a £20 voucher (Love2Shop).

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information please contact Jo-Anne Puddephatt via email at"

Papers and reports
Peer support in NHS perinatal mental health services
Laura Wood, Katy Cachou and Nisba Ahmed
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"Since the launch of the perinatal peer support principles in December 2019, peer support in NHS perinatal mental health services has continued to expand and develop. Peer workers and peer support volunteers are increasingly being recruited to work in these services and are an important part of the workforce.
Three mothers who have experienced a perinatal mental health problem in the past have co-produced a ‘thought piece’ about peer support within NHS perinatal mental health services, supported by staff from Mind and commissioned by Health Education England. Informed by the perinatal peer support principles, they engaged in a series of discussions with peer workers and clinical staff within these services to understand how to ensure that peer support within these services is as beneficial as possible for everyone involved.
The thought piece develops the guidance offered by the perinatal peer support principles for this specific context and offers insights and recommendations to help make sure that mothers using these services have access to positive peer support.
You can download the piece here."
Digital Exclusion Case Study 
People First and HEAR
Article Image "Thanks to the support of our funder Trust for London we are paying members to write up case studies, evaluations, briefings, create blogs, vlogs, toolkits, hacks, or content demonstrating good practice in getting intersectional and excluded communities online, using tech for good and examples when face-to-face IRL interactions are needed and digital won’t do.
Read People First's case study, "Digital Exclusion: another type of virus!" here."
Mind the Income Gap 
Money and Mental Health Policy Institute
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"The second report from the Mental Health and Income Commission explores the ‘mental health income gap’, and its long-term causes. It shows that:  

  • The income gap for those with mental health problems is significant – annual median income for people with common mental health conditions is estimated to be £8,400 less than that for the wider population
  • People with mental health problems are more likely to be unemployed, which has been driven in part by inflexible recruitment practices and discrimination from employers.
  • When people with mental health problems are in work, they are more likely to be in the lowest paid occupations and face significant challenges in accessing higher paid jobs
  • People with mental health problems are more likely to receive benefits, which provide a low level of financial support and they have also been hit harder by the freeze in working-related benefits."
You can read the report here.
Global learning and 3 Core Principles. Mental health: learning from Covid-19 
Article Image "Covid-19 has highlighted that mental health is an urgent global health challenge requiring international cooperation.

This position paper sets out a commitment by Wellcome, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the World Economic Forum to embed three principles across our mental health work: lived experience, local innovation, and larger than healthcare."
Read the report here.
Jobs and recruitment
LGBT Foundation
Article Image "We’re recruiting new board members. At LGBT Foundation we believe in a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people can achieve their full potential. We campaign for equality and deliver a huge range of vital services to LGBT people.

We are seeking people who can help us drive forward the vision of LGBT Foundation over the coming years. We’re looking for people who are passionate about LGBT rights and want to join us on our journey of achieving equality, promoting safety and encouraging wellbeing.

We want to increase trans representation on the board. Many folks in these communities often feel marginalised and alone, from those outside the LGBT community, and even from within.

Trustees are responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the charity, and there are certain roles and responsibilities that all trustees will be required to undertake. Being a trustee is a voluntary role, but we do pay reasonable travel and subsistence expenses.

The closing date for applications is 23rd October 2020. Interviews will take place week commencing 2nd November 2020.
You can apply and find out more about this role and multiple others currently available with the LGBT Foundation here.
You can contact Olivia Butterworth, LGBT Foundation Co-chair, on for more information.
Peer Support Worker
Inclusion Barnet
Article Image     
"£27,750 per year
Contract, Full-time
Closing date: 02 October 2020
Do you work well in a team and believe in the social model of disability?  Can you build and sustain relationships with customers based on mutuality and peer support?  Do you enjoy managing a varied caseload of people and working in a person centred and empowering way?  Then this could be the role you’re looking for.

We are looking to employ a passionate, motivated individual with excellent communication and people skills to join our Touchpoint Team as one of two Touchpoint Peer Workers. Launched in October 2018, Touchpoint supports people experiencing any form of disability in Barnet to access the services and resources they need so they can live the life they want to live.

As a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, we aim to work with people as equal partners to support positive change.  You will have your own lived experience of disability, a long term condition or mental health issues, and be able to use the knowledge this brings you to empower other people overcome the barriers they’re facing."
More information and apply: click here.
Service User Coordinator
Article Image "In this newly formed role you will be working as the lead person to coordinate service user involvement across all levels of the organisation.
You will help to develop and deliver an implementation plan which builds on Jami’s vision of a service which provides exciting and creative opportunities to enhance service user involvement and co-production across the organisation.

If you are interested full details of this post and the application process can be found on our website here.

The hours are part time 3 days or 22.5 hours per week.

