Service users and carers help shape new place of safety

Read Engagement report

Service users and carers are among those whose views have helped to shape a new Central Place of Safety (CPOS) for those in mental health distress being brought by the police to a safe site under section 136 of the mental health act.

Currently there are small places of safety in the four SLaM (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust) boroughs of Croyden, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. The decision for one centralised site has come after lots of discussions. SLaM has created a special Project Board, which includes its service user/carer advisory group and special interest group. It has consulted widely since 2014 on the new building, housed on its Southwark site. This includes speaking to 100 people who have experience of being taken to a place of safety, as well as families and other organisations.

Those who have been involved had a chance to tour the site at a special Open Day in August. The Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Kath Whittam was among the guests and is pictured with Victoria Glen-Day, Clinical Service Lead, Acute Care Clinical Academic Group.

A carer consultant commenting in the Engagement report, which gives an extensive overview of feedback, sums it up thus: “The aim of this new Place of Safety is to provide a haven of protection, expert skills and gentle care to those in extreme need at a time of crisis. In this situation people are ultra- sensitive to their surroundings and a small, dedicated band of service user consultants who regularly attend meetings have greatly influenced the introduction of many of the features and little touches those being cared for will most appreciate. They have been there, they know what matters to people at a time of crisis. All credit – and power – to them.”

It is hoped that the site will be open by the end of October. Click here to read the report.
Karen Hooper

Exploring Beliefs launch success

A safe space to meet others

‘Exploring Beliefs’ is a peer led support group for people who identify themselves as experiencing or having experienced paranoia or fearful beliefs. It is a safe space where people can express themselves without feeling judged and the group is facilitated by people who have (or have had) similar experiences.

A successful launch attracted some 20 people at the Connect & Do Space, 107 Railton Road, Brixton, recently. Pictured are Vanessa, Roger, Barry and Charlie.

After light bites where people introduced themselves, facilitator Garry Ellison spoke about his lived experience of paranoia. “We split into three groups and asked people to discuss Beliefs, How some beliefs can become problematic and then How can we experience beliefs comfortably and safely?

“We all shared back to the group. This was just a taster and icebreaker to get people speaking to each other, then we shared and told people about the new group.”

The group meets every Thursday from 6.30pm-8pm at Mosaic Clubhouse, 65 Effra Rd, London SW2 1BZ.

Click here for flier

Evening Sanctuary launch cooks up a feast

Lammy nomination for five nights crisis support

The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative Evening Sanctuary launch was a moving occasion for all those who have been on the journey to establish an alternative to A&E for those facing crisis.

The Sanctuary was nominated for a Working Together 2016 Lammy Award (NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group) at a prestigious ceremony at Kia Oval on September 7. The team was one of six nominations in the category that celebrates a team or partnership that has worked effectively or efficiently to deliver clear benefits to the health of Lambeth people.

Evening Sanctuary launch

The launch was particularly special for hosts Mosaic Clubhouse whose members were invited to work alongside former Master Chef winner Tim Anderson in preparing the feast for the occasion.

Guests were treated to Japanese soul food courtesy of Nanban Japanese restaurant, Sister restaurant to Brixton’s Satay Bar who provided ingredients and the expertise of Tim who is their head chef.

Launching the event at the Living Well Partnership HQ, Councillor Jacqui Dyer, (Vice-Chair of NHS England Mental Health Taskforce and Co-Chair of Lambeth’s Black Health and Wellbeing Commission) said the venture was an important alternative to hospital and something she would have welcomed over the years in the experiences of her own family.

Denis O’Rourke, Commissioner in Mental Health and Integrated Services thanked those who had been part of the journey, and welcomed how co-production had brought together service users, carers, peer support, the voluntary sector and SLaM (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust). The vision was to ensure a joined up network for those facing crisis.

“The Sanctuary fills a huge gap in the provision of out of hours support for people in mental distress and a great example of the importance of designing and delivering services in collaboration with users of services,” he said.

Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporter Garry Ellison who has been working at the Sanctuary since the beginning, along with Mosaic Clubhouse volunteers, reflected on his own lived experience and how he had every faith in Sanctuary success.

Five nights a week

The Sanctuary has moved from a two-day to five-day service, Wednesday to Sunday, 6pm to 2am. As well as supporting people in a crisis the Sanctuary aims to get people involved in activities and back to life again.

Damien Biggam, Senior Support Worker illustrates this well with Arthur who, though in serious crises, he is now “taking part in reading groups, cooking groups and helping to build furniture and has become a natural excellent peer.”

Lenka, usually a daytime staff member at Mosaic observes how the same Mosaic principles apply in the Evening. “We listen, we get to know members, we encourage, we share the skills and by working side by side we gradually help them to see how much they are able to do. The most important thing for me is to keep offering. At the same time we learn something new from each other.

“I enjoyed working with Arthur. At the beginning I respected the fact that the Sanctuary is not the same as a work ordered day, and it is ok for people who use it just to sit and relax, if that’s what they feel like doing. But over time I have asked him to help me with clubhouse food shopping, to make a dinner, to type newsletter articles, and soon after he was making a dinner for us all. He has been also helping with a lot of technical stuff around Mosaic.”

Damien is pleased with outcomes thus far.

“We have had 100 per cent customer satisfaction and average move on score is 6.
Since the Sanctuary opened last May, there have been 28 referrals, seeing 18 people attending over 90 evenings.
Five Mosaic clubhouse members have been involved in co-production, totalling 1,241 volunteer hours.”

Mosaic Clubhouse Chief Executive, Maresa Ness says: “I feel really proud that Mosaic Clubhouse has been invited to host the Evening Sanctuary, a cutting edge alternative to in patient admission or A&E, that people living with mental health conditions and their carers, have been asking for in Lambeth for some time now. Congratulations to the Collaborative for listening and taking this forward, it is an excellent example of partnership working and creativity.”

Karen Hooper

2x Admin Support Worker roles for LWN and IPSA

At Thames Reach we are driven and committed to helping homeless and vulnerable people to live in decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives. Our vision is to end street homelessness and our aim is to achieve the highest standards and effectiveness in service delivery to vulnerable people.

Thames Reach are a committed organisation of the Living Well Network and would like to offer two roles that Thames Reach staff internally can apply for but also members of the wider Living Well Network and Collaborative organisations.

There are two exciting roles for the right individuals to join and support the work of innovative projects called the Living Well Network (LWN) Hub and the Integrated Personalised Support Alliance (IPSA). This is collaboration between a number of health, social and voluntary organisations to provide support to people in Lambeth with their mental health and wellbeing. The role LWN Hub will be based in Streatham at the Job Centre Plus and the IPSA role is based in Stockwell. The Administration Support Worker role is a key role in the project’s success.

We are looking for experienced administrators who is able to work across sites alongside a number of different staff from different organisations to ensure our competing demands are met. You must understand the needs of the people who are using the service but this role will be mainly administrative.

It is also essential that you have excellent IT skills, be able to organise and collate together information and data as and when required, support staff in writing reports and other documents and be an excellent communicator with both internal and external colleagues. You will also need to be emotionally resilient as working with many different people and organisations at times may be challenging.


Job Advert
Job Description and role profile
Supporting Statement

Please contact for further information regarding the post.

Creating sustainable job opportunities

Trading Places Spring update

First Step Trust’s (FST) Trading Places is a way to increase efforts to create sustainable work and employment opportunities for people unable to manage mainstream opportunities.

Councillor Jacqui Dyer, Vice Chair of the Mental Health Taskforce and Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Lambeth and Denis O’Rourke, Mental Health Commissioner were among those who worked alongside the workforce as colleagues recently.

The initiative encourages those who take part to report back to their companies enthused by this sustainable endeavour.

Says Ronnie Wilson, FST’s CEO, “Getting commercial work gives us the means to have control over our future without having to depend on funding; it also helps us provide employment opportunities and on the job training for people who have been excluded from the mainstream job market due to mental health or other disadvantages.”

A Black Tie dinner celebrating the initiative will be held at FST’s SMaRT Garage Unit in Woolwich on Wednesday 8 June.

Click here for the latest newsletter

Mosaic Clubhouse clinches national governance award

Tribute to trustees and commissioners

Mosaic Clubhouse, (Living Well Partnership hosts) has clinched a national award in the Charity Governance Awards, an exciting new not-for-profit initiative created to celebrate outstanding governance in charities both small and large.

Mosaic won the £5,000 Managing Turnaround category in the awards, sponsored by The Clothworkers Company (the categories focused on impact, board diversity, turnarounds and harnessing risk).

Maresa Ness, Chief Executive said judges were highly complimentary and highlighted commissioners and partners’ support, which had grown the Living Well Partnership.

“We are grateful to commissioners for forcing us to review everything we do,” she said. “We stuck to our values, we changed our systems and processes; it was a fundamental challenge that could have defeated us. We emerged more determined, more focused, more committed to the clubhouse model so that we didn’t lose the incredibly powerful changes in people’s lives that we have been privileged to lead and support. ”

The award she said reflected the hard work and support of Clubhouse trustees.

Peter Cardell, Chair of trustees described the transition as “a particularly difficult period in our history. We all pulled together and stuck to our values and despite the challenge emerged stronger and more determined than ever. ”

Maresa appeared on London Live TV after Mosaic had been shortlisted for the award. She spoke about the challenges the clubhouse had faced in the transition – see link below

Making it a hatrick

Mosaic is not shy of awards – last year Maresa won the prestigious COLLABORATION (INTEGRATION) AWARD in the Third Sector Care Awards, organised by CMM (Care Management Matters) and presented by Esther Rantzen.

This followed Mosaic’s international Clubhouse community being awarded the world’s largest humanitarian award, the Conrad N. Hilton prize worth 1.5 million dollars, presented to organisations that are doing extraordinary work to alleviate human suffering.

Karen Hooper

Anne Cooper: Artist’s Talk- The Salome Gallery

SHARP Art Exhibition

Dear All,
You are warmly invited to the Artist’s Talk at
The Salome Gallery
Sharp Team 308-312 Brixton Road
The Poetics Of The Everyday
Anne Cooper
Wednesday 11th May 1-3pm
1pm: Introduction by Mary Salome
1.15pm: Anne Cooper talks about her work
1.45-2.15pm Coffee Break
2.15pm: Questions and Answers
3pm: Close
Best wishes,
Mary Salome


In memory of Angela Morford

Peer Recovery Officer greatly valued

We were very sad to hear that our colleague Angela Morford passed away on Sunday after a brief but determined battle with cancer. Angela was our Peer Recovery Officer here in Psychological Interventions Clinic for outpatients with Psychosis (PICuP) and used her extensive experience to found and run a peer support service that was greatly valued and much appreciated by service users and professionals alike. Angela’s work was recognised when she recently won the SLaM Psychology and Psychotherapy Service User Involvement award for her work.

She came to us with many years of experience from founding and running the Time Out service which became a hugely influential peer-led support service in South London. Alongside her direct work in peer support, Angela also contributed to better mental health through teaching, training, interviewing professionals and acting as an insightful and compassionate advisor, drawing on both her professional and personal experiences of mental health services.

She will be greatly missed by colleagues, service users, and peer support mentors, among many others, for her work and inspiration.

Angela’s funeral will be held on Wednesday 4th May at 11am at Christchurch Eltham for those who would like to attend.

PICuP Clinic

Kieran’s news from Psychiatric Liaison frontline

Working with Solidarity’s peer supporters

Kieran Quirke, an A&E Psychiatric Liaison Nurse at Kings College Hospital talks to Karen Hooper on working with Solidarity in a Crisis peer support service.

KH: How does it feel to be introducing people to Solidarity in a Crisis peer support service when they present at A&E: it’s a different way of working?

KQ: It is refreshing in that it’s possible to offer people something very different to the usual services available. Often the patients we are referring are those who would mostly not require urgent support (such as admission or home treatment teams); we might be referring on to counselling, GPs or other support services, or even Community Mental Health Teams(CMHT), but in many cases there may be a delay before the person is actually seen. Solidarity appears to be able to offer an informal fast, responsive and positive emotional support to people and are filling a much needed gap in service provision.

KH: How has it been liaising with staff and peer supporters from Certitude/Solidarity in a Crisis?

KQ: I have had little contact in person with staff beyond meeting someone who came to A&E to provide us with some cards to give to patients, but staff have provided feedback in a few cases and this has been really nice to hear – in Liaison work you get used to not knowing on the most part what happens next in the lives of the people you see, so hearing positive results is always appreciated!

KH: Do you know how many people you have referred ? Are they people known to services or ‘new’ people? What sort of crises are they having?

KQ: I think in the region of 15-20; they have been a mix of known and unknown patients and presenting with a variety of crises, though a general feature in common is a sense of isolation and loneliness and often other additional social or circumstantial issues which have been exacerbating their low mood and anxiety.

KH: What do you have to know from people to be sure it’s an option you can offer them – issues around risk perhaps, does this change the thinking on this… to be able to explore crisis in a different way perhaps?

KQ: We have a range of services and options we can offer to patients depending on their presentations and what we are able to offer is often dependent on level of risk. As with other community treatment options we need to be able to have a sense that the patient can keep themselves safe at home, that they are capable of seeking help if further crises occur (using telephone helplines or returning to A&E for example) and given that the Solidarity staff may be meeting with them in person it is important to get a clear picture of the patient’s forensic history and whether there is any history or current ideas of harming others. Having Solidarity as a referral option does not change the way we look at risk but it does add another level of options often for patients who may have very chronic problems but might not have needs severe enough to warrant the involvement of secondary mental health services – though I think Solidarity can also fill a very important role in supporting people in the initial few days post attendance if they are awaiting a referral to secondary services.

KH: Do you think crisis can be cathartic?

KQ: Yes – in that for some people the process of simply attending A&E and speaking with someone (and sometimes revealing aspects of themselves or their lives they have never shared with anyone else) can be cathartic, though many of the people we see in A&E have complex and deep-rooted traumas which (in the context of the brief contact we have in Emergency Departments) require more of an emphasis on containment at the point we see them; for example it would be potentially dangerous to encourage a patient to share details of specific traumas they have experienced as part of a one-off assessment, and it may be the clinician’s role to explain this and guide them towards follow-up treatment in which this type of catharsis can occur safely.

KH: Have you had feedback from people you have referred?

KQ: Unfortunately not directly – the majority of people we see in A&E are isolated attendances so we do not have any follow-up. I have been informed once or twice by staff from Certitude how people have engaged though, and this has been very positive to hear.

KH: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your work thus far?

KQ: I qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse 15 years ago and have worked across a range of areas. I initially worked in addictions at the South London & Maudsley and Bethlem hospitals before starting work in the Westminster area, where I held posts at Great Chapel Street Medical Centre in Soho – as a clinical nurse specialist working with the homeless – and briefly at the London School of Economics supporting students with mental health difficulties. In 2010 I began work in Psychological Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and then moved to King’s last year to work on a year long project to introduce a triage role to the Psychiatric Liaison Team here.

How it works

Moyosore Obisanya, Solidarity Project Manager: The A&E peer support team is currently made up of 3 peer supporters (Charlie Wright, Stephanie Bennett Fraser and Rosetie Kafeero). They are based at 107 Railton Road, where we have our other community projects including the Connect and Do space and Community Connecting. We receive referrals via email from the Psychiatric Liaison teams at Kings College and Lewisham hospitals. Upon receiving a referral, the team will make contact with the peers and meet with them in the community Monday-Friday between 12-6pm at a mutually agreed place. The team provides emotional and listening support in the community over 2-3 sessions and signpost or support individuals to access long term support. This includes access to other peer related activities, voluntary organisations and health professionals.

When people are supported in the day, they are encouraged to contact the out of hours crisis line in the evenings and over the weekend if they require support. If peers give their permission, peer supporters on the crisis line will also contact individuals during those hours if they require support.

Solidarity in a Crisis phone line operates Mon – Fri, 6pm- 12am and Sat and Sun – 12pm – 12am.

Service user Workshop on Mental Health Crisis Care – 21 April

Tell us your views

Tell us your views on how we can improve London’s mental health crisis care. 
2pm – 4pm Thursday 21st April, ORTUS learning and events centre, 82 – 96 Grove Lane, Camberwell, SE5 8SN
Healthy London Partnership (HLP)would like to invite service users to participate in a workshop focused on improving mental health crisis care.
In London there has been a 9% increase in section 136 detentions over the past year, this is occurring whilst there continues to be significant issues in the variability and quality of care delivered along the pathway. To improve the consistency and quality of care, HLP is working with London’s crisis care system to develop a Health-Based Place of Safety specification and s136 care pathway. These documents will set the minimum standard of care services should offer ensuring the quality of care the service user experiences is of a consistent high standard.
A key part of improving London’s mental health crisis care system is to ensure current services and care meets the needs and expectations of service users. We would like service users to attend our workshop to help us develop the Health-Based Place of Safety specification and wider s136 pathway. This will be an opportunity for service users to tell us what’s important for improving crisis care. This may include views on areas such as: 
  • What type of environment would make you feel safe and supported in a crisis?
  • How can staff best support you?
  • What should be available to you during a mental health crisis?
  • How can crisis care plans be improved? 
  • What support should be available to you following your care?
To register your interest email or call 01138 070082. 
For more information on the work of Healthy London Partnership, please visit
Healthy London Partnership – Transforming London’s health and care together
4th floor, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT
Healthy London Partnership is a collaboration between all London CCGs and NHS England London region to support the delivery of better health in London 

Anne Cooper photography exhibition – 4 April – 30 May

The Poetics of the Everyday

You are warmly invited to the private view of Anne Cooper exhibition.  Please come and support the artist.


The Poetics of the Everyday

Anne Cooper

Private View: Monday 4TH April 2016 5-8pm

Exhibition;  4th April to 30th May  2016

The Social Inclusion, Hope and Recovery Project (SHARP) is hosting a solo show of photography by Anne Cooper


Artist’s Talk: Wednesday 11th May 2016 1-3pm

Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm (by appointment only)

On Fridays 1pm-3pm open to all

At: SHARP, The Salome Gallery, 308-312 Brixton Road, SW9 6AA,  020 3228 7050


For info contact: or

Curated by Mary Salome



Trading Places April update

Collaborative members join prototype

Living Well Collaborative members Bill Tidnam, Director of Operations, Thames Reach and Lambeth NHS Clinical Commissioning Group Chair Adrian McLachlan were among those taking part in First Step Trust’s innovative Trading Places prototype in March. Click here to find out how they got on.

Lambeth Living Well Network Hub latest report

Shaping wellbeing with prevention at its heart


 The Living Well Network Hub has released its first report since it went borough-wide in June 2015. The report highlights how this new ‘front door’ to mental health services has been reshaping the wellbeing landscape.

The Hub has in the period July – December 2015 –

Offered personalised support to 1056 people

Reduced referrals to secondary care by 32 per cent
Reduced Community Mental Health Team caseloads by 25 per cent
Supported 70 people to be discharged from secondary care with the help of a newly developed medication management service and GP+
Started to change the culture and develop different ways of working with Living Well Network staff  and influence and train partners
Key recommendations in the report focus on
Sustaining the Hub and continuing to impact the wider system
Working with GPs in a more systematic way to support people
Increase connections with local communities and networks to encourage more people to introduce themselves to get support quicker
Next steps are to develop a wider alliance incorporating local authority and Clinical Commissioning Group services that put a preventative model of care at its heart.
Click here to read the report
Karen Hooper

Trading Places puts trust in top brass

Initiative challenges mental health stigma

Bob captures the essence of First Step Trust’s Trading Places initiative when he says, “The stigma around mental health is corrosive, it gets you down. First Step Trust (FST) gave me the chance to break away from welfare benefits”… Despite the ups and downs, “I see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bob has been one of the volunteer FST workforce given the chance to move into employment as part of this inspiring prototype, which was launched last year.

