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Help in a crisis
Steve Clark
Steve Clark, People Participation Lead, West and South Norfolk

Steve took up his post for West and South Norfolk at the start of July 2019, after spending the previous six years volunteering with the Trust and running groups for service users.

He is now working closely with colleagues from across NSFT, as well as patients, families and partner organisations to further improve services and build on good work already taking place.

“It’s early days and a huge learning process, but I’m really enjoying it,” said Steve. “I’ve spent the last few years volunteering to try to get service users more involved, so this role seemed like the logical next step. I’m pleased the Trust is really placing service users centre stage.”

Having been retired for a few years, Steve wasn’t looking to return to work, but saw the new role and structure within NSFT as an opportunity he couldn’t ignore. He sees a changing culture in the organisation – the new Care Groups provide the opportunity to make sure the voices of service users and carers are integral to the decision-making process, as well as ensuring that local decisions can be made more quickly.

He said: “It’s so important to engage with service users and carers as we need to make sure we are delivering care plans which they support, and which meet their needs.”

Steve is aware that many other agencies can help the Trust and service users by providing many other services and is keen to look for all the ways we can engage with people to involve them in ways which best suit their needs.

Steve’s professional career of some 40 years has been spent mainly in public housing where he worked for a number of local authorities, as director at three. He was a university lecturer of social studies and professional qualifications for six years and had time as a researcher and consultant for a major consultancy with offices around the world.

“My whole working life has been very much working with people and seeking to make a difference,” he said.

Steve has used mental health services twice with NSFT and once in Hampshire and he has also been a carer. He believes he can bring both understanding and empathy to the role through both his professional career and lived experience.