Participation Post Issue 2 text only

Carl's story . . . 
I became involved in NSFT after struggling with my mental health for a long time. I wanted to work with the Trust to help others like me receive better treatment, and to ensure staff felt their work was rewarding. 
I am the expert by experience Adult Lead in the Personality Disorder Pathway. Being part of such a great team is an amazing feeling. We have worked together to prove that PD can be successfully treated and that life can be better. We have united staff, patients and commissioners in identifying best practice. We also run training and give talks to patients and staff to try to reduce stigma.
I am a co-founder of the Supportive Friends Team at Wedgwood House in West Suffolk. Meeting my co-founder  has been a highlight of my time in participation. We are the perfect team. We co-produced the project at top speed in response to the pandemic along with the Wedgwood leadership team – I have been so proud to watch it develop and thrive.
We work on the wards, talking to staff and patients to identify change that needs to take place – a good old-fashioned chat. We monitor changes so that we can let patients know they are being listened to and staff know that they are doing a great job! It’s important that we make space for patients on the wards to be themselves and talk informally. When we were able to last year we held picnics and barbecues for service users and staff. Everyone got to know each other better and the wards felt happier.
My lived experience has taught me to appreciate the hard work that staff and patients put in to achieve best lives for everyone. It gives me empathy. I also like to reflect on my own recovery journey – I have come along way.
My work in participation has taught me the importance of involving people with lived experience in the growth of NSFT. I love that life has given me the opportunity to be a small part of this amazing organisation. I have grown on a personal and professional level, my confidence has increased and I am the happiest I have ever been!

Ways you can get involved
Would you like to help us to develop this Participation Post further?
We are looking for a small team of people from different services and areas to come together once a month to think about how we can continue to build our different ways of communicating and make sure this Participation Post continues to grow and develop in the way you would like it to.
Inpatient experiences – what you would want to know?
We are working on our communications/information for people coming into our inpatient settings.  Have you experienced time on our wards and would like to be involved?
Quality Improvement Steering Group
Help us improve the quality of our services with the Quality Improvement Team. it’s a Trust-wide group to guide and support our projects.
Help choose the staff you would like to see working in our Trust
Be a part of groups of people who select and interview staff for all positions within our Trust. A flexible and on-going way to get involved.

Creative corner
A photography competition within secure and forensic services has led to the production of a colourful calendar.
Patients, staff and families were asked to enter a photo they had taken, and the entries were then put into seasonal sections for judging with votes also for an overall winner.
The result is a selection of 12 stunning pictures for the 2021 calendar, which can be picked up from the three secure and forensic site receptions or requested through staff for a donation. Service users can order from the hospital shop or via their ward admin.
The Service User Advisory Group has agreed money raised will be go to the purchasing of items for secure service welcome bags.
Secure and Forensic Services People Participation Lead Su Pashley said: “We will be looking to incorporate some of these photos in our documentation and service information. We are also looking at including a few of them in our Lived Experience Poetry Book, which will also soon be on sale.”

Spotlight on: New sessions to help support young people and their families
Young people have discussed how beneficial they thought some of the Recovery College courses might be, but yet there were very few people under the age of 25 accessing Recovery College. In response to this, young people and practitioners were invited to a Recovery College course with a follow-up feedback discussion to find out people’s thoughts. The main themes of the discussion were:
The name Recovery College was ‘confusing’
Young people would prefer to be in a group of people their own age 
Really liked that the courses were run by people with lived and learned experiences 
Liked that there were different ways to communicate, depending on preferences, such as the chat or verbally
We are currently working with young people to:
Look at alternative names
Co-producing a course with young people, specifically for young people. This will be co-delivered by a young person and a staff member
Exploring suggestions by carers to co-produce a course for carers of young people
This work is enabling us all to work together to create sessions to support recovery specifically for young people and their families, driven by their need and preferences.
Sophie Davies (People Particiaption Lead for  Children, Families and Young Poeple, Suffolk)

What is participation?
People participation is about us all working together. It is about listening to and embracing the expertise of all people with lived experience as equal and valued partners in driving the design and development of better mental health services. By working together, we will be able to provide the best possible mental health services for all.

Contact us
For ways to give feedback and/or get involved in your local areas and services please contact your People Participation Leads: 
Great Yarmouth and Waveney
(Adult and Older People)
Gary Walker 07785 692926
Norwich and North Norfolk (Adult and Older People)
Robyn Ward 07771 663804
West and South Norfolk (Adult and Older People)
Steve Clark 07557 166856
East Suffolk (Adult and Older People)
Eddie Cross 07795 332547
West Suffolk (Adult and Older People)
Anna Russell 07920 786216
Children and Young People’s Services Norfolk/Waveney 07785 693984
Children and Young People’s Service Suffolk
Sophie Davies 07342 066589
Perinatal Mental Health, young people’s inpatient services, Early Intervention in Psychosis, and Eating Disorder services
Jodie Butcher 07385 417355
Secure and Forensic Services
Su Pashley 01603 707500
Learning Disabilities Specialist Pathway
Margaret Tanner 07833 285276

If you are unsure about who to contact or would like more information about participation, please get in touch with our Senior People Participation Lead Sophie Bagge on 07785 693984 or email

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