It offered senior executives the opportunity to ‘trade places’ with a member of FST’s workforce for a few hours, either at its Abbeyvilles’ restaurant in Clapham or at its garages in West Norwood or Woolwich. The executive was able to reciprocate with an opportunity for one of FST’s workers to either shadow them for a day or spend some time at their workplace.

Trading Places brought benefits to both sides:
• senior executives met people with mental health problems and other disadvantages on an equal footing – everyone was there to do a job of work.
• this has helped to dispel some of the myths about mental illness that lead to stigma and disadvantage in the workplace.
• the experience has benefited FST workers and help them to gain the confidence to move on into paid work.
it is hoped it has encouraged senior executives to consider partnerships with social enterprises, such as FST, when letting or bidding for work contracts.

Nicholas Campbell-Watts, Director of Mental Health at Certitude, and Lambeth Collaborative member had a great time working alongside the team at Abbevilles. ” Everyone I spoke to had a personal story about why they were so passionate about working there. It was so obvious how much every person’s contribution is valued by the team which does such a lot for everyone’s self-esteem! To do all that in a commercial setting producing amazing locally sourced food…is pretty special.”

Socially Minded and Responsible Trading

Meanwhile, Paul Lelliot, Deputy Chief Inspector of the Care Quality Commission, “learnt how to make a mean soufflé” at the restaurant, while Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Jobs & Growth Lambeth had a really good day at the West Norwood SMaRT garage. “The workforce are a really vibrant bunch who relish the challenges facing them in the garage. Creating sustainable training and job opportunities for people excluded from other opportunities is an essential part of Lambeth Council’s plans for the future,” he says. “SMaRT stands for “Socially Minded and Responsible Trading”. My experience today confirms that FST ‘does what it says it does on the tin’. Keep up the good work!!”

Ronnie Wilson, FST’s CEO speaks passionately for those often disenfranchised when he says “a few years ago, some of these folk would never have had the opportunity to even consider returning to work… First Step Trust (FST) manages social enterprises that allow people to experience real work as the first step of their journey back into paid employment.”

There is overwhelming evidence that employment in a healthy work environment is good for people. It provides meaning and structure to a person’s day and creates a sense of being part of society and of a wider community. This applies equally to people, who because of mental health problems, are unable to hold down a job with a mainstream employer either temporarily or longer-term.

The provision of work for people with mental health problems has wider benefits by reducing people’s dependency on health and social care services, reducing dependency on welfare benefits and reduction in poverty.

Rachel Hubbard, CEO of Deaf Umbrella whose stint reminded her of the times when her father worked in his garage, sums up the venture beautifully when she says, “SMaRT garages fight for the right to be treated with dignity and the right to be educated. It’s overalls and dressed like work; but really it’s a massive opportunity!”

Watch this space for more information on how Trading Places may be extended.

For more information about First Step Trust

Click here to read how the top brass coped on the frontline

Click here for the January update.

Click here to see how MP Helen Hayes and others fared in February.

Karen Hooper

Carers Forum – Create and Relax – March 15

Book now – don’t miss out!

The next Lambeth Carers Forum is all about You. There will be taster relaxation sessions and a chance to explore your inner artist, poet and writer. Sessions to ‘create’ will run from 10-12 noon – you will have a chance to try a number of activities; book in at 9.30am. There will be a light lunch and you will get a chance to network with others and then join the ‘relax’ part of the afternoon.

The event will be at We Are 336, 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA and you must book in advance as places are limited. Click here for more information.

Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care (SLIC) Programme

Resilience Interest Group celebrates on March 1

The Resilience Interest Group, which is part of the Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care (SLIC) Programme is holding its final meeting on Tuesday March 1. It will be celebrating its successes, presenting an evaluation and looking at how the work can be taken forward when the programme ends in March.

It will also highlight the impact the Resilience Programme has had on the project teams and on the system through culture change, value and sustainability. The projects attending include: outcomes based micro-commissioning of grass roots communities in Vassall and Coldharbour, the Community Connectors programme, Age UK SAIL Navigation based in General Practice and the Primary Care Navigators training programme.

For more information –

Karen Hooper

Project DARE! Body image and confidence workshops – BY service users, FOR service users

Spring Dare dates – don’t miss out

“All of our participants have moved from ‘below average’ wellbeing and body image psychological scales to ‘average’ levels,” says Ursula Joy speaking proudly of those taking part in the six-week Body image and confidence (Body Adoration) workshops she has been running since 2013.

While the figures and outcomes (see below) pack a powerful punch, it is the shapeshifting and creative qualities of its inventor (acting, peer support, comedy, cabaret and science, to name but a few) that make this project so Daringly different.

At its heart, Project DARE!, “smells of lavender, sometimes vanilla, it is a calm, focused, loving place where all are equal. It tastes of the future and sounds like the welcomes and greetings you receive when you visit home…”

At ‘home’ in Lambeth, South London, Ursula outlines the visionary Project DARE, a not-for-profit social enterprise she has built on her lived experience of mental health and vast archeology of her life. Her mission… “to help people feel better in their own skin so they can move forwards with their lives”.

On January 29, she launched another six-week Body image and confidence (Body Adoration) workshop, which was booked up from when it was first advertised. Don’t miss out, another course kicks off on February 25.

The project has reached some 200 young people and adults, including those with mental health issues and unemployed. It has recently released it’s first impact assessment/report which should further whet the appetite of commissioners in mental and public health and education.

“Everyone taking the workshops moves from below average to normal/average on wellbeing and body image scales, says Ursula, “and average levels of self esteem shift to normal by week six of the programme.”

“I am more confident to try new things. My body is beautiful, I can reclaim my sexuality after years of abuse, ” says one Darer, in a moving testimonial.

Says Ursula: “What surprised us most is that our groups report feeling more sociable and have more ability to do daily tasks and work, moving from ‘severely impaired’ to significant/moderate categories on Project DARE! measures.

“Also, half of those taking part want to give something back by volunteering, others want to stay in touch or recommend DARE! sessions to their friends.”

At a time when statistically obesity, self-harm in young women and suicide in men is on the rise in the UK, Project DARE! nurtures positive relationships with body, food and mind.

“Each of us have a special body and you realise you don’t have to do a lot…” says Nina, in a moving testimonial about the workshop, see Social Impact report below.

Call to action

Ursula calls on commissioners to seize the opportunity and recognise the community value and social impact of the project and invest in it further to make it more sustainable and able to be scaled up.

“I find theatre, arts, group work and collaboration with people with lived experience within mental and public health changes lives, ” she says. “At Project DARE! we’re proud to be able to provide the environment for people to feel empowered to make changes on their own, long after the course has completed. As a former patient of both primary and secondary health services, I have had a very difficult journey managing my personal wellbeing. I am currently working full-time and founded Project DARE! Body Adoration based on my passion to make a difference and I’m building the project around my current work commitments. The program has excellent outputs and a queue of hopeful candidates waiting for a place on the course.”

Project DARE! inspires by setting participants ‘dares’ to do each day, which help build resilience. When individuals are inspired they can live full lives, both mentally and physically. For the most marginalised, being able to nurture a positive body image and positive mind gives people confidence to access health services, education, to become more sociable and reconnect to their community and job opportunities.

Project DARE! exemplifies the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative (and the wider Living Well Network) ethos to address people’s issues in the community, with their GP or groups/ activities that help them to become more resilient; the aim to meet the Collaborative’s big 3 outcomes for people

To recover & stay well
To make their own choices
Participate on an equal footing in daily life.

Ursula has been part of this innovative journey (she is represented at the Living Well Network’s Open Mornings, held on the last Thursday of the month, at the Living Well Partnership (hosted by Mosaic) at 65 Effra Road, Brixton.)

Among her funders, Ursula received a small Lambeth Clinical Commisioning Group Innovation grant and support to incubate and grow the project, and has also been funded by the London Community Foundation (Building Communities in Coldharbour initiative). The Foundation’s Victoria Warne said Project DARE! has an extremely positive effect on the mental and physical health of Darers (participants) and their families at a time when “people’s relationships with food and their bodies are often at the forefront of everyone’s mind”.

It’s about people living their lives to the full,while working creatively to prevent people reaching crisis point when they may need the support of secondary care. A mental health bed costs approximately £450 a day, while Project DARE! workshops cost £425 per person for six weeks. “It’s cost effective and has a proven track record of restoring people’s self esteem,” says Ursula.

Laura Williams, Assistant psychologist and counsellor (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust) was impressed by a safe and creative space where everyone was valued in the workshops; ‘the emphasis was on personal freedom and expression’ and as sessions progressed ‘individual personalities, opinions and experiences shone through’.

Professional advice

Project DARE! offers a myriad of routes to clients, the community and professionals.

Clients can use their personal budgets or other types of funding to pay for their place on a course.

People can be referred by their GP, charities, or they can self-refer for a concessionary place, if they are not receiving support from their local health authority

Healthcare Professionals can either:

Book a full course for up to 15 people – for their clients/team… OR
Refer individual clients onto courses that run throughout the year.

The next Spring of Dares six-week workshop:

Thursdays – starting 25 February – SPACES AVAILABLE
six weeks, 3 March, 10 March, 17 March, 24, March, completing 7 April:
10.30am – 3.30pm

For more information contact – 07507530929,

Click here to read the Social Impact Report
Click here for Ursula’s website for more information.

Karen Hooper

Frontline teams keep services live

Breaking the stigma

Congratulations to the teams that kept out-of-hours activities and services going over the festive season and New Year. The Living Well Partnership (hosted by Mosaic), the Evening Sanctuary, Solidarity in a Crisis out of hours peer support (SiaC, Certitude) and the new 24 hour mental health support line (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, SLaM, which is also working with SiaC) – all part of the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative vision to address people’s problems before they reach breaking point.

Victoria Glen-Day, Clinical Service Lead for Centralised services, said of the new free support line: “We have had over 700 calls since we launched on December 18 with a vast majority of people offering positive feedback. This includes both new callers and those known to the services, as well as carers and people outside London.

“Staff have very much found that listening, offering acknowledgement, discussing options and knowing they can ring again, have been key to a successful call.”

At the Evening Sanctuary on New Year’s Eve, Senior Support Worker Damien Biggam (pictured above right) was busy cooking pizza for the team – (pictured left to right) Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporter Vanessa, Support Worker Michael, and Mosaic member volunteer Mildred; in the background that night was a service user who said he has found support at the Sanctuary invaluable when he is struggling and facing crisis. The team was looking forward to supporting more people and growing Sanctuary hours in 2016.

Solidarity makes headlines

Meanwhile, congratulations to Solidarity in a Crisis who were featured in the South London Press, and on ITV Good Morning Britain on New Year’s Eve. The feature was about how the festive season can be especially difficult for many and services and support like this can make such a great difference and also help to break the stigma of mental health.

Said Aisling Duffy, Chief Executive of Certitude: “People call Solidarity in a Crisis for many reasons; they may be feeling suicidal or isolated and lonely. What callers have in common is that they simply want to be listened to or to have someone to talk to. Breaking the stigma so more people feel able to ask for help at times of crisis is so important. We are therefore so pleased to have Solidarity featured on ITV News. Huge thanks go to Kenny, Yuet-Yee, Rosetie and Jessica – all of whom were filmed for this feature. We are very proud of them all.”

The 24 hour mental health support line no: 0800 731 2864

Karen Hooper

Living Well Lab explores stories

Join next design session February 25

The Living Well Lab, which is facilitated by the Innovation Unit is a space where those involved with the Living Well Network, including staff from the Living Well Network Hub (the Hub) can explore what they are doing through the stories of people they have been working with.

The design sessions offer an opportunity to pursue new ideas and to further develop the network.

The 2nd Living Well Lab was held at Mosaic Clubhouse, in Brixton in December. Staff followed the stories of two people who had recently used the Hub, which is based in Streatham, to understand their experiences and to see if there were things the Hub could do differently. They explored the opportunities each story had presented and came up with ideas that they could test out.

The next Lab will be open to anyone who would like to attend and will be held on Thursday, 25 February at 1.30pm.

Please email: if you are interested in attending.

Click here for more information.

Happy New Year 2016 – Collaborative resolutions

2015 in achievements

We asked Collaborative members two questions to celebrate 2015 and bring in 2016.

Name one achievement of 2015 that your organisation is most proud of in relation to collaborative working.

Please share your 2016 collaborative new year’s resolution. This is what people said.

Jessica Agudelo, Projects Development Manager, Certitude

2015: We extended Solidarity in a Crisis to two new boroughs and as a result the hours of provision were extended, and 6 new peer supporters were recruited to support the crisis line and the new A&E programme. In addition, our community connecting teams and the peer support network have been proactive in connecting people with the wider community and recruiting more people with lived experience to support the delivery of these.

2016: I am looking forward to continuing working partnerships with the Living Well Network and fully integrating Solidarity in a Crisis with the 24 hour SLaM support line, other crises services and the voluntary sector. We are rebranding the Peer Support Network to Connect & Do Social Space so we hope to engage and involve more people we support in a range of activities and social events.

Mark Bertram, Manager, Vocational Services, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)

2015: Our learning about what works – grounded in people’s insight

2016: To continue to learn and be passionate

Fran Bristow, Programme Director (Adult Mental Health Development Programme), SLaM

2015: Working more closely with the wider collaborative including the borough wide hub development and developing the rehab alliance

2016: To ensure the development of the Early Intervention services link with the wider collaborative and make the most of the Living Well Network.

Aisling Duffy, Chief Executive Officer, Certitude

2015: Really pleased that the Alliance is operational with a stronger integrated community offer and fewer people being admitted to inpatient and residential care than previously.

2016: Look forward to continuing the collaborative journey, bringing in more partners as we collectively enable more people to get the support they need at home and in their local community.

Sue Field, Director Provider Alliance Group (PAG)

2015: The success of the Alliance

2016: To continue to learn from all our work in 2016 and involve more people in this process.

Adrian McLachlan, Chair, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

2015: Sadly, shortlisted again, but not the winner in the Health Service Journal awards, this year for Innovation in Mental Health – our collaborative work and the work of the Lambeth Collaborative featured large. We also had a good bit of media attention.

2016: I’d still like to see good level national recognition of what we’re doing, and most importantly, how we’re doing it.

David Monk, Chair, The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative

2015: Was pleased by our growing connections and our work to reduce crisis

2016: Really excited by what we might learn from Open Dialogue and hope that we become a new research site for the Open Dialogue model

Maresa Ness, Chief Executive Officer, Mosaic Clubhouse( hosts of Living Well Partnership)

2015: This has been a really positive year at the Living Well Partnership, hosted by Mosaic Clubhouse. We have really loved meeting so many different people and organisations at the monthly open events of the Living Well Network; it is impressive to see the network in action. We are really excited to have been given the opportunity to establish an Evening Sanctuary with our partners in the network. This was an initiative that has been discussed and planned with service users and carers for a very long time, so to be able to finally set it up and offer an alternative for people seeking support out of hours is an honour.

2016: We really hope that 2016 will bring an extension to five nights a week at the Evening Sanctuary, a valuable resource.

Bill Tidnam, Director of Housing and Community Support, Thames Reach

2015: I think that the establishment of the Living Well Network Hub in Streatham, and the development of the IPSA (Integrated Personalised Support Alliance) are both great examples of how the ambition of the Collaborative to do things differently and better are being put into practice, and beginning to make a real difference to people’s lives.

2016: For the New Year, I’d like to see us doing more of this, and thinking about how we can make sure that people who use or have used services can participate in delivery.

Emma Willing, Programme Manager, Programme Alliance Group

2015: This year we have opened the Living Well Network Hub across the whole borough and our service is supporting more people in Lambeth, we are also able to support people who introduce themselves.

2016: To continue to support people in a way that they want support and ensure that people who use the Living Well Network are continuously involved in developing it.

Ronnie Wilson,Chief Executive Officer, First Step Trust

2015: Good to see progress and the creation of employment opportunities for people with lived experience in a number of existing and new services. Looks like we’ve got more or less everything in place to provide a range of in and out of hours support.

2016: Looking forward to seeing and expansion in the range and scope of sustainable employment opportunities in the wider community.

Karen Hooper

Evening Sanctuary opens three nights with Fridays

New referral routes and a 24-hour mental health support line

The Evening Sanctuary has opened for a third night on Fridays from 6pm-2am and will be open over Christmas and New Year.

Meanwhile, the first  24-hour mental health support line was launched on December 18 by the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM). The new helpline will work collaboratively with PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) and Solidarity in a Crisis peer support project, across Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Croydon.

The line is for service users, carers and anyone who needs advice, help and assistance while in crisis or facing difficulties dealing with mental illness and brings a more coordinated response and easier access to support.

Martin Baggaley, medical director at SLaM, said: “This is a really significant step forward in helping people who are going through a mental health crisis and is the first 24/7 telephone service for the trust.

“Calls will be answered by a nurse and we will then explore with callers the reasons why they have contacted us and identify what can help at that time and for the future.

“We will be working collaboratively with both PALS and Solidarity in a Crisis to provide the widest range of options to help.”

The number is 0800 731 2864
This is the same number that takes patients through to PALS. The support service was developed in line with the Crisis Concordat and is part of all borough action plans and is jointly funded by the four borough’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporter Garry Ellison, welcomed the new line. He said: “There are many times when people need help and have previously only been able to receive it between 9 and 5. Even knowing such a service exists has helped my wellbeing and I am sure it will help many others. This service has huge potential.”

Solidarity in a Crisis will also offer a service over the Christmas period for those who want to speak directly to a peer supporter.

Evening Sanctuary  – open on Fridays and festive season

The Sanctuary, based at the Living Well Partnership (LWP) Brixton, opened in May (Wednesday and Thursdays, 6pm-2am) offering an alternative to those presenting in crisis at A&E at Kings and Guys& St Thomas’ hospitals. Until now, people have been referred by the hospitals’  Psychiatric Liaison teams. Once referred they can be picked up or make their own way to the Effra Road base and go home by taxi if they wish. The Sanctuary is staffed by two senior support workers and member volunteers (Mosaic) and peer supporters from Solidarity in a Crisis.

The Sanctuary grew out of the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative’s  crisis house work and is a good example of co-design coming to fruition involving service users, peer supporters, carers, the voluntary sector and statutory services.

Mosaic member and volunteer Matthew who has been a permanent fixture since the move to open the Evening Sanctuary on Fridays says,   “I think extending the hours was perfectly timed to coincide with, for what some can be, a difficult time of the year.”

“This has been echoed by the feedback from our most recent attendee,” adds Support Worker Freddy. “I  agree that opening three days is poignant and useful at this time of year and we look forward to welcoming people from Lambeth and Southwark through our doors over the Christmas period.”

The Sanctuary will be open at different hours over the festive season – 5 – 10pm  on Christmas Eve and will provide a service during the day from 10am-6pm. On New Year’s Eve, it will open  5 – 10pm and on New Year’s Day,  11am – 3pm. See below.

Trialling referral routes

“It’s been an interesting journey so far,” says Freddy, who has been working at the Sanctuary since it opened. “It’s really worth it to know how big a difference the team can make to a person’s day. I continue to be excited to make connections with our referrers and to help whoever comes through our doors as best we can.”

Maresa Ness, Chief Executive of Mosaic Clubhouse, (LWP hosts) is keen to drive the project forward and is trialling the expansion of referrals to more teams plus Mosaic Clubhouse members.  This may include community mental health teams and those in touch with Solidarity in a Crisis, but it must have been agreed during the day so that there is the relevant information to support people.

“We can’t take anyone without a risk assessment, which is usual practice, but people can present to the information service during the day so that we can get to know them,” she states.

“Two members have used the sanctuary in recent weeks, they are people who usually end up in police cells and  then are detained for a lengthy period. We have managed to nip that in the bud for both of them. When you think we helped over 600 people in the clubhouse last year and 400+ in the information hub, if we can start to impact on those people’s lives out of hours we will be doing an amazing thing.”

