30 Jun

National Survivor User Network (NSUN) Bulletin – 29 June 2020

Welcome to the Monday 29th June 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
If you would like to send us an event, involvement opportunity, blog article or anything else to share with the wider network in the bulletin, please email us at info@nsun.org.uk.
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.
NSUN news
The NSUN Covid-19 fund will close for applications tomorrow (Tuesday at 17.00). You can apply here for grants of up to £1000 to support community action, peer support, mutual aid and other activities that will make a direct difference to the lives of people living with mental ill-health, trauma and distress during this Covid-19 period. We have also worked with People First to create an Easy Read version of the form and guidance. You can see the list of awards we have made so far here.
If you have a moment, check out our series #NSUNCovidLife. We are nearly at the end of our series, but one of the last videos is Michelle Baharier, artist and founder of CoolTan Arts, talking about FruitCake Creatives and their online Largactyl Shuffle Walks.
Warm wishes,
Akiko Hart
pronouns: she/her
akiko.hart@nsun.org.uk | @AkikoMHart
NSUN vacancy: Communications and Membership Officer
Closes Wednesday 1st July, 5pm
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NSUN is hiring!
We are looking for someone with relevant skills to deliver NSUN’s communication strategy and to liaise with our membership. Taking ownership of the communications function, and thinking creatively and working proactively will be an essential part of the role. The role is currently home-based. Specifically we are looking for someone with the following skills and experience:
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with experience of writing for a range of audiences/outlets including websites and social media
  • Proactive, flexible and responsive, with strong interpersonal and relationship management skills
  • Lived experience of mental ill-health, distress or trauma, with a passion for NSUN’s mission and work, and the ability to communicate it effectively to a wide variety of stakeholders
For more information and how to apply, please click here to go to our website.
Closing date: 5pm, Wed 1st July
Interviews: Friday 10th July (online)
Covid-19 links
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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. 
Read more here:
NSUN Covid-19 fund *APPLICATIONS CLOSING TOMORROW TUESDAY 30TH JUNE, 5PM! * including an update on the Fund so far 
Articles, blogs, vlogs and more
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We are always looking to feature members’ blogs and articles so please email us at info@nsun.org.uk if you would like to share yours.
by Peter Beresford in BMC
in Disability News Service 
by @tentaeminty in Mad Covid
By Sarah Nugdalla
By Kadra Abdinasir
DHSC Covid-19 VCSE partner update
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As a VCSE (Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise) partner of the Dept. of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NSUN now attends a fortnightly webinar where we are given updates on Covid-19. 
New Covid-19 Recovery Health Inequalities Task and Finish Group
At our meeting last week, it was announced that a new task and finish group was being set up to address the health inequalities that have been witnessed in BAME groups and areas of deprivation for example. It was also observed by voluntary sector speakers that additional social determinants of health were factors such as racism and disabled discrimination.
NHS Volunteer Responder scheme
If you or someone you know requires help with things like shopping, collection of prescriptions and the ‘check in and chat’ facility for those feeling lonely, you can now call the scheme directly on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm). Currently you can’t self-refer online but this may change. For those who need help with transport e.g. to hospital appointments, you still have to be referred by the NHS, your local authority or via a local VCSE organisation. 
Please see the RVS website for more info and eligibility criteria. This list has been recently updated to confirm that if you are “vulnerable due to a mental health condition” you can access this service. 
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 info@nsun.org.uk
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.
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): https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/73YNTCZ
To find out more, please click here.
You can read more about #MadCovidDiaries here or get in touch by email: madcovid@gmail.com.”
What it’s like to work in a Suicide Crisis Centre during the pandemic
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“Suicide Crisis is a registered charity which has been providing Suicide Crisis Centres since 2013. The charity was set up and is run by a person with lived experience of mental health crisis.
In an opinion article for The Metro, our CEO explains why we have continued to provide face to face support for clients who are at high risk of suicide, and how social distancing and PPE has changed the way we provide crisis support and how it can sometimes challenge our ability to connect effectively with clients.

The article explains how we have seen a “marked rise” in the numbers of people accessing our services. Psychiatric services in our area continue to operate a reduced level, with most people under their services receiving check-in phone calls. As a result, we are seeing more and more people coming to us instead. Their mental health is deteriorating because they are not receiving the ongoing community mental health services and specialist interventions which were available before the pandemic. Currently we have no indication of when the situation with psychiatric services may change.”

Click here to read the article.
Challenge and Change – NEW FUND for young activists
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“Challenge and Change is a fund dedicated to supporting the limitless energy of young people affected by injustices who are working tirelessly across England to create positive change. We see you. We know that you are creators of change and active citizens for the public good. We also recognise that you need investment and support to take forward your ambitions for a positive future.
If you’re 18-25 years old, working at the hard edge of injustice and have radical ideas, dreams, visions, and imaginations for a just and fair world for all, we want to invest in you and your work and offer a package of mentoring and network support to help take your work to the next level.
Applications open now until 11.59pm on 27th July 2020
This fund was co-created by a group of partners: Young Advisers – Daze Aghaji, Chloe Deakin, Jovan Nepaul – the Blagrave Trust and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.”
Find out more here
Charities challenging hate crime
HEAR online meeting
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“Charities Challenging Hate Crime, London’s pan-equality hate crime network virtual meeting.