Salary range from £13,200 -15,600. (Full time equivalent form 22,000 – 26,000).

For an informal discussion about the post please contact Adam Ali on 020 8458 2223 or email

Closing date for applications 11th October 2020."
Research Panel
Black Thrive
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We understand that the experiences of Black and mixed communities is lacking from existing research. We also know that research is rarely carried out by people who look like us and share our lived experience. We want to do our part to change this. We are setting up a panel of people who live in the UK who are open to sharing their experience and views on topics that matter to them.
Black Thrive Lambeth and Global Black Thrive CIC aim to use this information to influence academic research, policy, practice and service design in Lambeth, London and the UK. This form will take a few minutes to complete and will give us an understanding of who we have managed to reach.
Sign up here. For other ways to get involved, click here.
If you have any queries please contact us by email or call 07828 891 398"
Service User Network Group Facilitator/Peer Support Worker
Article Image "1 year fixed term contract initially
Various locations in Surrey
The Peer Support Worker will be working closely with a mental health practitioner to deliver regular Service User Network (SUN) groups in different community-based locations across Surrey.

Fundamental to creating empowerment and engagement in the SUN Project is the therapeutic community principle, that the effectiveness of the service depends upon engaging group members in the task of running, delivery, development and evaluation of the service. The utilisation of SUN members’ own resources and expertise is integral to the model of peer support upon which the SUN groups are based. Peer support workers will have regular supervision and support in this role.
Community Support Leaders/Peer Researchers
Article Image
"Location: Home Based
Salary: £230 Day Rate
Expires: 04/10/2020 23:59
Mind are recruiting 5 community leaders/peer researchers to lead on a project to explore peer support across England, following on from the 2013 report which you read here.
In particular, Mind are  keen to learn more about peer support by reaching out to a diverse range of groups. We'd like to explore and look at what communities need to enable peer support to thrive, and how Mind as well our partners both locally and nationally, can support that.
Click here to apply, and for more information."
Hardship Fund for the Mentally ill during COVID-19
on gofundme
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"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 OT employed 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.
To apply for funds, please fill in this short online survey (also featured on the page below):
To find out more, please click here.
You can read more about #MadCovidDiaries here or get in touch by email:"
£585,000 of emergency funding for LGBTQ+ organisations and groups! 
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"​LGBTQ+ organisations and groups across the UK will soon be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 to support their vital role in supporting LGBTQ+ communities through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
METRO Charity in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT, will be cascading the £585,000 fund from Comic Relief, raised from ‘The Big Night In’.

The partners will be convening grants panels in each nation - Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to ensure the maximum reach to grassroots community-led LGBTQ+ organisations across the UK. Organisations and groups with income under £100,000 will be able to apply for over 100 grants ranging from £500 to £15,000.

Register your interest in applying for a grant here" 
Find out more here.
Research funding call
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The UKRI Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network is delighted to launch our second plus projects funding call.  Grants are available for small projects up to £25k, on the theme of understanding violence, abuse, and mental health.  We will commission research that aims to understand:
(1)    The common sources of harm in the interconnected systems encountered by victims and survivors of violence and abuse?
(2)    The pathways to experiencing – and/or using - violence and abuse, and their relationship with mental health problems?
(3)    Which factors are protective against violence, abuse, and mental health problems across the life course, disaggregated by gender, and which could be potential targets for interventions?
Grants can be used to deliver a targeted piece of research or to pump-prime larger projects.  We welcome applications from a broad range of disciplines and the inclusion of early career researchers, users/survivors, and third sector and other non-academic organisations as co-investigators.  We expect the meaningful involvement of survivors and of third sector organisations within all applications.
Applications are now open and close at 5pm on 11th December 2020. We anticipate making 4-5 awards.
Full details on how to apply, including the call specification and frequently asked questions, can be accessed from our website here. Information about the projects funded through our first funding call, on the theme of measurement of violence, abuse, and mental health can be found here."
COVID-19 updates and information
Article ImageNSUN 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. 
Submissions to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (July 2020)
  • We have submitted written evidence to the JCHR's inquiry: "The Government’s response to COVID-19: human rights implications". You can read it here.
  • You can also read the British Institute of Human Rights' submission via the previous link or see a summary from them here.
Disability Benefits Consortium campaign #IncreaseDisabilityBenefits update (September 2020)
  • NSUN is part of the DBC and is supporting the campaign to keep the £20 uplift on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit and extend it to those on legacy benefits. You can read more from this Joseph Rowntree Foundation blog post here.
Our resources:
DHSC Covid-19 VCSE partner update  
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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
Food banks - find your local one and donate/help out
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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:
Ways in which you can help include:
  • donate money
  • donate food
  • volunteer
  • become a business partner
Contact your local food bank to find out the best way you can help.

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