A calming environment

Bernard  is one of those who sought Sanctuary recently. “I said to Maresa, ‘I don’t feel good, it’s really bad, it was very bad that night. After years of struggling and ending up in police cells Bernard  had got to a point where he could identify that he was getting unwell and was able to go to the Sanctuary that night. “Somebody came to pick me up, one member and a peer supporter from Solidarity in a Crisis. They brought me to the sanctuary; we sat down, had a chat, I had a sandwich, watched a film…

“Spending time in a police cell is like waiting to be killed,” adds Bernard of his  traumatic experiences over the years. “You are down in the cell, without a watch and you only know the time by the meals, it’s not an appropriate place to be when you are mentally unwell.” He adds that hospital also can be frightening, “there are people who are more unwell than you are and are aggressive and hard to avoid, you need a more calming environment. ”

That’s why ongoing Clubhouse support, as well as friends and family worked for him. Of his visit to the Sanctuary: ” I said, ‘all I want is an hour or so’…  and I got it, reassurance.”

Pictured above, left to right: Maresa, Beverley (Programme Manager), Freddy and Damien, Senior Support Worker at Evening Sanctuary.

Street Triage goes 24 hours

As well as the new support line, SLaM has reviewed the street triage telephone service that was piloted for one year and will be opening up the line 24 hours a day. This enables a front line professional to ring the team 24/7 on 0203 228 0136 when in contact either in the street or in private premises with people whom they believe may be in mental distress.

The overall aim of the team is to work collaboratively including directly with the person to gain the best possible outcome from their contact with emergency services.

Click here for Christmas and New Year hours and Sanctuary hours
Click here to read Matt’s story

Click here to read Anna ‘s story
Click here to read the journey of a thousand miles
Click here to read Garry shares night of solidarity
Click here for Solidarity in a Crisis Christmas and New year opening hours

Karen Hooper

Lambeth mayor praises star carers

Winter celebration at Hideaway

Carers Hub Lambeth welcomed carers to a winter celebration at the Hideaway Bar in Streatham. Carers enjoyed a quiz, lunch and raffle with prizes coming from donors including Hideaway, the Manor Arms, the Earl Ferrers Pub and Lambeth Council, with a special cake from NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group, CCG. The Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Donatus Anyanwu gave a speech praising carers in the borough, who he called ‘stars’ who work while many council staff are sleeping. He is pictured with a star carer and Adrian McLachlan, Chair of the CCG who also thanked carers at the event. Adrian is also pictured with Robert Hill, Learning Disabilities Carers’ Advice, Support & Development Worker, Lambeth Mencap.

Visit to sign up to the Carers Hub email list where future events will be publicised.

Tree of Life team takes top award

Growing recovery and compassion on wards

Life is blossoming for the Tree of Life team (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, SLaM) following its success at the National Mental Health Positive Practice Awards at the Hilton Hotel, Newcastle.

The team won the Diversity and Equality in Service Delivery award and was Highly Commended in the Patient Experience category.

The project aims to promote recovery and compassion on wards through growing more positive relationships between staff and service users. In the co-led workshops, service users and staff come together to draw their own tree (a form of ‘narrative therapy’) and create a forest together.

The team was set up by Dr Julie Fraser, a clinical psychologist at SLaM who recruited assistant psychologist Laura Williams to train ten service users from the community to co-facilitate the workshops on wards. Maggie Hayes, Ursula Joy and Ubong Akpan have been working on the project since the beginning and run workshops across SLaM every week. The team also provides training to SLaM teams and teaching sessions at the Recovery College.

The team’s success just keeps rolling. Says Julie: “The Tree of Life workshops on the wards has been submitted to the Race Equality Foundation as an example of good practice and our work was also mentioned in the recent SLaM Care Quality Commission report under ‘good practice on acute wards’.

“Following the Maudsley charity two year funding, we have been funded until the end of March 2016 by SLaM. We are currently running workshop three times a week across the 17 acute and three Psychiatric inpatient care units.” The team recently took part in a film, financed by the Maudsley charity, and directed/produced by the Recovery College filmmaker Steve Tart. It will be used for training, recruitment, publicity and education purposes. They were also interviewed by Radio 4’s All in the Mind programme, which will be broadcast in December.

Click here to read Ursula’s blog about her Tree of Life experience.

Click here for more information on the Awards Body.

Maggie Hayes and Karen Hooper

The Collaborative Borough Wide event 15 December

Come and join us on the 15 December from 10-5pm at the KIA Oval.


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The Collaborative will be holding a borough wide event on 15 December 2015 from 10-5pm. The event is open to anyone who is interested in Mental Health Services within Lambeth, whether you are someone who uses services, a carer, citizen of Lambeth, front line staff, voluntary and community sector or a commissioner. 


The event will provide an update on the Collaborative workstreams (Living Well Network, Integrated Personalised Support Alliance, SLaM Adult Mental Health redesign).

There will also be development workshops taking place on how we grow the Living Well Network through the following areas: 

1.    Changing Cultures/Working differently - looking at new ways of working together
2.    Employment - how do we increase employment and vocational opportunities
3.    Crisis out of Hours – what do we do next to further develop options of crisis
4.    Housing – how do we support people to stay in their homes
5.    Information including digital – how do we improve access to information and advice, including digital
6.    Early Intervention in Psychosis – how do we improve access to early intervention in psychosis

To register your preference of workshop choice please click here.

Mental Health awareness training 'taster session' 

From 8.30 - 9.45am there will be a mental health awareness training 'taster session' taking place in the Australia Room before the event starts. If you are interested in coming along to this please email Natalie Sutherland on

To view the agenda for the day, please click here

Look forward to seeing you on the day! 

Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2015

Collaborative shortlisted for Innovation in Mental Health

The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative should be proud that its work was recognised in this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, says Denis O’Rourke, Commissioner and member of the Collaborative – NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group’s mental health flagship.

Denis believes the Collaborative was a strong contender for the Innovation in Mental Health category because, “innovation can be a way forward when services are financially challenged”.

This was a sentiment reflected in the opening remarks of HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, at an elaborate award ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on November 18.

The awards were a celebration which, “feels all the more important during challenging years”, he said, “an important reminder that, in spite of the difficulties, those working in the health service are dedicated to delivering the best possible care”.

The Collaborative nomination was one of 23 categories in what has become the annual celebration of healthcare’s best for three decades. The event, hosted by broadcaster Clare Balding drew a record 1,603 entries.

The Collaborative was a strong contender for the award. It addressed the austere times, illustrating how investment in frontline primary care and people’s assets can curtail costly secondary services. In its presentation on why it should win the award it outlined the Collaborative approach on

– co-designing and co-delivery whole system change
– a strong and committed collaborative platform
– and, improving people’s lives for the better.

Says Denis: “The HSJ awards are in part an acknowledgement that whilst we are all financially challenged there’s still a lot we can do to improve services through innovation. The Lambeth Collaborative submission highlighted the value of collaboration across the whole system to meet better outcomes for people. We should proud that our work was recognised.”

Winning entry

The Innovation in Mental Health award was won by Haringey Adolescent Outreach Team at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust and Partners for its Time 2 Talk project – raising awareness about emotional wellbeing and challenging mental health stigma in a whole school approach.

The project used personal case studies, drama, film making, teaching and peer support to tackle mental ill health issues. The Boy in the Mask film provided a framework for the development of lesson plans for a module about mental health and emotional wellbeing for year 9 and 10 students.

Mentors were then chosen to support the emotional wellbeing of their peers; training and guidance was developed for staff and parents; and a mental health policy was developed for the whole school. The trust said the project had much to offer other schools, and showed the potential of empowering young people.

The Innovation in Mental Health category finalists were:

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust – Support, hope and recovery online network for eating disorders
Big White Wall – Big White Wall digital mental wellbeing service
Central and North West London Foundation Trust – Mental health street triage service
Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust – WellMind app
Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, Cheshire Police and 5 Boroughs Partnership – Operation Emblem
Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group – Lambeth Living Well Collaborative
Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and Corby Clinical Commissioning Group – Northamptonshire mental health stigma programme
Oxleas Foundation Trust – HeadScape: supporting children’s wellbeing
Six Degrees Social Enterprise CIC – New roots in dementia care
Worcestershire Health and Care Trust – Supporting health and promoting exercise (SHAPE) project for young people with psychosis and bipolar disorder

For more information visit

Karen Hooper

Carers December dates – book now

Meditation and relaxation, advice, art therapy and a winter celebration

There’s lots of interesting events ahead for carers to bring winter cheer in the chilly climes.

All you need to do is to call Ruth on 020 7501 8974 at Lambeth Carers Hub if you plan to come to any event below (apart from the advice drop-in, where no booking is necessary). This is so they can cater for the right number of people and send text reminders on the day.

What’s on offer?
Meditation & Relaxation for families/ friends supporting someone with mental health needs (recent former carers are also welcome) – Wednesday 2 December, 6-8pm in the meeting room at Mosaic (Living Well Partnership) 65 Effra Road, SW2 1BZ. Meditation and relaxation will be 6-7pm led by an experienced practitioner; 7-8pm will be time to talk about your experiences of relaxing and meditating.

Advice and information drop in – Thursday 3 December, 1-5pm at 336 Brixton Road, Ground Floor. Come along to get advice, information and support related to supporting someone with mental health needs, or your own needs such as finances. Waiting times are normally between 0-15 minutes.

Legal Clinic – 20 minute appointments with a solicitor from 5-7pm, 336 Brixton Road
December 17, Wills and Probate Advice
January 7, Family Law advice

Art Therapy Open Studio – The Carers Hub is now able to offer members an Art Therapy Open Studio, every Friday from 10.30-12.00 beginning 4 December in the fully accessible ground floor gallery space at SHARP, 312 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6AA.

The Art Therapy Open Studio is:

● A space to be creative and experiment
● a time for yourself
● a space to socialise with others who care for someone
● a safe space to share feelings and experiences around caring

The Art Therapy Open Studio is a supportive space to explore your creativity . You can use it as a time for yourself, or to meet and talk to others, or as a safe space to share feelings and experiences. You do not need to have any prior familiarity with art. There will be a range of art materials in the room including paints, pastels, pencils and collage and you will be helped and encouraged to experiment and see what happens.

The Open Studio is a confidential space and will be facilitated by Oliver Campbell who is a qualified and registered Art Therapist. The focus of the group will be on creativity and unlike a closed art therapy group you are free to attend when you wish.

Click here for more information about the Carers Hub Winter Celebration on December 8

World Aids Day 2015

Get tested and take control of your health

December 1 is World Aids Day and residents are again being encouraged to get tested for   HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and to wear a red ribbon, the universal symbol for HIV, uniting with people around the world in the fight against the virus. World Aids Day marks support for the 34 million people worldwide living with HIV and for those 35 million people who have lost their battle against the disease.

HIV attacks the body’s immune system and is contracted through infected bodily fluids, most commonly through sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles or syringes. A HIV test – a simple blood test or saliva test can provide essential diagnosis to reduce the risk of serious illness and to stop the spread of the condition.

This year the headline from Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group is that with early detection and appropriate treatment “someone living with HIV should have a near average life expectancy now”, says Chair Adrian McLachlan. Therefore in addition to preventative safer sex and avoiding blood borne transmission such as unsafe injecting practices, “we are actively promoting testing to avoid late diagnosis”.

Test test test

“Last week was National HIV Testing Week and I think that should be the message again for World Aids Day,”echoes Pandora, who was diagnosed 11 years ago.

“Test test test… Only if you know your status can you take control of your health.”

Do it London

London’s boroughs have got together to tackle the high incidence of HIV in the capital in a media campaign called Do it London, which is promoting testing. Meanwhile, the Safer Partnership will be delivering HIV prevention initiatives locally for Lambeth, holding events to encourage and offer free, easy and confidential testing for HIV.

Find out more by clicking here

Africa Advocacy invites you to World AIDS Day 2015

1 Dec 2015 – 2 – 6pm

All Saints Community Centre, 105 New Cross Road, London, SE14 5DJ

Focus on HIV prevalence, co-infections, mental health and self-management.

Delicious buffet will be served.

Further information on tel no: 020 8698 4473/07533620011 or email:

For more information on World Aids Day visit

Karen Hooper

Brixton Reel Film Festival

Free feel-good films 10-15 November

The pioneering film festival celebrating community mental wellbeing returns to Lambeth with exciting, feel-good FREE events to cheer up November. These include Urban Wotever – a dedicated Black LGBT performance event on Tuesday 10 November at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. On Saturday 14 there is a special free screening and Q&A of the African-Caribbean focused feature Looking for Love (2015) at the Karibu Centre, Brixton. On Sunday 15 we turn up the heat with a Latin American event and screening of salsa dance movie Cuidad Delirio in Spanish with English sub-titles at the Cinema Museum in Elephant & Castle. For more information, online booking and updates click here to check out the website

The reel recovery story

Film shows college’s positive impact

SLaM (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust)Recovery College has been captured in a new film.

“We hope that, after watching it, you have some inkling of the passion and commitment of our staff and trainers, ” says Kirsty Giles, SLaM Recovery College Manager and Tony Holmes, Operations Manager.

“But, more importantly, we hope that it will give you an idea of the positive impact the college is having on the lives of our students. It was shot and directed by Steven Tart and edited by Belal Ladkani. Many thanks to everyone who took part in the making of the film.”

You can watch the film here

It is also on the homepage of the college website, where you can find out more about the range of fantastic courses on offer click here

Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group Lammy Awards 2015

Innovative mental health work gets award recognition

The hard work and collaboration of the Mental Health Street Triage Team has been recognised in NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group’s first Lammy Awards held to recognise the contribution of individuals and teams supporting excellent health and care services in the borough.

The team won the ‘working together’ category at a special ceremony at the Imperial War Museum recently. The Living Well Collaborative was Highly commended in the Innovation in Lambeth category, along with the Tissue Viability Specialist Nursing Team from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The winners were Breathe Arts Research, which uses arts and magic to work with children with hemiplegia (a common motor disorder) and delivers England’s largest hospital-based performing arts programme to Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital to reduce patient anxiety and improving the working environment for staff.

Mental Health Street Triage
The collaboration brings together SLaM (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust) the Department of Health, the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime, NHS England and the Metropolitan Police Service and was set up to ensure that the experience of people facing a mental health crisis can be improved and police involvement reduced.

Victoria Glen-Day, clinical service lead for Lambeth Crisis Service receiving the award from a delighted Matthew Patrick, SLaM’s Chief Executive and Sue Gallagher (CCG governing body) said: “I am so very proud of the team and their dedication, we had the support of a number of service users and peer supporters who offered their insight and support to a project that confronted what is often seen as a difficult interface between service users/police and staff.

“We would not have been successful without the tireless drive from the dedicated mental health police officers who promoted the team and it aims. The true value of this project is the improved relationships between all. This is the best thing I have done in my long nursing career.”

The Lammy judges said: “It’s success is attributed to the honest and open discussions between police, service users and staff which allow police to use their resources on other priorities such as fighting crime in Lambeth.”

There were nine Lammy awards which attracted 84 nominations. The ceremony was hosted by Dr Adrian McLachlan, CCG chair and Andrew Eyres, chief officer.

Another SLaM endeavour, The Psychology in Hostels project (PiH), led by Dr Emma Williamson, principal clinical psychologist and clinical lead, was highly commended in this category. The service is a partnership with Thames Reach (Homeless Charity Accommodation and Support Provider), London Borough of Lambeth Adult Community Service commissioners and Guys and St Thomas’s Charitable Trust.

The PiH ‘works together’ to create an integrated holistic service offering tailored to meet the needs of the most complex homeless people in Lambeth. It is felt that the partnership nature of the project has been fundamental to its success in working with the most excluded users and preventing further homelessness.

Inspiring stories

The audience was moved by the incredible story of Corinthia St Peters, who won the Unpaid Carer of the Year Award, which was presented by Helen Charlesworth-May, Strategic Director of Commissioning Strategy at Lambeth Council and local authority representative on the CCG’s governing body, and GP Dr John Balaz, also on the CCG’s governing body.

The judges heard how 18 year old Corinthia has been looking after her mother, father, grandfather and uncle for the past 10 years.

When Corinthia was eight her mother was diagnosed with cancer, her father and grandmother suffered a stroke and suffered from long term conditions.
Corinthia had to grow up fast and became a carer to all of them, moving between living with her mum, gran and uncle in Balham and her dad in Streatham, depending on who needed her the most.

This meant she pretty much dropped out of primary school to nurse them through a variety of treatments. This involved washing, dressing and feeding them as well as being the eyes of her uncle who had become blind.

At one point Corinthia ended up virtually living in King’s College Hospital while both her mother and father were being treated there on separate wards. Her mother died in 2010 aged 39 but Corinthia continues to look after her father and grandmother.

Corinthia, from Balham, is now on an 18-month clinical engineering apprenticeship at King’s College Hospital learning how to operate hospital equipment.

A long way to go

I was totally surprised and honoured to receive an award for Going the Extra Mile. I feel this award is for all those who have worked alongside and supported me in the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative (including all those wonderful Vital Link, Missing Link and Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporters and carers). Also it’s for the Loughborough Farm volunteers and Herne Hill Road Medical Patient Participation Group, including the wonderful Bernadette (Practice Manager) and June Johnson (receptionist) who won the Kindness Lammy award.

It is when you encounter people like Nicola Kingston who won The Outstanding Contribution Award, and veteran health campaigner Michael English, presented a Lifetime Achievement award, that you realise that you still have a long, long way to go.

Nicola was presented with her award by Lambeth councillors Jim Dickson, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing (Herne Hill ward), and Councillor Robert Hill.

Nicola chairs Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care (SLIC) Citizen’s Forum, and is an exceptional advocate for patients, residents and their families. Despite numerous set-backs, Nicola’s perseverance has prevailed and the citizens’ voice is now stronger than ever
Her role with SLIC is an extension of her work with the Lambeth Patient Participation Group Network where she is vice-chair. She was previously chair of Lambeth’s Local Involvement Network (LINk). She shares the CCG’s vision for health services that are people-centred, prevention-focused, integrated, consistent and innovative.

Highly commended: Liz Clegg, Assistant Director Integrated Commissioning (Older Adults) for NHS Lambeth CCG and the London Borough of Lambeth. She demonstrates determination and passion every day in her role as a commissioner of services for older people in the borough and Catherine Pearson, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Lambeth. She has lived in Lambeth for 26 years and has worked hard to establish Healthwatch Lambeth as an exceptional organisation involving patients and carers to help improve local services.

Michael English’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Councillor Jacqui Dyer, vice-chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Lambeth Council, and Labour councillor for Vassal Ward, and Andrew Eyres, the CCG’s Chief Officer.

The veteran politician and health campaigner who is 84, is a true patient champion. He was Labour MP for Nottingham West from 1964 until the seat was abolished in 1983 and is a former Lambeth councillor.

He has lived through the establishment of the NHS, was a member of the Lambeth Community Health Council and helped found and later chair the Lambeth Local Involvement Network (now replaced by Healthwatch Lambeth). He continues to attend all of the CCG’s governing body meetings and actively participates in discussions and debates on health and social care within the borough.

Highly commended: Dr Cathy Burton, a retired Lambeth GP and Lambeth CCG’s former Clinical Lead for Cancer and End-of-Life Care. Dr Burton has helped develop care pathways, and provided leadership and support to local GPs to enable early referrals of cancer. Also Dr Ruth Wallis, Joint Director of Lambeth and Southwark Public Health. She is passionate about better health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities.

Karen Hooper

Celebrating World Mental Health Day, Black History and Poetry

October is abundant with events

October is the most abundant of months with events to celebrate the 21st birthday of National Poetry Day (October 8), World Mental Health Day, (October 10) and Black History throughout the month. Meanwhile the much anticipated Brixton Reel Film Festival will take place in November.

As well as three World Mental Health Day initiatives, Living Well Partnership hosts Mosaic are dishing up African & Caribbean food in the café at 65 Effra Road. The Mosaic crew have set up a World Mental Health Day stall at Brixton Library and will be out in force with balloons and cupcakes on Friday (Oct 9) to raise awareness of this year’s theme on Dignity.