June is Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month. 22nd June was Windrush Day and Corona Virus conspiracies and Black Lives Matter have brought racism to the forefront of many members minds.
Date: Tuesday 30th June, via Zoom
Time: 2.00 – 3.30pm.
Speakers will include the Traveller Movement, Migrant Voice and Southeast and East Asian Centre in London.”
Find out more and register here
New survey – Identifying and supporting ‘off-radar’ children and young people at risk of domestic abuse
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“For many children and young people, home is not a place of safety but a place of risk. Survivors’ Voices, the McPin Foundation, and the Violence Abuse and Mental Health Network want to find practical ways to help identify and support children and young people at risk of violence and abuse.

Please consider taking part in our anonymous online survey if:
* you have experience of being a child or young person at risk of violence and abuse from someone in your household
* or you work with children and young people at risk of violence and abuse, or both.
* you are physically safe and emotionally able to do so.
* you are aged 16 or older and live in the UK.

You will not be asked to provide information about your experiences of violence and abuse. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete. Your responses will be anonymous and treated confidentially.

To access the survey – and more detailed information – please go to https://kclbs.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_831tV8UY8xXxlRP

The study has been approved by the King’s College London Psychiatry, Nursing and Midwifery Research Ethics Subcommittee [HR-19/20-19537].”
Abandoned, Forgotten and Ignored: Inclusion London’s report about lived experiences of Disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic
Article Image“On Wednesday 24th June 2020 Inclusion London launched its interim report based on hundreds of responses to our survey. The report is available here.
The report paints a stark picture. From the outset, Disabled people have been discriminated against, forgotten, and in some cases abandoned as policymakers have ignored our needs. Or, at best considered us as an afterthought. During the pandemic Disabled people saw our legal rights diminished, we experienced resource rationing and blanket policies. This led to many of us struggling to get bare necessities, losing support and independence and living in fear for our lives.
The pandemic has shone a light on the long-standing structural inequalities and discrimination that Deaf and Disabled people experience. The dreadful disparities are reflected in the grim data released by the Office for National Statistics, which says Disabled people were about twice as likely to die from covid-19.”
Read the report here
Digital skills for seniors
Weekly online meeting
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“Digital Skills for Seniors is designed to help people learn how to use the internet safely and be more comfortable with technology.
Due to the Coronavirus we are now having to look at new ways to keep in contact and learn new skills and so keeping this class alive is vital. It is a perfect opportunity to put things into practice, plus we can broaden our horizons as other people may with to join.
We will have a regular check in to see how everyone is doing and start to do some activities when we are ready and people are comfortable with the format.
I will email ahead of the class activities or puzzles to complete before the session.There will be an opportunity for 1-2-1 questions at the end.
But please brings ideas and suggestions! and lets make it fun!”
When: Every Wednesday 11am, via Zoom
Find out more and register for this free event here
Self injury Support is still here for you
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“We just wanted to let you know that during this very difficult time our text-based support services are still open and we are here to listen and support. Dealing with the current global situation on top of existing struggles with mental health is leaving people feeling more isolated than ever. Our TESS service offers emotional listening support for women and girls affected by self injury and a space where you can explore what is going on for you alongside a trained female volunteer with knowledge of self injury.
All of our services are open from 7pm – 9.30pm, Tuesday – Thursday.
You can:
Text us on 07537 432 444
Or start a webchat here . Webchats are for up to half an hour.
If you don’t know where to start just text or message ‘hello’ and we will be there with you. All our services are confidential and anonymous. We also have lots of self-help resources and information on our website here.”
Talk for Health
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It’s important to take care of our emotional wellbeing, just as it is to take care of our bodies. One way of doing this is to connect in a truthful and empathic way with others.
Anyone who wants to take care of their wellbeing and support others.
Join us ONLINE for a Taster. Then you can: 
  • Join a TALK FOR HEALTH CAFE; continue talking for wellbeing and gain communication skills.
  • Sign up for our in-depth 4-day Talk for Health Programme, online.
  • Follow these with ongoing groups for strong peer networks.
It’s all FREE and is commissioned by the NHS. You will learn and have space for:
  • Honest talking – being the real you
  • Empathic listening
  • Basic counselling skills
  • How to set up and be part of an ongoing group to talk for wellbeing. 
Find out what we’re about and join us for our next Taster on:
Date: Friday July 3rd
Time: from 6-8pm

Sign up to a Taster here or for more information about who we are and what we do, you can subscribe to our newsletter by sending us an email at info@talkforhealth.co.uk
Is Lockdown taking its toll on you?
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“If you are finding life challenging in these difficult times, then why not join us online?
The Sunshine Group is an independent confidentially run Peer Support Group, we meet every Tuesday evening at 7pm for an hour. When restrictions ease we will be hosting some group meetings face-to-face (South London area).
Want to join or know more? Feel free to contact Phil on thesunshinegroup2@gmail.com or enquiriesthesunshinegroup@gmail.com
Remember you are not alone.”
Black Culture Book Gifting Scheme
on GoFundMe
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“In light of recent events around racism and inequality experienced by persons in the Black Community, Diversify Education would like to gift free anti racist and black culture story books to children between 4 and 16 years nationwide.
We have been able to gift a total of 21 books so far, however the requests are still coming and would love to continue gifting these worthwhile books to as many children as possible.”
Find out more here
Jobs & Recruitment
HEAR is seeking new trustees to help us move forward as we grow as a network and an organisation: a new Chair of Trustees, a Treasurer, and other trustees with the skills and interests to support our work going forward.
Please initially contact the Network Coordinator: christine@hearequality.org.uk
for more information. Find out more about HEAR here.
Underground Lights
Article ImageThe Underground Lights Board of Trustees meet at least four times a year and are responsible for the successful and legal running of the charity We’re a passionate and committed team – and we’re looking for people to help guide us towards success.
Find out more here
There are currently no face-to-face events. Please see listings above for virtual meetings.
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