They have also got new backers in Brixton’s Satay Bar and Restaurant celebrating its 20th anniversary and in recognition of the deaths of a former staff member and regular customer. Pop into Mosaic to collect your 10 per cent voucher for a tasty treat at the restaurant. Click here for more info

Brixton Reel Film Festival

This year’s mental health promotion to celebrate BME communities – Brixton Reel Film Festival will happen around Lambeth. Dates are being confirmed between November 10- 17. The focus this year will be on African-Caribbean communities, Black LGBT communities, Refugee and Asylum Seekers and Latin American communities. Watch this space for more information.

Check out FLIGHT at the Tate Modern’s East Room on Saturday (Oct 10) for more World Mental Health Day celebrations. The exhibition is a collaboration between creative organisations including SLaM AdArt. The afternoon will feature a range of dynamic, fun and creative workshops and installations celebrating positive mental health.

This event is FREE and suitable for all ages. There is no need to book, just turn up between 1.30 and 5pm.

SLaM AdArt meet weekly in art groups across Lambeth and Southwark and have created an installation, inviting you to ‘Give your wish some wings and join the kaleidoscope of butterflies’.

‘We are creative individuals and artists, just like you, who happen to have suffered issues of addictions at some point in our lives.’

Find out more here

Click here for information on the Dignity exhibition and workshops at the SHARP Gallery from October 9

Melancholy and Raving
The rather wonderful Melancholy and Raving cabaret will be celebrating its first birthday at the Pullen’s Centre, 184 Crampton Street, London SE17 3LL , 7.30 for 8pm start.

Find out more information here 

Black History Month

For three weeks, Ileto Carribean People’s Network will offer a programme of activities and workshops for Black History Month.  Check the Platform’s website for details about this and other activities due to take place. The Platform is at 2 Ridgeway Road, opposite Loughborough Farm, Loughborough Road, SW9 7EL.

At the Black Cultural Archives in Windrush Square it’s Black History Month ‘every day of the year’. Check out the Black Georgians exhibition, free Treasures in the Archives talks and half-term family workshops with the National Army Museum.

click here for more information

Events in Southwark

“Loving the Africa in Each and Everyone of Us” – (Dr. Ian Phillips) “Experiences of Southwark” – (Hyacinth Parsons and Juney Muhammad) “Elders Stories” Saturday 10 October 2015 10am to 1pm Southwark Senior Citizens Group, Elim House, 86 Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15 4RQ

“Sound Systems and Authentic Southwark Stories” – (Aubyn Graham and Phillip Dixon) Friday 16 October 2015 3:30pm to 6:30pm Dulwich Library, 368 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8NA

“Does Africa Really Matter” – Who do You Think You Are? – (Daniel Pink) Sunday 25 October 2015 4pm to 7pm Cossall Centre, 48 Mortlock Close, Cossall Estate, Peckham, SE15 2QE

Watch this space… and for more information on Black History Month click here

Enjoy this National Poetry Day offering of Ode to the Coast with John Cooper Clarke and a cast of many …


Carers’ Forum 22nd October and new course – book now

World Mental Health Day Meditation evening October 7

A Carers Forum on 22nd October, will help shape a new Carers’ Strategy for Lambeth
Members of Lambeth council, as well as commissioners and representatives from carers’ organisation will attend the Forum, at The Hideaway, 225 Streatham High Road, Streatham, SW16 6EN from 11am-3pm. There will be a  buffet lunch and opportunities to network. You need to book a place – please call the Carers Hub Enquiry Line on 020 7346 6800.
 “We want to co-produce a plan that will make sure carers are at the heart of how Lambeth provides care and support to people,” says Ruth Samuel, encouraging people to sign up for the event.  While the event is for all carers, Ruth as the Mental Health Carers Advice, Support Development Worker at Carers Hub Lambeth, knows that mental health carers often need particular support.
“I help people who having a caring role for someone with a mental illness. Most people I work with are looking after a relative or partner,” explains Ruth who has been in post for 6? months. “Lots of the carers I work with also have mental health problems themselves.  I talk to people to find out what they are looking for and then I can offer support including advice, emotional support, advocacy and information about events and groups.”
Previously, Ruth worked at the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service and at Southwark Carers and ” I’ve had caring roles for family members.  This helps me to understand people’s situations and the different options available to help, ” she says.
Click here for flyer
 Further opportunities for carers
A coaching training course is coming up for carers who look after someone treated under SLaM services. It is delivered by SLaM partners and helps carers to use coaching skills in their conversations.  The course is perfect for you if you feel like at the moment your conversations don’t go the way you want them to go, or you feel like you are walking on eggshells around the person you care for.
Click here to connect to course outline
Click here to discover how carer Roger Oliver helped to shape this course
World Mental Heath Day October 10
Heralding the run-up to the day there will be a carers’ meditation and relaxation evening on 7 October at  Mosaic Clubhouse (65 Effra Road, Brixton) from 6-8pm.  It is run by Carers Hub Lambeth and it is for people who have a caring role for someone with mental Health issues. If you’d like to come please call Ruth on 020 7501 8974.
Click here for more info
There is also an event to raise awareness of the day for carers/parents who are caring for young people with neurodevelopmental disorders (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD) who also have a range of mental health difficulties. This will be an excellent opportunity for carers of young people to attend workshops of mindfulness, relaxation and carer sleep.
Click here for flyer

October with the Lambeth Peer Support Network

Have fun networking and learning

The Lambeth Peer Support Network has some fantastic opportunities for October -check out what’s on at   107 Railton Road Hub .
If anyone is interested in anything listed and would like to book a place or you need to make further enquiries, please get in contact with us at or alternatively call us on: 0207-737-2888.
Click here for further details

World Mental Health Day 2015

Group exhibition focuses on dignity

Friday 9th October 2015, 1pm- 6pm @ SHARP

An private view afternoon with refreshments, taster workshops and a celebration of the artwork, open to all!

Artist Talk workshop: Wednesday 11th November 2015, 1pm to 3pm

Exhibition dates: 9th October to 30th November 2015

Open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm (by appointment only)

On Friday 1pm-3pm open to all

Click here for more info

It’s a blog’s life

Connect and Do’s new creative space

Daniel Campbell, website administrator has been working with Certitude for nine months.

Before joining, Daniel took calls for the London Ambulance Service, working part time as an independent film maker. He says he’s always  had a passion for all things creative but also wanted to continue in a career where “my efforts make a real difference in people’s lives, Connect and Do allows me to make informed choices that will benefit many of the people we support.”

The photograph of his dog Kia was taken for his photography blog. He talks more about blogging below

Certitude’s social networking site ‘Connect and Do’ is continually being updated with new features added to enhance the user experience as well as the usability of the site.  Users can now experience a greater level of creative space with which to share and inspire others, thanks to the implementation of a blog feature. The blog allows people to have their work ‘published’ online and can be about anything from film reviews and personal experiences, to areas of interest such as knitting or gardening!

Others features, such as finding local community events and the ability to network and meet new people based on shared interests, still remain key components of the website.

You can read more about my interest in photography in my blog by clicking here

And visit our Opening Blog by Dan Kelly on Creative writing and the change that can be made through the use of words and freedom of speech by clicking here

If you are interested in Blogging but would like some assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me on the email below:

Connect & Do Administrator

Mob: 07710 390 011

Daniel Campbell

Evening Sanctuary three months on …

New initiatives strengthen support for those in distress

Three months on from the opening of the Evening Sanctuary and plans are moving forward to look at how new crisis support initiatives in Lambeth can further meet the needs of Lambeth residents.

A redesign session this month (September) will look at how a new 24-hour phone line and A&E peer support service will link with the Evening Sanctuary and Solidarity in a Crisis’ successful out of hours peer support project.

The Evening Sanctuary, based at the Living Well Partnership, Brixton, opened its doors in May (Wednesday and Thursday nights 6pm-2am). Those presenting at A&E  at Kings and Guys& St Thomas’ hospitals can be referred by the hospitals’  Psychiatric Liaison teams. People attending  can be picked up or make their own way to the Effra Road Sanctuary and go home by taxi if they wish. The Sanctuary is staffed by two senior support workers and member volunteers (Mosaic) and peer supporters from Solidarity in a Crisis out of hours peer support project.

The thinking behind the sanctuary came out of the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative’s  crisis house work and is a good example of co-design coming to fruition involving service users, peer supporters, carers, the voluntary sector and statutory services.

The focus is the empathetic qualities of peer support.

“The thing that struck me the most was the ease in which the peer supporter worked with the sanctuary visitor and how responsive the visitor was to the environment,” says  Mosaic’s Sam Walker, Senior Support Worker of her first referral at the Sanctuary.

“The difference between the visitor from walking in to leaving was startling; on walking in she couldn’t look anyone in the eye or even raise her eyes from the ground and spoke in a whisper. Within 2 hours she was making herself a cup of tea, approaching other people in conversation and by the time she decided leave (4hours later and 4 hours before closing) she was standing tall, talking with more confidence and had a plan to continue her recovery.

“I later heard that she’d been in the Information hub the next day and gained  support to refer herself to the Living Well Network Hub (Lambeth’s new front door to mental health services) and had requested to join Mosaic clubhouse,” adds Sam who by day  is Mosaic’s Hospitality and Horticulture Co-ordinator.

“Its really shows the impact of taking the time in a place of peace and safety, to listen to someone and for them to be heard and feel valued.”

Sam’s views are echoed  by Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporter Garry Ellison who was present on another occasion when a visitor was ‘feeling suicidal  and had lost all hope’.

“Peer supporters use this space to engage people in conversation, share our stories (where relevant), offer information and generally invite clients to use the time and space in whatever way they’d like,” says Garry who has been with Solidarity in a Crisis since it started. “This  particular young lady chose to tell us about her current struggles and over tea and biscuits we spoke about a whole array of shared experiences.

“This was a very useful experience for me as I began to see the potential of this idea after seeing the young lady ‘open up’ in conversation and start to feel more relaxed. She said she felt much more resolve and was glad not to have been sent home from A & E; as usually happens when people present there. A & E can become so busy and staff so stretched that unfortunately anything deemed not a dire emergency can be treated with less attentiveness and people with mental health issues who struggle are often sent home and told to go to their GP.”

Peer support in A&E

Vicky Glen-Day, Clinical Service lead for Lambeth Crisis Services who has been involved in the Sanctuary and the innovative Street Triage pilot and is working alongside Certitude on the new initiatives says:  “Even when you know something is right it takes time and energy to get it going, so any small success or impact should be celebrated and shared. Having experienced the environment and staff who are working in the Sanctuary and in Peer Support has convinced me this is where I would want to go and the kind of person I would want to talk to and that to me is the best PR of any service.”

Vicky has been working with Certitude which runs Solidarity in a Crisis (the service has expanded into Southwark and Lewisham), which is now shaping a service that incorporates peer supporters in A&E during the day. Peer supporters will also be part of the 24-hour support phone line being launched by SLaM (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).

Waiting in the wings A&E  Peer Supporter Sandra Tomlinson who has been sitting on the interview panel with Vicky to recruit support line staff says that having a peer supporter on the interview panel “is the foundation to building a partnership between the SLaM  and Certitude teams. However, the most important reason for me is that I am able to ensure that there is a balance and therefore whoever is hired is person-centred. Peer Support and supporting someone in crisis is about the individual and their needs and not all medical focus.”

Says Nicholas Campbell-Watts, Certitude’s Director of Mental Health: “Our ambition in the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative has been to bring the expertise, knowledge and voice of people who use mental health services and carers right into the heart of how we provide support and services.  The growth, development and integration of the various peer support initiatives in Lambeth is something be should all be proud of and continue to invest in.”

Like all those involved in this venture Brent Withers is optimistic but aware it is crucial to create a joined up service. Brent, Mental Health Commissioning Manager (Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group Integrated Commissioning Team) says this month’s redesign session will bring together key stakeholders to “work through how the new crisis support initiatives in Lambeth (crisis line, evening sanctuary and A&E peer support service) can work in partnership to better meet the needs of Lambeth residents during times of escalating mental distress.” The aim of the session, he adds is to “develop a shared understanding of the three initiatives and how they interface with the wider mental health system, with the aim of being able to communicate this simply to the wider community in Lambeth.”

Read more from Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporter Garry here

Read more from the journal of peer supporter Sandra here

Read what Mosaic Clubhouse member Matt thinks about the Sanctuary here

Karen Hooper





Lambeth Living Well Network Hub goes borough-wide June 29

Wellbeing support for GPs and residents

The Lambeth Living Well Network Hub, which has been operating in the North of Lambeth since November 2013 is going borough-wide from June 29.

Additional funding has enabled this exciting development, which will support Lambeth GPs and residents to engage in their wellbeing and be more active in their local community.

The Hub can meet people who have concerns about their mental health and wellbeing. It will provide an assessment and suggest other services such as peer support, benefits advice or secondary mental health care. The team also has the resources and skills to support people with their goals for up to twelve weeks.

The Living Well Network Hub comprises of staff from a range of professions, including occupational therapists, support workers, social workers, mental health nurses, psychiatrists, people with a lived experience of mental health and agencies that are already working in yourlocal community – including Every Pound Counts, the Job Centre, Certitude, Thames Reach and Mosaic Clubhouse.

The Living Well Network Hub will be open to all residents who have a Lambeth GP from Monday 29th June 2015. If you feel you would benefit from support from the Network please contact us on 020 3691 5080. You will be able to speak to an ‘Introductions Coordinator’ who can support you with any concerns you have about your mental health.

The Living Well Network Hub is based at Streatham Job Centre, 3rd Floor, Crown House, Station Approach SW16 6HW and is open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm.

Mind full, or mindful

Course shapes up for Mental Health Awareness Week

On behalf of the Lambeth Peer Support Network, Patrick Nyikavaranda updates us on the Mindfulness workshop conducted in April, in preparation for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Peer Support Network enables and promotes opportunities for people with lived experience, families, carers and services to share learning and resources that aim to grow peer support and build resilient communities in Lambeth.

To achieve this, we have been developing a fully-accessible Learning & Development Programme and, as part of this programme, we had an incredibly exciting Mindfulness workshop at Mosaic Clubhouse, facilitated by Dr. Tamara Russell who is a visiting lecturer at King’s College London.

This session responds to multiple requests for access to mindfulness training and information and, as a result, attendees had the opportunity to learn about the following:

  • the context and growth of mindfulness within health and social care
  • an introduction to neuroscience literature that helps to understand the training’s potential
  • personal experience/implementation through numerous exercises.
  • time to think and plan how to weave mindfulness into the working day

evidence-based research and its wider implementation

Isolation… ‘it’s been so quiet, it is screaming in my ears’

Evening Sanctuary alternative to A&E

 A reflection of the trees outside the Living Well Partnership is cast in a blue hue across the  ‘non-clinical space’  that is The Evening Sanctuary –  a new out of hours support service, which opened on Wednesday May 6.

Hosts, Mosaic have created a welcoming makeover for those who tonight might find themselves alone and frightened in a crisis. The service is open to Lambeth residents living with a mental health condition (or those in crisis who may not be in the system) who turn up at local A&E departments seeking support. Referrals can only be made via local hospitals’ psychiatric liaison teams.

 The Evening Sanctuary is a three-month prototype and part of a range of responses to how best to support people in crisis. Peer supporters from Solidarity in a Crisis,  (out-of-hours crisis line, recognised as model of good practice in the Crisis Concordat, Certitude)  join the Sanctuary team of volunteer Mosaic Clubhouse members and support staff.

 Damien Biggam, Mosaic’s Facilities Co-ordinator and opening night lead with Freddy Johnstone-Burns, says it has been “exciting  getting it all ready.. Now we wait  to see who  pitches up … tonight helps us think about operations, how things will work in practice.”

These sentiments are echoed by Freddy who is equally inspired, “I can’t wait to see what enfolds over the coming months, ” she adds.

 As well as the more relaxed space, people will be able to take part in activities such as exercise and art, watch TV or films, make a snack or be signposted to other services. There will be the opportunity to have access to the services that  the Living Well Partnership provides during the day.

A journey of discovery

 There are many reasons why you might want to be part of this project (it’s been a long time coming and a cast of many have been part of its journey). As well as the incredible strides Linda O’Neill has made on her own recovery journey as a Mosaic member and trustee, she has seen others get their lives back on track when support is timely. “We have people coming here during the day from long stays in hospital who have become better and been able to move back into their own homes,” she says.

 “When crises happen at night  people feel really isolated. Often when you turn up at A&E you are sent home… You go home with the same problem. If people choose to come here we can be that bridge before they are sent home (The Sanctuary is open 6pm-2am on Wednesdays and Thursdays). They have someone to talk to and help with any problems they may have.”

 Vanessa Chase has been a Solidarity in a Crisis peer supporter since November 2013 and also works for Community Connecting, which supports people to engage in activities and meet others with shared interests. “Isolation is a terrible thing, ” says Vanessa. Reflecting on her own experience she says she has felt “so lonely and alone” that when she’s been in her home  “it’s been so quiet, it is screaming in my ears”.

 For Vanessa “being a peer supporter empowers me. By sharing my knowledge and life skills I believe makes the people I support know that I’m on the same page as them.

 “It’s going to be really interesting to see how The Evening Sanctuary takes shape. “

 Says Denis O’Rourke, Assistant Director Integrated Commissioning – Mental Health NHS Lambeth CCG:  “This is a really exciting collaborative initiative that has developed out of a lot of hard work especially by people using services, carers and Mosaic Clubhouse,  along with other voluntary sector providers and clinicians. We hope it will be a real catalyst for change in how we support people experiencing mental health crisis by offering a calm supportive space for people to come to when they are at their most vulnerable.”

 The Evening Sanctuary at the Living Well Partnership, 65 Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1BZ

For more information please contact or call 020 7924 9657


Photos:  (Top) Opening night: Freddy, Damien, David, Richard, Maresa and Vicky. 

Thanks to Reay House Library for the mindapples tree.

 Karen Hooper

Next Living Well Network Open Event May 28

Archbishop’s Park gardeners blooming

The next Living Well Network Open Event is on Thursday May 28. The monthly event takes place at the Living Well Partnership, hosted by Mosaic Clubhouse.

The event is becoming a ‘must be there’ as it brings together services and those in the wider network offering all sorts of interesting opportunities to those working to get their lives back on track.

Helen Lees, Chair of the Friends of Archbishops Park (pictured above with Sarah McDonald, Vocational Services Lambeth) attended for the first time in March. She says, “The event was a great opportunity for us to network and promote The Archbishops Park Gardening project. As a small community organisation it can be difficult to understand how all the different mental health services link up, and importantly for service users to know we exist! We are actively looking for new members for our Friday gardening group so hopefully being a regular attender at the monthly events will be beneficial.”

For more information about the project contact Helen on 07981 908919

The event on May 28 is from 11am-12.30pm at the Living Well Partnership, 65 Effra Road, Brixton. SW2 1BZ.

Click here for the flyer for future dates.

Karen Hooper

Lambeth Peer Support Network meeting Friday, May 1st

Exploring what’s important – book now

The next Lambeth Peer Support Network meeting will take the form of a working lunch on Friday, May 1st, 1.30pm – 3pm at Lambeth ACCORD Conference Centre, Green Room, 336 Brixton Road, Brixton, London SW9 7AA. Please confirm your place by 24 April with Stephanie, see below.

The meeting will be asking:
What support do people want from the Lambeth Peer Support Network.
How often would people like these meetings to occur.
What sort of training or personal development do people need support with.
Update on service developments and the Peer Support Hub Launch.

Social Inclusion
There have been some interesting and thought-provoking presentations happening as part of the network. Social Inclusion has been an important topic – Mark Bertram, Head of Vocational Support (SLaM) shared the report Intergrating vocational and peer support: an exploration – VIP, at one event. Meanwhile, peer supporter Manju Rajput built on this when she led on Social Inclusion at the following meeting.

The word from both events was that these days were powerful because there was a good presence of service users and peer supporters. “The report and findings were warmly received and people could relate strongly to it. People shared some moving personal experiences,” says Mark. “I enjoyed it a lot- good authentic work.”

Click here to read the report.

Click here for the notes from the Social Inclusion meeting

Click here for the Social Inclusion presentation

For more information about the Lambeth Peer Support Network contact Stephanie Karimi

Direct tel:0207-737-2888
Mob: 07710-389-679

Karen Hooper

Lambeth and Southwark Wellbeing & Happiness Fund 2015

Public health boost keeps everyone happy

Grants from the Lambeth and Southwark Wellbeing & Happiness Fund are being offered for another year, thanks to a donation from the Lambeth & Southwark Public Health Directorate. The programme aims to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of Lambeth and Southwark residents by supporting small, grassroots organisations to reach out to their communities to tackle the barriers that are preventing people from having happier and healthier lives.

The fund aims to support people to prioritise their own wellbeing, and to develop lifestyles that will keep them happy and well. We are looking to increase knowledge and awareness of health, and give people the tools to help themselves. You may already be working with people who suffer from ill health, but we are equally keen to support those at risk of ill health. Health and wellbeing is important no matter what your background is – we all want to feel positive about life – and this programme will help us to improve the lives of many residents within the boroughs.

Fund Themes
Grants are available for projects that actively engage Lambeth and Southwark residents to take action to improve their own health, and the health of their communities. The fund aims to support those who have the highest risk of having poor health now or in the future.

Applications must address one or more of the following themes:
-Improve mental wellbeing through sustained engagement in activities that help people to help themselves and connect with each other.
-Support vulnerable people, such as ex-offenders, homeless people or those at risk of homelessness, addressing negative behaviours that can lead to physical and mental ill health.
-Encourage healthy lifestyles, to those who are in financial difficulty, including eating healthily with a limited household budget and being physically active.
-Prioritise your own wellbeing – encouraging people to take time out for themselves, promoting self-help and helping people to manage their own physical and mental wellbeing.

Grant Size
Grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available for projects of up to one year (August 2015 – July 2016).
Applicants must be based in Lambeth or Southwark and work with Lambeth and Southwark residents.

Priority will also be given to smaller, developing organisations, with an annual income of £250,000 or less.
Closing date for applications: 9am on Monday 18th May 2015

Click here for online form

Collaborative breakfast at Coffee Lovers Cafe

Growing leaders and scaling up

The Lambeth Collaborative held its monthly breakfast in the vibrant, coffee infused, peer support environs of the Coffee Lovers Cafe on Wandsworth Road, Stockwell in March. The meeting emphasised the Collaborative’s ongoing pledge to broaden its scope to reach and empower people with enduring mental health issues to be resilient in the communities were they live thus supporting them to move on from traditional services and have control over their quality of life.

“People need to know who and what the Collaborative is and does,” says Lucy Ng who set up Coffee Lovers Cafe with partner (and ex peer supporter). last year. Not only does it dish up the best Moroccan cuisine and coffee in town, but the cafe is a place of support to “catch people who might be falling into poor mental health”, as well as a space to hire, run sessions or get information.

“We can can bridge and connect locals by holding events like the Collaborative breakfast, that took place here on 12th March,” emphasises Lucy. “There was lots of talking and enquires after the meeting ended.

“Locals see that the people at the top are working and connecting in a local area. That is front row seats for people. “

Said Denis O’Rourke, Assistant Director Integrated Commissioning – Adult Mental Health
Lambeth CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group): “It was really good to be here this morning with our hosts Lucy and partner. It reminds us of the Collaborative’s ambition to take the “mental” out of mental health by better connecting with communities and the range of resources they use. Coffee Lovers fits the bill perfectly, a great café on the high street!”

These sentiments were echoed by David Singer, now a service designer with Innovation Unit – a smallish social enterprise made up of innovation and design-led thinkers that has a long-standing partnership with the Collaborative. “This morning’s session was about as open a breakfast meeting as one might imagine. At one point, a young mum with her toddler popped by for her morning coffee. As she waited to pay her bill, she got so interested in the Collaborative workshop taking place in the background, she left the café having offered herself up as a volunteer. It would be great to see more of this open-door blurring of boundaries between formal and informal care and I hope that as the Living Well Network and other projects become more visible, their intent and purpose will do so too.”

The presentation here is a work in progress that those committed to early morning breakfasts, design workshops and events are long familiar with (the Collaborative has been meeting like this since 2010). The Collaborative aims to blur the boundaries between those who receive and those who deliver services. Discussions constantly acknowledge the tension in stepping outside this remit; how do commissioners and providers deal with the inequalities at the table and how do those who have used the services and the ‘carers’ who have supported them, who often feel trapped or deserted in a complex process, believe that this new way of working (read buzz word co-production) could actually forge genuine and positive relationships? And… moving on, how might this massive culture change inspire and produce leaders in communities.
Karen Hooper

Click here for the presentation
Click here to read more about the inspiring journey of the Coffee Lovers Cafe

If you want to feed back with your views, get involved or know more about the Collaborative contact Natalie Sutherland at

Launch of Lambeth Integrated Personalised Support Alliance (IPSA)

There’s no place like home

A new alliance of organisations has come together in Lambeth to transform the lives of people with serious long-term mental health issues.

The Lambeth Integrated Personalised Support Alliance (IPSA) will offer people who currently go into long-term, expensive hospital rehabilitation wards or registered care homes the chance to live more independently in their own flat in the community. The IPSA is launching in April and will offer personalised care and support to improve people’s lives, offering early intervention before they get into repeated crisis and require hospital treatment. The aim is to help people who use the services recover and stay well, participate on an equal footing in daily life and make their own choices.

The alliance is made up of five partners – the charities Thames Reach and Certitude, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Lambeth Council. It’s part of a collaborative approach in the borough which brings together voluntary sector providers, health professionals, commissioners and the people using the services to devise a new way of offering services.

The IPSA is looking to obtain accommodation from a number of sources. These include social housing providers, by purchase on the open market and by negotiating with existing supported housing providers to extend their schemes. The aim is to provide a range of accommodation – self-contained and shared, and with and without integral support – to support a new offer in which people have increased choice and control over the type of support they receive and also where they live.

This approach represents an opportunity to continue to improve outcomes for people who require rehabilitation provision, focussed on their assets.

Aisling Duffy, Chair of the Alliance Leadership Team, said: “Recognising people’s strengths and abilities is a way to empower individuals to make their own choices about the support they receive. We are excited to be part of this new approach which will give people the opportunity to be central to their recovery journey.”

Ministers visit new Hub HQ

Innovative link to job prospects

The new Streatham base of the Living Well Network Hub  was visited by two Government ministers earlier this week.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, and Minister for Disabilities Mark Harper MP, visited the Hub at its new home in Streatham Job Centre Plus (JCP) to find out about this innovative new link to job opportunities for those with mental health issues

The Hub (part of the Lambeth Collaborative) brings together:

The Community Options Team – managed by Thames Reach and consisting of voluntary sector providers including Certitude, Look Ahead, Mosaic and Penrose.

Streatham Job Centre Plus staff

Psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, and social workers from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SlaM)

·         The Primary Care Support Service – a group of nurses working with Clapham Family Practice in GP surgeries.

·         A peer support service hosted by Certitude.

Staff from Lambeth Council

The Secretary of State took  time to talk to staff from the hub about how the service worked and how they thought it could be improved; he also met with service users and heard how their experiences using the hub had changed their lives.

Katie Ryan, Lambeth Project Manager with First Step Trust had a chance for a quick chat with the Minister, telling him about the West Norwood garage that is bringing hope and job prospects to service users.

One service user who suffered from depression gave a moving account of how Mosaic Clubhouse, (hosts of the Living Well Partnership) which is part of the network, had saved his life. He said that he felt fully supported and that staff were like a family.

Sue Field, programme director for the Provide Alliance Group, said the ministerial visit “helped us highlight the benefits of co-production – where specialist mental health services operating alongside JCP staff are working together towards a common goal of improving health and well-being and helping people to get back to, or stay in, work.”

Mike Nicholas and Karen Hooper  


Get online for Easter

Opportunities at Blackfriars Settlement

Blackfriars Settlement has some great offers for Easter, including free access to UK ONLINE. By Good Friday you should be able to Stay in touch with friends and family : Do your shopping online : Pay your bills on line and save money : Learn how to put together a budget : Compare prices : Find health information including your local health services : Look for a job or find any other information. These sessions are open to all. Please let all know. See the flyer attached.

Also there is a reminder of next weeks’ taster week at Blackfriars Settlement Mental Health and Wellbeing Service. These tasters are for people recovering from mental health problems.

Click here for Taster Week poster

Click here for Online Week poster

Renewing the juices

Leading and scaling the Living Well Network

This document summarises two Collaborative projects since August 2014.

Part 1 – looks at interviews with Collaborative leaders asked to reflect on how the Living Well Network is faring against its original vision and design.

Part 2 – is a record and summary of a range of questions exploring what action will strengthen leadership in a wider community context, posed at a Collaborative event in December 2014.

Click here for the report. 

Assessment, Action and Planning Sessions

Come and have a say on a system that affects you

The Assessment, Action and Planning (AAP) sessions have been shaped by the development of the Living Well Network, which highlighted a ‘lag’ in these processes of support.

The Network has been exploring how people can be supported through this cycle to make sure they get the right services at the right time… without experiencing that ‘lag’, and that services are designed to ensure continuity.

The AAP sessions create an opportunity to discuss ideas for change, to explore in more detail and with as many people as possible, how our work could be done differently.

The AAP sessions have focussed so far on co production and how staff integrate this in their daily practice, peer support and the development and design of the well being packs (to help support people to make choices through their recovery journey).

The AAP sessions will continue once a month; see below for dates and topics for the first 6 months. Everyone living in Lambeth is welcome to attend; however due to limited capacity entrance will be on a first come first served basis.

The sessions will be held at Mosaic Clubhouse, details below, and it is hoped that everyone attending will feedback and contribute to the evaluation of the sessions.

The sessions are outlined below.

1)The 1st session took place on the 26th February and featured The Hub

Sharing the Living Well Network Hub expansion plans with service users, carers and key stakeholders and provided a forum to discuss the proposal and generate ideas about how to integrate people into the network.

2) Crisis tool kit -26th March, 1-3pm 

Patrick Nyikavaranda from Certitude to lead on development and delivery 

The Living Well Network would like an opportunity to think about what assets, skills and coping strategies people use when things are not going well and drawn on experience to develop a tool kit that others may benefit from.

We would like to develop a list or toolkit that people in the network – service users, carers, providers and workers can use as a resource to promote well-being. This will especially focus on the assets people have to support someone when things are not going so well.

3) Choices, knowledge and power in care 30th April, 1-3pm 

How can the network empower people to take responsibility for their well-being. Moving away from traditional attitudes and behaviours that people have regarding health care and seeing health care professionals. Thinking about how health care professionals support empowerment and choice to ensure that people get the care they want and need.

 4) Communicating with people not patients 28th May, 1-3pm 

The Hub needs to be able to communicate with people about the outcome of their support, how is this best done? We would like the ‘letters’ we write to be useful, can they be ‘prescriptions for  life’ that people refer back to in the future to remind themselves of skills and assets they have learnt or gained?

 How do we ensure that everyone can access our letters and written information, what formats would people find useful? Is there other ways to present our information for people with dyslexia or who do not speak English as a first language.

 5) Client Evaluation 25th June, 1-3pm

 How can the Hub get honest evaluation and how do we encourage feedback to that it is useful and engaging.

 As the LWN Hub is new we would like to be able to demonstrate its strength to others, but we also need to know when things do work. What is the best way to do this?

Is mental health still taboo?

Faith groups encouraged to March 4 event

What promises to be a thought-provoking evening exploring stigma and discrimination will be taking in Brixton this Wednesday, March 4. The event has been organised by Juney Muhamed, Community Development Service Manager with the Mental Health Promotion Team of South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. It  is being promoted and supported by Faiths Together in Lambeth, which held a successful event last November where Juney gave a powerful talk about the important role faith groups can play in a person’s recovery journey. 

Click here for the flyer and details of how to book.

Book now for March 6 event

Peer support in Lambeth… here’s looking at you

A presentation from Connect and Do, and a focus on subjects from a Peer Supporter perspective will be the order of the day at the next Lambeth Peer Support Network meeting on Friday. March 6, 12.30-2pm at Mosaic Clubhouse: 65 Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1BZ.

The topics will include: 

§  Crisis Prevention
§  Paranoia and Beliefs
§  Social inclusion
If you would like to attend, please confirm with Stephanie Karimi, Peer Support Hub Coordinator on
0207 737 2888, mob:  07710389679,  or email

If there are any special requirements for the afternoon please let Stephanie know as soon as possible. Anyone who is interested in peer support or who would like to be a Peer Supporter within the Lambeth community is welcome to attend.

A new front door

The Living Well Network Hub is moving

The Living Well Network Hub has announced this week that it will be moving to a new property. The Hub is currently based within a Thamesreach building, Elmfield House in Stockwell, this property has been an excellent location for the initial prototype of the North Lambeth Hub.

However, there are plans to expand the Hub so that everyone in Lambeth will be able to use the services and the wider Network and as a result of expansion the Hub needs a bigger premises.

The LWN Hub will be based at Streatham JobCentre Plus on the 3rd Floor. This building is based just off of Streatham High Road, very near the bus and train station. There are also plans to have smaller bases around the community to ensure everyone can access the Hub.

We are all very excited about the move and the prospect of building more links with the jobcentre. We will keep you informed of the move. 

Photo: Hub staff pictured at the 1st Hub birthday

UN’s World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1-7)

Faiths Together in Lambeth celebrates with breakfast

Faiths Together in Lambeth is holding a breakfast for friends of all faiths and none to celebrate the United Nations’ Interfaith Harmony Week . The event on Thursday February 5,  will be held between 8.30am and 10am on at South London (Orthodox) Synagogue, 45 Leigham Court Road, SW16 2NF .

If you would like to receive an invitation or for more information contact Alan Gadd



Telephone: 07889 221 847

Karen Hooper



Peer support – how to be included

Don’t miss out on opportunities this week

A workshop exploring social inclusion and a peer support recruitment drive are two of the opportunities being offered this week as January comes to a close.

On Wednesday 28th, the innovative Vocational Services will be asking ‘ Social Inclusion, What does that mean?’ in a workshop for peer supporters, anyone interested in becoming a peer supporter and those who have benefitted from peer support. The workshop runs from 1.30-4.30pm at the base at 3 – 6 Beale House, Lingham St, Stockwell, SW9 9HG. 

On Friday 30th, those who would like to use their lived experience of mental health to support others by becoming a peer supporter are invited to a recruitment drive at Mosaic Clubhouse from 12 – 4pm. Mosaic, which hosts the Living Well Partnership is at 65 Effra Road, Brixton. Tel: 020 7924 9657.

For more information contact Stephanie Karimi, Peer Support Hub Coordinator, Tel: 020 7737 2888 

Karen Hooper

Nomination form

Mental Health Heroes

We are looking for people who are changing lives through one or more of the following:

  • helping to break the stigma around mental health
  • inspiring others in addressing or overcoming mental health difficulties
  • making it easier for people to access mental health support and advice
  • supporting people experiencing mental health difficulties to stay in or return to work
  • pioneering new or innovative ways of supporting people with mental health problems and/or their families
Click here to complete the nomination form. Send in your nomination to by Tuesday 27 January 2015.

Hub launches wellbeing pack

A pack of cards to deal with your life

A new wellbeing pack will help those being introduced to the Living Well Network Hub (LWN Hub, the front door to mental health services in north Lambeth) to get the best out of their journey to recovery and quality of life.

“The idea of the wellbeing pack came from an Assessment, Action and Planning (AAP) session last year, ” says Emma Willing, Programme Manager of the Provider Alliance Group (PAG), which is part of the Lambeth Collaborative. “These sessions are where staff, users and carers explore ideas and change to support a new way of working. Since that time the packs have been coproduced with peers, clinicians and service users whose comments and feedback have helped us to develop them.

“People being introduced to the LWN Hub will be given a wellbeing pack on their first visit,” explains Emma. “The cards will form the basis of initial conversations of what is happening in the person’s life, where they want to go to, any obstacles in the way and how to get support in the future.

“The cards are discussed throughout the support received within the hub and they can be used as the person wishes, it may be just to think about ideas for the future or people may want to write things on them and refer to them later. The pack also contains information about other network partners such as Mosiac Clubhouse, Solidarity in a Crisis and Connect and Do.”

To find out more about the Living Well Network visit the Open Event, held on the last Thursday of the month, 11am-12.30pm at the Living Well Partnership, 65 Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1BZ. For more info contact

Karen Hooper

Clubhouse Chief clinches Collaboration award

Mosaic illustrates creative and innovative ways to excellence

Maresa Ness, Chief Executive of Mosaic Clubhouse (hosts of the Living Well Partnership in Effra Road, Brixton) has clinched the prestigious COLLABORATION (INTEGRATION) AWARD in the Third Sector Care Awards, organised by CMM (Care Management Matters).

This comes hot on the heels of Mosaic Clubhouse, as part of the international Clubhouse community being awarded the world’s largest humanitarian award, the Conrad N. Hilton prize worth 1.5 million dollars, presented to organisations that are doing extraordinary work to alleviate human suffering.

Maresa received her award (sponsored by Bollington Insurance) from top TV host Esther Rantzen- herself appointed a Dame Commander in the New Year’s Honours List – at a ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel.

The judging panel includes people who have experience of using care services and this year welcomed Experts by Experience from Choice Support and the Royal Hospital.

The award, which focuses on collaboration/integration with individuals with lived experience and across health and social care, “had some excellent nominations” but the judges chose “one organisation, its values and approach really illustrated where the strengths model of mental health and wellbeing (aspirations and confidence) can create meaningful futures.”

Excellent collaborations

The Judges’ statement praised Mosaic for its “seamless approach; where all individuals (staff and people with lived experience) are valued adults and where there is true equality in support. An organisation that does not see barriers but opportunities. An organisation that is solutions based. An organisation that builds proactive relationships with local communities, CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and Primary Care, Forensic services, criminal justice and rehabilitation, and in-patient services.

“They link in early to support individuals with their own pathway. This organisation has developed a clubhouse which is dynamic, user-led and has excellent collaborations.”

Mosaic Clubhouse was described by NEF (National Economics Foundation) as one of two of “the most powerful examples” of co-production in mental health. In a recent report by NEF, commissioned by Mind (NEF 2013) co-production at Mosaic was featured as an example of best practice and described as a ‘user organised and run peer network’.

Said Maresa, whose own moving story is captured below: “We are so excited! This amazing award validates the work that members and staff do together every day to change people’s lives. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year so the timing is brilliant. We are so grateful to all our supporters and funders, in particular Lambeth council and NHS Lambeth and to the Lambeth Collaborative who gave us the opportunity to extend our service offering in 2013. We are part of a network of services in Lambeth offering choice and opportunity for people living with mental health conditions.”

Maresa is pictured above with Esther Rantzen and Carl Shaw, Commercial Director from Bollington Insurance, who sponsored the award.

Photo: Ravi Chandarana

Read Maresa’s recent article in Governance International on how Mosaic’s innovative and co-produced ways of working are getting the best outcomes for service users and commissioners. Click here

You can hear more about Maresa’s personal journey by clicking here 

Read more about Mosaic at

Karen Hooper

Bring it on!

Collaboration – forward in 2015

We asked Collaborative members two questions to celebrate 2014 and bring in 2015.

Name one achievement of 2014 that your organisation is most proud of in relation to collaborative working. 

Please share your 2015 collaborative new year’s resolution.


Mark Bertram, Manager, Vocational Services, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)

2014: Our learning about what works – grounded in people’s insight

2015: To continue to learn and be passionate


Nicholas Campbell-Watts, Director of Mental Health, Certitude

2014: Certitude is really proud of our work in 2014 with Thames Reach, SlaM, Lambeth and with commissioners to develop a proposal that we believe will positively transform the lives of people using rehabilitation, residential and nursing care services.

 2015: My collaborative resolution is to champion asset based community development as I think it will help the Lambeth Collaborative to really achieve our ambition to take the ‘mental’ out of mental health.


Lucy Canning, Service Director, SLaM

2014: Starting the work of the Adult Mental Health (AMH) redesign in Lambeth

2015: To support teams to link into the wider work of the Collaborative to make the most of the Living Well Network


Aisling Duffy, Chief Executive Officer, Certitude

2014: Taking an Asset Based Approach – great conversations were inspired by the conference we held at the Oval, including Cormac Russell, international innovator on ABCD (Asset Based Community Development).

2015: Commit Certitude’s time and support to continue and develop an asset based approach in everything we do!


Sue Field, Director, Provider Alliance Group (PAG)

2014: Working with the PAG in the success of the Guys and St Thomas Charity bid

2015: Truly developing co-production in primary care and across the Living Well Network


Stacey Hemphill, Manager, North Lambeth Hub

2014: The continued success of the Hub in the North, seeing people and helping them improve their wellbeing

2015: To continue to ensure (in fact, increase) the voice of service users and carers in the work of the Hub and broader network!


Adrian McLachlan, Chair, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

2014: We were Highly Commended for the Health Service Journal CCG of the Year, and our collaborative work and the work of the Lambeth Collaborative featured large in that.

2015: Winner next time for collaborative working


Raj Mohan, Consultant Psychiatrist, SLaM

2014: Improving the link between inpatient (McKenzie) and the Living Well Network

2015: Seamless work with the Rehabilitation pathway: and to enable a redesign with increased community focus


David Monk, Chair, The Lambeth Collaborative

2014: The focus and importance of peer support, particularly Solidarity in a Crisis and how this is now recognised beyond Lambeth as an excellent initiative

2015: To celebrate and grow connections and reduce crisis


Maresa Ness, Chief Executive Officer, Mosaic Clubhouse( hosts of Living Well Partnership)

2014: The amazing success of partnership working and the added value as a result.

Winning the 3rd sector care award for collaboration!!

2015: To embed the monthly open event of the Living Well Network into the community of Lambeth to extend opportunity and choice for people living with mental health conditions.


Patrick Nyikavaranda, Peer Involvement Manager, Certitude

2014: Solidarity in a Crisis as a case study into Commissioning and best practice by NHS England, as a response to the Crisis Concordat

2015: Grow peer support to the stratosphere


Denis O’Rourke, Assistant Director – Integrated Commissioning, Lambeth CCG/Lambeth Council

2014: The Living Well Network taking off

2015: Support the growth of asset based community development within a neighbourhood/locality


Natalie Sutherland, Mental Health Integrated Programme (MHIP) Co-ordinator, Lambeth CCG

2014: Integrated Personalised Support Alliance, collaborative working

2015: For the Integrated Personalised Support Alliance to go live in April 2015


Emma Willing, Programme Manager, PAG

2014: Producing Wellbeing pack

2015: Co-producing the borough-wide Living Well Network Hub


Ronnie Wilson,Chief Executive Officer, First Step Trust

2014: Co-hosting support event at Abbeyvilles around finding new funding sources to secure sustainable (salaries) employment opportunities for people using mental health services to support recovery

2015: Continued commitment of CCG and SLaM and Lambeth Council to opening up procurement opportunities to create jobs


Karen Hooper   

Solidarity in Crisis Concordat model of good practice

Crisis phone line crosses borders

Solidarity in a Crisis peer support service is expanding into Southwark and Lewisham. It has been an exciting time for the Lambeth service, run by Certitude, which has gone from a weekend crisis phone line to seven nights a week.

It has also been cited as a model of good practice in the London mental health crisis commissioning: Case studies (Strategic Clinical Networks, NHS England). The case studies are practical examples, which alongside the guide provide standards for the future commissioning of crisis services and is London’s response to the Crisis Concordat.

Patrick Nyikavaranda, Peer Involvement Co-ordinator, says it was an “amazing experience” to share with others what works and the challenges faced in “ensuring that people avoid, deal with or build resilience with each crisis they experience”.

Meanwhile, the team is growing and there are “learning opportunities and new challenges that arise on a daily basis”. Having new Team Leader Maria Gonzales on board, who is “inspirational, understands how to support people and is committed and passionate to working with people in distress has been a bonus”.

He adds that there have been many challenges with the project’s increased profile, the complexities of some of the calls, as well as the transition from a small team to a service expanding to other boroughs. The stark reality is that the service has been a lifesaver for some… “quite amazing when you think we are just listening”, says Patrick almost apologetically about the lived experience peer support tenets of being genuine, empathetic and congruent.

“Crises don’t just happen over the weekend”, adds Patrick, and the increasing number of calls validates a seven-day service. “November was very busy with people starting to get anxious about Christmas and family relationships and we’ve had more calls from people who hear voices. It’s also interesting to note we are getting more calls from people in employment, finding work stressful, doing long shifts and not having anyone to talk to when they get home.”

Patrick has nothing but praise for the 11-strong team (they have recently recruited two new people) who use their lived experience to listen and support people on the phone or meet in the community for a coffee at the weekend.

“They are amazing. Each individual brings unique qualities, which are giving people the opportunity to have what everyone craves for – to be able to listen to others, to have someone listen to you and to have some one stand by you.”

Each peer supporter has benefited from being part of Solidarity in a Crisis and there are hopes that more people will have that chance as the service expands. Through their lived experience, people “find healing as much as they begin to heal others, find solace as much as they provide comfort, are empowered as much as they facilitate choice and control in the lives of the individuals who access the service”.

Wise words were a lifesaver

Anna found a Solidarity in a Crisis flyer in her GP’s surgery in June 2014. She was struggling after she had returned to her job in corporate marketing, she thinks, too soon after her hospital admission. She was hearing voices and her medication wasn’t working.

She describes how the first SiaC peer supporter she spoke to on the phone that night helped to “talk me down”, when she was suffering from “extreme anxiety”. That, as well as sharing his own experiences and adding, “some wise words, which were a lifesaver”, have helped her get through the darkest times.

A peer supporter who has been with the service since its inception puts it thus: “Being part of Solidarity, now coming up to its third year, has been an incredible journey; in those moments of speaking to individuals has been filled with some sadness knowing the person is experiencing distress, but also a great privilege to be able to ‘be there’ for that person in a way they have needed it during the listening.

“During the next phase of SiaC and my time with it, I hope to continue this ‘being there’ for all who make contact and together find a clearing through that difficult moment that the individual is experiencing.”

Certitude’s Director of Mental Health Nicholas Campbell-Watts is excited and inspired by the opportunity to extend Solidarity’s work into Southwark and Lewisham and they will be recruiting local people to be on the phones from their own homes.

“Peer support should be part of the integrated offer of support available to people at times of personal crisis,” he says. “We know from the stories of people in Lambeth who have used SiaC that being heard, understood and accepted by someone else with a shared experience can be life-changing. SiaC was available throughout Christmas and New year, including Bank Holidays as this can be a bleak time for people.

“The service has also started to pilot social evenings, bringing people together to develop mutual support and friendships that will hopefully reduce the isolation and loneliness that can exacerbate personal crisis. We are also designing workshops around crisis prevention and resilience and generally promoting well-being, as well as offering out of hours peer support for people experiencing paranoia and beliefs.”

Click herefor Solidarity opening times
Click here to read Anna’s full story
Click here to read about peer supporter Rosetie’s journey
Click here to read about SiaC’s new Team Leader

Read more about the London response to mental health crisis commissioning below.

For London mental health crisis commissioning standards and recommendations click here

For London mental health crisis commissioning: Case studies click here

For London mental health crisis commissioning guide click here


Karen Hooper

Close-up on new Adult Mental Health model

Secondary and primary care are working closer together to support people’s recovery

The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust  (SLaM) has implemented its Adult Mental Health model in Lambeth.  Says Fran Bristow, Programme Director (Adult Mental Health Development Programme): “The new teams have been up and running since September and we are carefully monitoring the impact of the investment into them.  The attached video explains the model and how we plan to evaluate its impact on service provision and staff, service user and carer experience of the services.”

Karen Hooper

Watch the Video below to find out more.



Supporting residents to get online

Thames Reach partnership is delivering an innovative IT peer support project

Digi-buddies is an innovative project with Lambeth Council that recruits volunteers with strong IT skills to support residents with online activities. This includes setting up email accounts, applying for jobs, using social networking sites, and buying goods and services. The scheme is holding a special event this week, December 16.

 The scheme takes place at local venues such as community centres and libraries, with sessions being run on a drop-in basis that are freely available to all.  By increasing awareness of the advantages of being online and providing an accessible platform for local citizens, the project hopes to ensure that no one is excluded from using digital technology whether due to a lack of experience or skills. 

 If you would like to attend a Digi-buddies session please call 0203 691 5111. Alternatively, if you would like to volunteer and help others in the community to take their first steps online,  then please visit  the website at where you can download an application form.

 For more information you can also contact

Project Co-ordinator: Dorian Martinez  07436799574

Assistant Project Worker: Martin Goodhead


Digi-buddies at Living Well Network Open event 

Project Co-ordinator Dorian Martinez was representing Digi-buddies at the recent Open Event of the Living Well Network, hosted by Mosaic Clubhouse. The event, which is held on the last Thursday of the month is a great way for staff, service users and carers to find out what’s on offer through the Network.

 Says Dorian: “It was great to visit Mosaic Clubhouse and find out more about the work of the organisation, but also to network with other service providers who are assisting Lambeth residents to improve their health and wellbeing. I also managed to speak with some of Mosaic’s service users about the benefits of volunteering in the community, so I hope to see some applying to be Digi-buddies in the near future!”

 Click here for information on the next Open Event at Mosaic Clubhouse

 Karen Hooper

Families Against Stress and Trauma event

DVD explores those who travel to conflict zone

Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, SW9 7PH

 FTiL member organisation FAST (Families Against Stress and Trauma) will be launching, for faith communities, its DVD ‘Families Matter’ that was produced in July this year. The DVD tells the story of three families whose lives were ripped apart when a relative travelled to a conflict zone. It is intended as a resource to encourage families to reach out for help if they suspect a family member might be planning to travel to a conflict zone.

6.00pm Hot buffet available (vegetarian and fish)

6.30pm Launch of DVD

7.30pm Informal networking

8.00pm close

Contact: 07889 221 847 or , ,

Celebrating staff’s hidden gems

Exhibition reveals rich Trust talent


Curated by Mary Salome
Private View: Wednesday 10th December 2014
Exhibition: 5th December to 30th January 2015
The Social Inclusion, Hope and Recovery Project (SHARP) is hosting a Group Exhibition/Installation of work by staff within South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. We want to promote and celebrate the hidden skills and passions of those employed by the Trust.
Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm (by appointment only)
On Friday 1pm-3pm open to all
At: SHARP, 308-312 Brixton Road, SW9 6AA, 020 3228 7050
For info contact: or

Image: $$$$$ , Richard Corrigall 

World Aids Day 2014

Show your support, get tested for HIV and wear the red ribbon

Today, December 1 is World Aids Day. There are around 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK – 25 per cent of those people are unaware they have the virus. Lambeth and Southwark have the highest prevalence rate of HIV in the UK, which is why residents are being encouraged to get tested and wear a red ribbon, the universal symbol for HIV, uniting with people around the world in the fight against HIV. World Aids Day marks support for the 34 million people worldwide living with HIV and for those 35 million people who have lost their battle against the disease.

Pandora sends a powerful message from her lived experience… “10 years on from my diagnosis in pregnancy, get tested and protect yourself as well as others. Don’t take risks with your health,” she says.

“The stigma of HIV and AIDS is far greater than the stigma associated with mental health problems. I have both but I am far happier talking openly about my mental illness than I am HIV.”

Peter is hoping he might turn a corner this year and not feel depressed; he has lived with HIV+ for 25 years… “I hope that one day the red ribbon and World Aids Day will be confined to social history…” he says. (See below for Peter’s story).

For Lois, “the fact that people are still alive,” leaves much to celebrate on World Aids Day. “In the 80s there was death, it was uncontrollable.” Lois saw at first hand how the virus ravaged a whole generation in America… Her brother, a “Christian who was bisexual” went through a very painful death there, aged just 30 and she looked after him. “He was in a hospice and couldn’t care for himself,” she says. The medication was different then and this was compounded by the stigma of what people determined ” the plague”.

Lois volunteers with a number of organisations in London that work to support people living with HIV/AIDS with dignity and compassion. Her understanding of mental health issues led her to join Lambeth’s Missing Link as a peer supporter (now Certitude).

Lois’ message is that support to those including families and children living with the virus is crucial because “the stigma does not go away and there is no compassion for people”.

Long term condition

Local GP Adrian McLachlan says he has lived and worked through the whole history of HIV and Aids so far, “seeing it from a mystery, to the largest cause of death of my patients for a memorable time, to now, when I see it as a long term condition”.

Adrian, who chairs Lambeth’s Clinical Commissioning Group, adds that HIV and Aids have featured as a priority for Lambeth, with a particular emphasis on early diagnosis.

Thats why residents are being urged to show their support for World Aids Day by getting tested for HIV.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks the body’s immune system and is contracted through infected bodily fluids, most commonly through sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles or syringes. A HIV test – a simple blood test or saliva test can provide essential diagnosis to reduce the risk of serious illness and to stop the spread of the condition.

The number of new HIV infections is still rising. One in five people in London who have HIV do not know they are infected, and most new infections come from them. Lambeth and Southwark fund a range of organisations to work around HIV prevention and support sexual health. See below

“Many advances have been made in HIV treatment and getting tested early will provide more effective treatment against the virus, improving chances of a healthier and longer life,” adds Adrian.

As well as having the highest prevalence in the country of people living with HIV, Lambeth has an especially high number living with mental health problems, and “we need particularly to develop excellent and accessible services for those with complex and multiple needs especially where the health needs may sit alongside social need”.

Denis Onyango, Development Manager of the African Advocacy Foundation, which is part of a special event in Brixton tonight, Getting to Zero, Meeting the Challenges, echoes this message saying that people from the African communities are presenting late for testing, often because of the stigma. “We have to get over the message that HIV is no longer a death sentence and there is excellent healthcare in this country,” he says. See below for event flyer.

The issues around HIV and mental health are complex. Roy Brazington is Team Manager with Cascaid (South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, SLaM), which provides specialist support and treatment in the community for people diagnosed with HIV that are experiencing mental health problems. The team works alongside the children and family service, enabling seamless intervention across age ranges.

Roy explains an often double stigma: “A number of the clients are from Sub-Saharan Africa or from families from there. They have differing cultural beliefs about health, sickness and HIV. We also see a significant number of Men who have sex with Men (MSM) and they continue to have complex problems within their own cultures such as rejection due to their sexuality and the impact of faith for some of these communities can be comforting and for some very undermining. Many men experience internalised homophobia and often find it difficult to cope with these feelings and this often manifests in them using drugs or alcohol as coping strategies. Gay and Bisexual men in this country experience a higher level of mental health problems.

“Following a diagnosis of HIV a number of people experience an adjustment disorder which manifests itself with symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is often helped by the client receiving some health education and peer support work.

“Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham have the highest levels of infection in this country with 14.7 per 1000 people being infected in Lambeth, 12.6 in Southwark and 8.2 in Lewisham (figures based on data from 2013). There is some research that demonstrates that due to people with severe and enduring mental health problems having additional vulnerabilities they are at greater risk of contracting HIV. In the background of the local high prevalence rates this is a concerning issue to SLaM. This may explain the rationale behind why the Trust is intending to offer testing to all inpatients.”

Places where you can get an HIV test

· As a registered patient at your GP practice
· Community sexual health clinics – Vauxhall Riverside, Streatham Hill, Clapham Manor in Lambeth and Artesian and Walworth Road in Southwark; Waldron, Sydenham Green
· Walk-in clinics at Crown Dale, Iveagh Surgery and Clapham Family practices in Lambeth
· Lloyd and Burrell St Clinics (at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital)
· Camberwell Sexual Health Centre (at King’s Hospital).

Click here to read Peter’s story and Pandora’s message

Click here for details of the SAFER HIV Partnership African health Forum Event.

Click here-,  for an excellent website with breaking news on HIV/Aids 

Karen Hooper

Special thanks to Pandora, Peter, Lois, Roy Brazington, Anita Freeman and Deirdre Love

Socially Minded and Responsible Trading

Take a bus ride with First Step Trust

First Step Trust (FST) recently won a competition with the Business in the Community arc programme for an advertising campaign on Transport for London buses (TfL). The campaign was launched on the 20th November and features a poster on the back of all TfL buses where FST has garages (Bexley, Woolwich and Lambeth). You may already have seen the advert on a bus near you.

SMaRT Garage Services is a social enterprise run by First Step Trust. As well as providing a competitive, high quality service to customers, it provides training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of the community to support them back into work.

For more information see or Click here  find out about a SMaRT garage near you.

Happy birthday to the Hub

The new front door for mental health services gets a polish to mark its first year

Staff at the North Lambeth Hub, part of the Living Well Network celebrated its first birthday with a gathering at its Stockwell base.

Sue Field, Programme Director of the Lambeth Collaborative’s Provider Alliance Group (PAG) remembered the anticipation on November 18, 2013,  when the Hub, the new front door to north Lambeth’s mental health services was launched. She thanked staff for all their hard work in the first year.

The Hub brings together triage, the Primary Care Support Service (PASS) and the Community Options Team (COT) to work within a ‘primary and social model’ of support,  working  co-productively with service users and carers to support them to recover and stay well, be able to make their own choices and participate in their communities.

Simon Darnley, Head of Clinical Pathways Lambeth MAP CAG, South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, who has been instrumental in helping the team be set up, praised the breadth of experience encompassed in the new way of working.

 The Hub is managed by Stacey Hemphill and new to the environs is Emma Willing (pictured above left) who takes on the role of PAG Programme Manager. Emma, formerly Team Leader with Lambeth’s Home Treatment Team for four years, trained as an occupational therapist and worked in Wigan and Liverpool within Home Treatment and Forensic teams.

Her remit will be looking to roll out the Hub to the south of Lambeth in the new year and focusing on the Collaborative’s Alliance Contracting.    

 Click here to read more about the Hub.

 Karen Hooper



Celebrating faith in the community

Faith leaders play a crucial role in the wellbeing of their communities

 The contribution that faith groups are making to wellbeing in Lambeth was celebrated at a special evening event as part of Inter Faith Week (November 15-21) at Lambeth Town Hall.

 Lucy Smith, Public Health Manager – Mental Wellbeing, Lambeth & Southwark and Juney Muhammad, Mental Health Promotion Team, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), (pictured) made a great team exploring what we can do to increase our wellbeing and that of the people around us and highlighting how spirituality and pastoral care in mental health is increasingly important. The event was chaired by the Canon of Lambeth, the Rev Canon George Ansah, who is soon to be the new Chair of Faiths Together in Lambeth.

The message that came over is that faith groups play an important role in recognising  when people in their community might need additional support; that they are the ones that walk alongside people when they are at their most vulnerable and help give people the will to ‘bounce back’. Also that it is those involved in faith groups – and there were many represented at the event – that can help forge other partnerships to help make communities more resilient. Among the many interesting stalls at the event were Southwark & Lambeth INTEGRATED CARE asking the community to develop outcomes that matter for health and social care. You can have your say at a public event on Monday 24 November, 6-8.30pm, at Inspire at St Peter’s, Liverpool Grove, SE17 2HH.

Also present were Councillors Marcia Cameron (Tulse Hill ward) and Jacqui Dyer (Vassall ward). Jacqui is Co chair of Lambeth’s Black Health and Wellbeing Commission and was promoting the Commission’s report  From Surviving to Thriving at the event.

Click here to read more about the report.

Read more about Faiths Together in Lambeth at

Click here for more information about the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Course in Mental Health for all faith groups, which is run by SLaM.

For lots of interesting facts and figures about Lambeth Wellbeing get the new Lambeth Joint Strategic Needs Assessment factsheet –

 See also Lambeth and Southwark’s wellbeing network where people and organisations can be connected with information, resources, training and funding opportunities related to wellbeing,

 Pictured above right: Father Adrian McKenna from Corpus Christi RC Church, Brixton and Olive Lewis from SLaM.

Karen Hooper


Join the conversation

  • Listen to examples of good and bad hospital discharge 
  • Discuss with hospital staff and service providers ways it can be improved.
Wednesday 10th December 5pm to 7pm. 336 Brixton Road,London SE9 7AA. Hot drinks with mince pies included!
Click here to book your place or call 02072748522, email 

November 28 is Carers Rights Day

Callout for surgeries to help promote awareness of the needs of unpaid carers and to make carers aware of their rights.

At the time of writing, some 22 GP surgeries, as well as St Thomas’ Hospital and other council venues in Lambeth have signed up to take part in Carers Rights Day on November 28.

 The yearly event brings organisations across the UK together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to. The day also raises awareness of the needs of carers with the public, decision makers and professionals. With big legal changes in the Care Act 2014 coming into force in April 2015 in England it is especially important that this year’s event reaches as wide an audience as possible.

  Sally Howard, Interim Carers Hub Manager said: “Carers Hub Lambeth runs a range of services to support carers – unpaid family members, neighbours and friends – who look after someone with a disability or long term illness. We have been working with GP practices in Lambeth to identify and assist carers, to ensure they are receiving all the available help necessary.

  “As in previous years we are asking surgeries or their Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) if they would like to work with us by having a stall in the waiting area. This is an opportunity for your surgery to identify any hidden carers you may have and also, to ensure those who are already registered as carers have access to information that may be relevant to their caring roles.”

 The Carers Hub will provide and deliver the information and if required can set up the stall. All you would need to provide is the space and a table. Additionally, a member of the team can come to your surgery and discuss working together on identifying and helping carers and by developing a Practice Protocol.

 For more information contact Gordon Thompson, Outreach Co-Ordinator/Hub Administrator at or call 020 8678 5609.

 Click here for an informative selection of factsheets from Carers UK

  Karen Hooper

As easy as ABC…

The latest Lambeth Collaborative event reminds us that we all have something to bring to building a community

Asset-Based Approaches for Better Health and Well Being is a bit of a mouthful but on the tongue of Cormac Russell, the keynote speaker at the Lambeth Collaborative’s recent event, it is inspiring.

In Cormac’s world the ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) cup is always half full…  that is, that we all have assets… we all have something to bring to building a community. His is a world of wonder, where “neighbourhoods are the nurseries of democracy”, rather than the no go segregated communities, segmented like a tangerine where people are used to having things done to them.

“What we ask people to do at their most vulnerable is to reorganise their lives the way we’ve organised our services,” highlighted Cormac (Managing Director of Nurture Development, and  faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, Chicago), speaking to a packed audience from the mental health and wellbeing world at the Kia Oval.

Cormac ,who has trained communities, agencies, NGOs and governments across the globe was supported by Samantha Clarke, Chief Executive of Inclusion North (both pictured top) who brought the ethos home, reflecting on Local Area Coordinators in the UK who “do the stuff that really matters first, rather than as the final thing tacked on at the end ‘after we’ve serviced you’. “

These thought-provoking openers were a great launch pad for Certitude’s Connect & Do website, while the afternoon session took people on the Lambeth Collaborative journey thus far and asked people to help grow the Living Well Network.

It was also a sad but celebratory time as colleagues said goodbye to Collaborative member Ray Walsh retiring after 20 years as a GP. Ray was thanked for his inspiration and commitment by David Monk, the Collaborative Chair, while Natalie Sutherland, Mental Health Integrated Programme (MHIP) Co-ordinator (pictured above) made the presentation.  Ray said it was ironic that  “my involvement in the Collaborative has empowered me in making my decision to retire”, that it was time to listen to the advice he had been prescribing his patients. Click here to read Ray’s story

Reflecting on the day

“Cormac and Sam remind me how sensible it all is,” says Stacey Hemphill, Manager of the North Lambeth Hub. “We are citizens of Lambeth, we need to listen, use the people and things that already exist and work and build on them. Not try and fit the community into a service that we’ve created.”

The Collaborative’s Bill Tidnam agrees:”It was good to renew the collaborative approach, and to be reminded that this is not  just about how services work, but about how communities and people make a difference.”

Cormac’s “fresh thinking was like a shot in the arm” for peer supporter Garry Ellison, who was inspired by the event and vision to  “revolutionise the mental health sector by mobilising already existing groups in our communities.”

Attending her first Collaborative event Helen Butlin, new Co-ordinator of the Hidden Voices project was inspired by the power of stories and the example of community empowerment: “I will keep this in mind in my work with Healthwatch and the gathering of people’s stories. Hearing each voice and finding common stories are the foundations of strong communities,” she says.

The afternoon stocktake brought people up to date with the Collaborative’s work so far, as well as the chance to think about the impact the Living Well Network has had and what’s needed to make it stronger and bigger. People had a chance to join groups focusing on Primary care, peer support, preparing for work and a career and using technology.

Idris Ahmed, team leader of  the Beyond Prison and Somali projects (Certitude), found the event “eye opening… I learnt a lot including more about the Lambeth Collaborative, ” he says. “It will mean I’m able to better share info with people all round.”

Jonathan Morally, from Mosaic Clubhouse who is helping to shape the Collaborative website enjoyed the technology discussion: “It was a fantastic opportunity where we really worked together as the different organisations to strategise how we could make technology assist and make support, advice & information more accessible for everyone.”


Next steps…

Reflecting on the event overall, Nicholas Campbell-Watt’s, Certitude’s Director of Mental Health says, “Listening to Cormac inspired me to think again about how to really use a strength-based approach to working with people, so that we can understand people within their family and community and help to strengthen these networks.

 ”The overall day reinforced my commitment and belief that the Collaborative is making real progress. But it also challenged us to think beyond services and organisations.  The potential assets of people and communities has still not been sufficiently integrated into our thinking and offer and it’s exciting to look at how that could reinvigorate our work.”

Summing up Denis O’Rourke, Lambeth CCG’s Assistant Director Integrated Commissioning – Mental Health, says: “The event provided us with renewed energy and insight into the work we have been doing over the past 3/4 years. In particular how do we take an asset based approach to scale?

“It really made clear that this can’t be achieved by just bolting on “asset” based initiatives (such as peer support or Connect and Do) on top of our service system. The key message was that an Asset based approach must underpin all that we are doing and that people and communties need to be driving this and supported to do so.

“We will be reviewing how we take the next phase of the work of the Collaborative in light of the discussions . We will seek to build alliances with local people in their own communities as a key part of this work.” 

Karen Hooper

Photos: Natalie Sutherland, Stacey Hemphil

Watch this space for more from the event

Click here for Community Connecting report


Community Connecting first report launched

New network has given people resilience to change their lives

This first report (from Certitude’s Community Connecting team) was launched at the Lambeth Collaborative’s Assets based approaches for better health and wellbeing event recently along with the Connect & Do website. It contains some interesting case studies of how people have turned their lives around. Watch this space for more news from the Collaborative event.

Click here to read the report 

World Mental Health Day and beyond

Lambeth brings thought-provoking and lively events

World Mental Health Day continues with an abundance of activities with the Brixton Reel film festival rounding off October and other events in November.

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and Advocacy and was first celebrated in 1992. The initiative is run by the World Federation for Mental Health (which has members and contacts in more than 150 countries). The organisation estimates that 26 million people across the world are living with schizophrenia. It also highlights that more than 50% of people with schizophrenia cannot access adequate treatment and 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in the developing world.

 See below to access the latest report.

What happened locally?

Mosaic Clubhouse members (hosts at the Living Well Partnership in Effra Road) were in Windrush Square, Brixton, talking to people on the Day. Mosaic (as part of the international Clubhouse community) are also celebrating being awarded the world’s largest humanitarian award, the Conrad N. Hilton prize worth 1.5 million dollars. Locally, Mosaic is proud of recent national acknowledgements being highly commended in the Charity Awards and shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards… and just announced Mosaic’s Chief Executive Maresa Ness has been selected as one of the finalists for the COLLABORATION (INTEGRATION) AWARD in the 3rd Sector Care Awards. 

Meanwhile, Lambeth and Southwark Mind with Brixton Live Partners were at Brixton Library. The day started with a children’s sensory interactive performance, Mind ran a stall and Co-Interim Director Earl Pennycooke gave a talk. Later, Raw Sounds celebrated the positive impact creativity has on wellbeing. Here’s what carer Matthew McKenzie made of the day in his wonderful film (Click here to view the film)


Evening with Black Health and Wellbeing Commission

Chuka Umunna MP  joined Councillors Ed Davie and Jacqueline Dyer, co-chairs of Lambeth Council’s Black Health and Wellbeing Commission at an event at the Lambeth Assembly Hall, Brixton.

 The event, which also fell in Black History Month, launched the commission’s report looking at prevention and improving mental wellbeing in Lambeth. Time to Change – a campaign to end mental health discrimination and stigma  – launched its initiative focusing on black African & Caribbean communities.

(Pictured above Earl Pennycooke)

There was entertainment from poet Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, refreshments and with the event drawing lots of Lambeth residents to the discussions, this was a truly co-operative council event. Click here to see more about the report.

SHARP art and events

Artists at the SHARP Gallery are celebrating with an inspiring exhibition and some thought-provoking events. The group exhibition Who”s Self Portrait has been curated by visionary local artist and carer Mary Salome. I was particularly drawn to a work of a pumping red heart with the words ‘pathologise this’. Claire Groake from the team sent out “a big thank you to everyone involved in World Mental Health day 10th October event… just one of the events we ran across the last few weeks in collaboration with the GV gallery which were a great success.” She added that the team had had some lovely feedback,  and people had shared how this linked to their recovery. A psychology trainee fed back that “SHARP is an unusual mental health setting, so creative and positive”. People enjoyed trying out the mindfulness and creative writing tasters (thanks Anne and Marieke) and many were impressed with the standard of Art work from those who exhibited, adds Claire.

“A massive thank you to Mary Salome for your creative and organisation support for this event as well as everything else you have done for World Mental Health Day.” 

Click here for more information 

 The Reel kept rolling

Acknowledging that World Mental Health Day is more like a season, Brixton Reel Film Festival continued the festivities throughout October. Click here to read more.

Read more about the event Mosaic hosted here.

(Beverly Randall, Programme Manager of Mosaic Clubhouse with the Lambeth Mayor pictured above at the Brixton Reel Festival) 

Click here for the World Federation for Mental Health’s latest report

Karen Hooper

Collaborative breakfast at Loughborough Farm

Collaborative confirms that community food growing project is supporting people’s Wellbeing

The Lambeth Collaborative has been working innovatively to reshape mental health services in the borough for the past few years. As part of this vision it meets monthly for breakfast and recently members were on Loughborough Farm sampling the fruits of the farm’s labour and hearing from volunteer Zeenat how the farm has helped her well being.

“It’s great to see enthusiastic people taking a derelict patch of land and making it into something that gives back not just good food and a better environment , but a place where people can meet their neighbours and work together,” said the Collaborative’s Bill Tidnam, Director of Housing And Community Support at Thames Reach.

“It was a pleasure to breakfast at Loughborough Farm,” added Sarah Corlett from Lambeth & Southwark’s Public Health Team “what a lovely little triangle of creativity and growth. It was the first time I have had salad at that hour of the morning but it was delicious as was the courgette cake. Hearing about the project, including directly from someone who was volunteering really showed how a gardening project builds communities and improves wellbeing.”

GP Ray Walsh, a member of the Clinical Commissioning Board whose practice is part of the Lambeth Food Co-op said the farm is a “great example of developing community resilience through a non “service” model. Connecting people through shared activities where each person can make a valuable contribution and regarded as an asset is the basis of developing a community.”

Read Zeenat’s story 

Photo: Anthea Masey

Karen Hooper

Exhibition features Avatar talk

A dynamic group of artists explore “Living with Schizophrenia”

The theme this year is Living with Schizophrenia and heralding the event the Social Inclusion Hope and Recovery Project (SHARP) is hosting a Group Exhibition.

The exhibition, Who”s Self Portrait (which runs until November 28), brings together artists who hear voices and/or have unusual beliefs /experiences. The show explores how people process, interpret and make sense of these experiences through their artwork.

 The exhibition is being curated by Mary Salome, visionary local artist and carer who set up the gallery at SHARP in 2012. Since then more than 50 artists have exhibited their work; many for the first time. 

“We are really pleased to host this group show,” says Anna Croucher, Senior Occupational Therapist, Service Development lead and Evaluator. “This is our 17th show at the SHARP gallery, and we have over 26 artists exhibiting this time. I feel that this exciting show embraces and reflects the diversity of people’s experiences, truly highlighting the creativity that everyone holds and the power of making art.”

Avatar Workshop 

Dr Tom Ward, Therapy Co-ordinator of the Avatar Project gave a fascinating insight into Avatar, an innovative audio-visual assisted therapy to reduce the frequency of distressing voices, at the Gallery as part of the season’s events. 

He explained that the randomised trial to either Avatar therapy or Supportive Counselling is looking for people to take part in the study. For more information email: or contact the Avatar team on 02078485087
On November 12 the events will be rounded off with an artist’s talk, 1-3pm.
SHARP worked in partnership with GV art gallery.


49 Chiltern Street, W1U 6LY    

For more information contact Anna Croucher, Claire Groake or Mary Salome on 020 3228 7050. 

The SHARP gallery is at 308-312 Brixton Road, SW9 6AA

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30-4.30pm by appointment, Friday 1-3pm open 

The next exhibition is for NHS staff.

Click here for more on World Mental Health Day.

Karen Hooper

Driving Ambition

An exciting new initiative at First Step Trust run by SMaRT garage services

Take the first step to gaining your driving licence by joining our 9 week Driving Ambition theory course. Gain valuable knowledge of the Highway Code and theory test as well as gaining a practical knowledge of vehicle safety and maintenance. At the end of the 9 weeks First Step Trust will pay for your provisional license. Driving Ambition runs every Monday: Morning session, 10am to 12pm; or afternoon session, 2pm to 4pm. Venue: SMaRT garage services Lambeth, Unit 9 Windsor Centre, West Norwood, SE27 9NT.

Contact Katie Ryan: or 07914763222 Guyto Vel: or 0208 7610776

Please download the flyer here

From Surviving to Thriving

Commission makes 40 recommendations on black health and wellbeing

“People from the black community are disproportionately exposed to factors, like poverty, that increase their likelihood of developing a mental illness,” says Lambeth’s Black Health and Wellbeing Commission in a powerful report entitled From Surviving to Thriving.  “Everyone in Lambeth needs to work together to eradicate poverty, poor housing, abuse, substance misuse and lack of opportunity. These are big challenges but if we start by improving social and emotional education, early intervention and the experience of those with mental illness we will reduce one of the starkest areas of inequality in the borough.” 

The report was launched at a successful joint event with the Commission and Time to Change at Lambeth Town Hall on World Mental Day and in Black History Month.

Commission Co-chairs Councillors Ed Davie and Jacqui Dyer reported that feedback “has been really positive and a strong message that people would like to continue to be kept informed on these and associated initiatives.” 

Karen Hooper

Click here for the Black Health and Wellbeing Commission final report for your information

Please may I introduce myself

The Living Well Network’s first open event is a successful day out for services and those who use them

Though the objective of the day was to introduce people to what is on offer throughout the  Living Well Network, the Open Day proved also to be a  drop-in for the professionals in that it brought everyone together under one roof.

“As well as being a brilliant opportunity for workers new to Lambeth to network quickly and effectively, the Induction at Mosaic Clubhouse meant that people interested in using the services on offer could be referred to the appropriate stall, just a short stroll away, with a friendly wave (rather than the formality of phone calls and forms),” says Lee Elliott, Employment, Information and Training Co-ordinator. Those arriving at the Living Well Partnership’s Effra Road HQ were given a warm welcome from hosts Mosaic and the more informal approach appeared to put people at their ease. 

Visitors also received a brief leaflet on the co-production principles  of the Lambeth Collaborative (of which the Network is a part) working closely with each person “to tailor make their support reflecting their strengths, hopes & aspirations and their needs, to promote long term mental wellbeing and strong social support networks”. 

Promoting strong social support networks is the mission of Liz Lawrence, Community Connecting Coach (pictured above)  who was impressed with the event. “At one point there wasn’t enough of us on the stall to talk to people, she says. “It’s popular because people like the concept of being away from services and leading more independent lives” (Liz works with about 12 people at a time, linking them to something they are interested in increasing their opportunity of making friends around shared interests from gardening to Zumba, supporting them to front up but then letting them shape it themselves). See


Learning experience

Mark Young, Manager of the Community Options Team (Thames Reach), (pictured top with Sue Field, left and Stacey Hemphil),which is part of the Living Well Hub, the front door to mental health services in north Lambeth was heartened by the new venture. “It’s great to get all the services together and allowing people to see what’s available in the borough,” he said. 


Stacey Hemphill, Hub Manager, described what it had meant for her to have Sarah Bennett and Curtis Sinclair from Lambeth Carers Hub (pictured with Julie El Bahrawy, Finance Officer from SRA) sitting across the room. 

“It was great to be able to speak informally with Sarah and Curtis, I was able to share some of the needs of people who I had recently met at the Hub and think about ways we could support people together; I feel this regular event will provide a place for service users, carers and staff to meet up and grow exactly the type of accessible community support networks the Collaborative is aiming for.”

Sue Field, Programme Manager, Provider Alliance Group said she had learned of activities from stall holders that she did not know about; for example the Connecting Communities’ weekly coffee mornings that provided ‘an opportunity for people to meet each other and forge friendships’.

In all 12 organisations signed up, and more than 50 people attended.

“We are hoping to expand both the number of agencies present and attendees month on month,” added Sue.  

 Maresa Ness, Mosaic’s Chief Executive was inspired by the event.  “Every time we host a large event it provides many more opportunities for members to learn new skills, this is always welcome! Reception was very, very busy, which is really valuable training, the hospitality team were buzzing as they kept the hot and cold drinks and cakes flowing. The cleaning team were straight on to every spillage and took pride in keeping the environment litter and clutter free. Members set up the room and then put the furniture away at the end. We had members working on the slideshow and music, as well as “meeting & greeting”  and keeping an eye on parking. The atmosphere was friendly, positive and collegiate! The Living Well Network was there for all to see; learning more about how we can work even more closely together to maximise the opportunities for Lambeth residents living with a mental health condition.” 


The next open event is September 25 at 11am.

Read Matt’s story 

Karen Hooper


Putting on a show

Lambeth & Southwark Mind and the Living Well Network demonstrate positive partnership working at the Lambeth Country Show

Lambeth & Southwark Mind’s Information Service Assitant Kelly Boughtflower took on the mammoth task of organising a stall with rota at this year’s Lambeth Country Show. “We haven’t been present there for many years and it was long overdue,” she says.

“As a Lambeth resident, born and raised, I know how this event is such a huge party for the Lambeth Community and as it was their 40th anniversary, it was even more important… We do great work and by raising the profiles of our charity and hopefully our funds, we will be able to achieve and offer so much more going forward.” 

Kelly praised the support of Co Interim Directors Jolie Goodman and Earl Pennycooke, Trustee Mark Bertram, Gloria Gifford, and Joan Kennedy for producing a much-valued  donations’ bucket.

“Everybody looked happy in the marquee and seemed to enjoy it and it was great to have so many different people offering their time on the rota to do shifts.” Adds Earl Pennycooke: ” It was great to be part of the event and to speak to so many people who then realised that advice, information and support was available and that they were not alone in dealing with their own or loved one’s mental distress.”

Lena Malkin, Mosaic Clubhouse Business & Administration Unit Co-Ordinator (pictured below) enjoyed meeting members of the public. “People seemed to be very happy to find out that there is a central point for them to go to and find out information about mental health services in the Lambeth Living Well Partnership Information Hub.” 


Sue Field, Programme Director, Provider Alliance Group says: ” It was really good to have a Living Well Network presence at the fair. It was great to have some really good conversations with people and give them information about how we were working differently.
“People also came with really specific requests, about how they could access work opportunities, training etc. One person asked how he could support his nephew who had mental health needs to gain work experience he needed to access a psychiatric nursing course.
“Staffing a stall with other agencies made me realise the importance of working ‘across the Network’ , that together we could answer a wide variety of questions that people had, whereby otherwise on our own we would struggle.” 
Summing up, Jolie Goodman says: “It was a great experience for Lambeth & Southwark Mind to attend the Lambeth Country Show. We had many enquiries about the services we run and requests for Information. Sharing our stall with the Living Well Network was a positive way to demonstrate partnership working to the local community. The dramatic weather saw many, many  people take shelter in the Charities Tent and we ran out of stress balls!”
Karen Hooper
Photos:Kelly Boughtflower

The Living Well Network Hub

A brief overview of the first six months

The North Lambeth Network Hub opened on 18 November 2013. It was born out of a desire from the Lambeth Collaborative to improve outcomes for service users and to grow an integrated structure of support for people in primary care.

The Hub is comprised of:

  • A nurse, occupational therapist,  social worker, two psychiatrists from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and Lambeth Council,
  • The Primary Care Support Service (PASS) , a group of nurses working with Clapham Family Practice in GP surgeries,
  • The Community Options Team (COT), a team of voluntary sector providers across Mosaic, Look Ahead, Penrose, Certitude and Thames Reach, together with
  • A growing peer support service hosted by Certitude.

Its aim is to work within a ‘primary and social model’ of support and work co-productively with service users and carers to support them to recover and stay well, be able to make their own choices and participate in their communities.

Working co-productively means:

  • Recognising people as assets – recognising that people are resourceful and can use their strengths and skills to support their own recovery 
  • Building on people’s existing capabilities –  supporting people to identify their skills and how to use them to meet their goals
  • Peer support networks – working with service users to foster supportive relations between themselves
  • Blurring distinctions – thinking creatively, not always using services in their traditional sense
  • Facilitating rather than delivering – supporting people to recover rather than ‘doing to and for’ people
  • Mutuality and reciprocity – thinking about how people and organisations can ‘trade’ skills or resources to support each other. 

Together we are the new front door to mental health services in North Lambeth as we have replaced the community mental health team function of deciding who would benefit from secondary care intervention and we are beginning to work with people being discharged from SLaM back to their GP.

We are still developing the service but can now report on our initial six month activity.


Main aims 

Our main aims are:

  • To reduce inappropriate referrals to SLaM
  • To reduce the number of people being supported by the Mood and Anxiety Community Mental Health Team in SLaM (the team that used to be the entry point to support from the community mental health teams) by 10%
  • To offer alternative support to 400 people so that they can be supported by their GP and not need to be referred to SLaM. We also wish to help a wider population where we can intervene earlier and hence reduce escalation of crises.

We also want to address GP concerns as they have reported issues of: 

  • There being ‘too high thresholds to access support’ which means that GPs feel that they have to wait for people’s health to deteriorate before services will offer support
  • Not knowing how to access general mental health advice
  • Not knowing how to access social support for their patients

We offer people up to 12 weeks of ‘re-ablement’ support. This means offering focused, goal orientated support together with a wider Network of services to support people to learn or reconnect with their skills to foster their recovery.


Initial results

People being introduced to the Hub

The Hub has received 781 introductions since opening. The red line shows when we opened (18th November) and shows the numbers of introductions we received, and the blue line shows the numbers received by the community mental health team. Onward referral to SLaM has reduced significantly.   

Figure One: Numbers of referrals received by the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) and numbers introduced to the Hub.

Most service users are not known to SLaM or other mental health services or Accident & Emergency Departments. Most are introduced by the GP and 40% (309) of people who were introduced were offered alternative support via the Hub.

What support are people receiving when they are introduced?

One of the key strengths of the Hub is that people can receive the help that they need from the outset, for example if someone requires a medical assessment, or support with their medication, and also has issues with their housing and benefits; teams can work with the person immediately. The chart below shows the numbers of people who were helped by the different teams.

Figure Two: Numbers of people who were supported by the Hub

 Service user views

We now have a service user feedback form, but to get some early results we asked 5 peer supporters to contact 60 people to ask them about how they found the service. They were able to talk to 17 people.

In all:

–  70% felt their goals were ‘definitely met’ or ‘met to some extent’

–  15 out of the 17 identified being ‘involved in how their goals were met’

–  Only one person stated they did not discuss how to get help in an emergency

–  The majority of people reported their experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

Improvements suggested centred around wanting more than 12 weeks of support, wanting more information about what was on offer, and the need to improve the waiting area.


GP Views

Similarly, we asked GPs what they felt about the service. We received 10 responses from 6 surgeries. The following was found;

  • 60% of GPs reported an understanding of what happened in the Hub, 40% ‘to some extent’
  • 50% reported finding the introduction process, ‘easy’, 30% ‘satisfactory’, and 20% ‘difficult’
  • 70% stated they received feedback, 30% sometimes

Other comments included:

‘It is much better than the previous CMHT’. It really seems to be better organised than it used to be ‘Thank you’.

Suggestions centred around how we communicate the different services to users so that they are not confused, giving the GP a key contact name of the person supporting the service user and a suggestion of how the Hub can support people on discharge from SLaM.

One GP was concerned that people ‘are still getting bounced around the system’ meaning that sometimes people are referred to lots of teams before they receive help.


What next? 

We have lots to do, but our priorities are:

1. Thinking about how we work in a more co-productive way. We want to:

  • Design an Introduction Form. This form can be given to users before they see one of the Hub staff so that they can think through what and how they can be supported. We want to make sure that we are working with peoples’ priorities rather than service priorities and we think that by guiding people through what they may like to say will promote this.
  • Pilot a MY Wellbeing Pack: This pack will be given to people when they come to the Hub and will summarise all the key pieces of information, such as medication, side effects, what needs doing next, key contact points in case future help is needed. We want everyone to know about peer support services such as Solidarity in a Crisis, which supports people at times of crises on the phone seven nights a week and in the community   at the weekend.
  • Begin hosting a monthly open event at the Living Well Partnership, so that everyone, service users, staff, carers, members of the public can get to know all the services in the Network and the many opportunities open to them. Services include employment, training, workshops discussing mental health, support plans, services offering practical support, information.
  • At a later date we want to pilot how people can self refer to the service and chose who they see in the Hub.
  • Think more about how users and peers can be involved in all aspects of what we do.

2. Roll out a South Hub by December 2014

3. Develop how we are working to support people leaving SLaM.


More information

If you would like to see the full report, or would like further information, please contact Sue Field, at

Sue Field, Programme Director, Provider Alliance Group (4 August 2014)


For an example about how the Hub has supported people read Matt’s story here

Read Sue Field’s personal story on the journey to the Living Well Hub launch

For more information about the Living Well Network Open Event please click here




Carers’ time

June means Carers Week celebrations and a chance for mental health staff to reflect on an unpaid workforce

Carers Hub Lambeth led the way in the borough as the nationwide Carers Week got into full swing this month, celebrating the unpaid workers whose care to friends and relatives is equivalent to an estimated £119 billion every year.

Hub celebrations included visits to Eastbourne and Kew Gardens, rounded off with a barbecue at Woodlawns in Streatham featuring the band Soundminds. Committing to Carers UK’  Quest, to reach as many carers as possible, Hub staff (pictured above with carers) joined the Thames Walk on May 31.

The Hub also circulated local GP surgeries with specialist carers’ information packs. Herne Hill Road Medical Practice in partnership with its Patient Participation Group and Carnegie Library held an event in the library garden in the run-up to the Week. 

Recognising the work of carers and their own health needs Chair of Lambeth’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Dr Adrian McLachlan, said: “We want to make sure carers can access services from their GP or at hospital which support their mental and physical health. If you are a carer in Lambeth you can talk to your GP about the services available to you.”

It is estimated that 1.5 million people nationwide care for someone with a mental health issue and there were good will messages and a commitment to better support mental health carers locally. 

Sue Field, Programme Director of the Lambeth Collaborative’s Provider Alliance Group (PAG) said the Collaborative recognises the importance of carers and the role they play in supporting people. “We are particularly keen in the Living Well Hub to understand how we can greater assist carers, and will be circulating a questionnaire to this effect in the next few months. We want to understand what information we can give and what practical support would be of assistance. We hope to share these plans to the Carers Forum in July and will have feedback on the website.” 

Zoe Reed, Director of Organisation and Community, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) who has recently taken over as SLaM lead for Carers said: “I’m looking forward to working with friends, family, supporters and carers of people who use the services across the Collaborative and recognise what a vital contribution they all make. Best wishes for a successful Carers Week.” 

Fran Bristow, Programme Director for SLaM’s  Adult Mental Health Programme announced  that “we now have additional resources for family interventions for people with psychosis alongside additional care co-ordinator time in community teams.” She added that staff will be better able to work with families and to support carers, including completion of carers’ needs assessments.

Suzanne Jolley, Clinical Psychologist and Carer Support Project lead for Lambeth, said that the “Lambeth Promoting Recovery (PR) teams and the Social Inclusion Hope and Recovery Service (SHARP) have been running a new carer support service over the last year. Carers of PR service users are offered an assessment of their emotional and practical support needs, access to information and support groups, individual interventions to help with understanding psychosis and the impact of their caring role, and help to liaise with the team.

We are just starting a year-long evaluation of the service. Interested carers should enquire through the community mental health team or Carers Hub.” 


On the frontline

Just over six months in post Sarah Bennett (who with Curtis Sinclair pictured, are the Hub’s Mental Health workers) hear of the day to day struggles that mental health carers face around issues such as stigma, confidentiality and information sharing and the fear of loved ones harming themselves. This is compounded by anxiety around plans to pool the funding from Lambeth Council that goes to the Carers Hub and disabled people and elders’ support. The vision is for a Social Care Hub that will be set up early in 2015. The design of the service is being co-produced and the deadline to feedback is fast approaching (see below). 

Many carers of those with mental health issues  fear that specialist services provided at the Carers Hub will be cut and leave them further isolated.  “I  feel it’s important to have specialist workers in the SC Hub who do understand mental health and all the associated challenges – something which was reflected in many comments at the Co-production meeting,”  says Sarah. 

Sarah also believes a  “much more integrated approach between health and social care services is needed to meet carers’ needs more effectively and to identify carers at a much earlier stage in their caring journey, providing information, advice and support at the right times. As mental health exists in a state of flux it’s important that support is there when it is most needed.

 “I think increased provision/more consideration of carers in GP’s, community mental health teams and on psychiatric wards would help with this. All too often services are developed with only service users in mind without recognising the inherent benefits for both service users and carers of providing something for carers.  A more holistic view would bring improved outcomes for both.” 


Read how one carer has drawn on her own mental health issues to start a project for teenagers

Find out why peer support works for carers


To complete online survey re the Social Care Hub click here: 


To complete the survey with someone on the phone, call the Carers Hub Enquiry Line: 0207 642 0038

A series of Evidence Summits will be held throughout July as part of the work NHS England and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have committed to do. The RCGP as part of its ‘Supporting Carers in General Practice’ Programme’ and NHS England’s ‘Commitment to Carers’ (published May 2014) following consultation with carers, charities and partner organisations identifies eight priorities and 37 commitments that will help the NHS to deliver care and support carers have said they need. 

Click here to read the NHS England’s Commitment to Carers 

And click here to read more about RCGP Carer support


Karen Hooper

Solidarity on the line seven days a week

Such is its success, Solidarity in a Crisis has expanded its service

Solidarity in a Crisis, the peer led out-of-hours service (hosted by Certitude as part of the Lambeth Collaborative) is now available seven nights a week. Two peer supporters per night operate on the phone from their homes, speaking to those who find themselves facing crisis and needing someone to talk to. At weekends, during the day, once someone has referred themselves or been referred they can meet up with peer supporters in the community.

Says Nicholas Campbell Watts, Certitude’s Director of Mental Health, “When we developed Solidarity in a Crisis (SiaC) our aim was to pilot it at weekends to learn more about the demand for peer led out-of-hours crisis support. People using the service have told us that SiaC is definitely needed throughout the week, so in agreement with commissioners we are really excited to now extend the support available to people.”

The eight-strong team won Certitude’s Michael Rosen Inspiring Team award recently. Pictured, left to right: Philippa Laughton and Sheila Rosen with SiaC team members Oulimede Soyemi, Patrick Nyikavaranda (Peer Involvement Coordinator),Sarah Samuel, Carmen Samuel-Agyei and Chief Executive Aisling Duffy.


Read Peter’s story on why Solidarity works for him

Read Hamza’s story about being a peer supporter



Solidarity in a Crisis operates:
Monday to Friday – 8pm-12 midnight
Saturday, Sunday nights – 8pm – 2am

Contact details:
Freephone: 0300 123 1922 Or text us on: 0788 9756 078 or 0788 9756 083
Or email:

Karen Hooper
Photo: Mike Bloodworth

Fast Forward: the event write up

Read about what happened at the Collaborative event, who was there, the challenges people were asked to think about and the solutions they came up with.

There was lots of energy, networking and a real sense of a challenge at the Lambeth Collaborative’s borough-wide event at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre in March.

The event brought together more than 130 people from service users and carers to those in Primary Care, Social Care, from South London & Maudsley (SLaM) Voluntary and Community Services, Lambeth Council and Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Launching the event Councillor (Cllr) Jim Dickson (Health and Wellbeing Board, Cabinet lead) spoke positively about partnership working within the Collaborative and the value around the co-design and delivery of services. Denis O’Rourke, (Assistant Director Integrated Commissioning) and Ray Walsh (CCG lead) gave an overview of system change, focusing on resources, savings and Alliance Contracting

Those changes were well illustrated in stories from the frontline – Airdrina’s moving account on the impact on her life since receiving a personal budget, the Living Well Network Hub from Stacey Hemphill (North Lambeth Hub Team Manager) and GP Dr Di Aitkin’s perspectives, and an account of how community connectors, like Rina Deans are helping to address people’s social isolation and help turn their lives around. 

There was a real buzz in the market place of stalls and people were encouraged, by MC Aisling Duffy, to rise to three design-led session challenges – Business (Pet Support, Flat cleaning and DIY service); Growing, evolving and extending the Collaborative: Taking Medication Prototype, Peer Support and Connecting Communities to scale; and Back to the Living Room idea, which is where the Collaborative started (What if there was only one hospital ward in Lambeth?).

Mathew Patrick, the new Chief Executive of SLaM in his closing remarks highlighted the need for collaboration to improve outcomes experienced by people with serious mental health problems.

Dr Raj Mitre from the CCG finished the event by applauding and thanking the contribution of Missing Link’s first cohort of peer supporters (including Maggie Bisram, Richard Evans, Ed McFadden and Pamela Spencer) who were moving on after helping to shape the service and change people’s lives for the better. 

Lastly, all expressed their thanks and recognition of the efforts of David Singer (Transformation Projects lead) and Anne Donoghue (Head of Social Care Adult Integrated Mental Health Services, Adults’ Community Services) Lambeth Council, also moving on, both of whom had been extremely influential in driving the collaborative work further.

Find out more about how people rose to the challenges of the day.


Fast Forward Event Write Up 


Karen Hooper

Photos: Sophie Walker

Workshop write up and design: Sophie Walker 



The Hub is here for North Lambeth

The Hub is the new front door to mental health support

What is The Hub?
The Hub, part of the Living Well Network, is the new front door to mental health support (replacing the previous function provided by community mental health teams). The Hub works within primary care. If you require specialist, secondary care and support, your referral will be passed on to the relevant team if appropriate. Working out of The Hub are social workers, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, peer supporters and community support guides working together under one roof and in the community to improve mental wellbeing in Lambeth.

What to expect
Our work is based on the principles of co-production and personalisation. This means that we work closely with each person to tailor make their support reflecting their strengths, hopes & aspirations and their needs, to promote long term mental wellbeing and strong social support networks.

Service access
At the present time The Hub is only working with the North of Lambeth and introductions can only be made via a GP or other health professional.

Download our flyer for more information: The Hub (North Lambeth) flyer

Or watch the video:



From surviving to thriving: how does that happen?

A powerful new report describes how people moved on from services and got their lives back on track


‘From surviving to thriving, how does that happen?’ is a co-produced report involving several organisations associated with the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative. Seven people who worked with local peer and vocational projects told us about how they found their own way forward, to improve mental health, quality of life and wellbeing. People moved on from services and got their lives back on track. The report describes how this happened and also contains: 

  • A theory of personal change.
  • An invalidation/validation framework that identifies what conditions create distress and what conditions create learning, change and growth.
  • Recommendations for future innovative developments.

Click on the link below to view the report

From Surviving to Thriving Report 







Fast Forward: The Collaborative 2015 and beyond

Save the date for our Collaborative event. Come along to get an update on the progress of The Collaborative and to join us on the next stages of its design and development.

Join us for an afternoon of thinking about the future of mental health wellbeing and support in Lambeth. We will be looking at what changes we have implemented over the past few years, what we’ve learned from our journey, as well as sharing stories from those who have been directly affected by our work.

This event will be taking place on Tuesday 11th March from 12:00 – 5pm. It is open to anyone who has an interest in mental health wellbeing and support in Lambeth. Please come along to get an update on the progress of The Collaborative and to join us on the next stages of its design and development.

To RSVP please go to:



Aspiring to 2014

Members of Lambeth Collaborative’s Provider Alliance Group sum up their vision for the year ahead.

The Provider Alliance Group (PAG) is the operations’ task-force of the Lambeth Collaborative (the Collaborative). Its job is to inject life into the innovative co-design work and reshaping of Lambeth’s mental health map that’s been emerging over the past three years. The Collaborative has brought together service users, carers, commissioners and those from the clinical  and voluntary sectors to do things differently. Below, PAG members  reflect on their aspirations for 2014 –  an alliance pot to finance projects, a roll out of the Living Well Network (early intervention via GPs) and a more flexible route in and out of secondary services. At its heart… opportunities for those with lived experience, taking the mental out of mental health.


Nicholas Campbell-Watts – Director of Mental Health, Certitude: “For there to be a strong offer of realistic options around how people are helped to manage crises”

Lucas Teague – Co-ordinator Missing Link Peer Support, Metropolitan: “More jobs for peer support workers – Paid opportunities”

Denis O’Rourke – Assistant Director, Integrated Commissioning, Mental Health, NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group: “To achieve an Alliance in 2014”

Jeremy Swain – Chief Executive, Thames Reach: “I want to attend a meeting of users of mental health services when they tell me they are getting better services and feel more in control of what they get”

Ronnie Wilson – Chief Executive, First Step Trust:  “More opportunities for young people to engage in work with the community, i.e, apprenticeships”

Sue Field – Programme Director, Provider Alliance Group: “A successful roll out of the Living Well Network to the South of Lambeth”

 Zoë Reed – Executive Director, Strategy and Business Development, South London and Maudsley NHS FT (SLaM): “That we will make coproduction the operating system across the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative”

Bill Tidnam – Director of Housing and Community Support, Thames Reach: “Easy in easy out services that doesn’t take over people’s lives and which feels safe and accessible”

Dr Ray Walsh – GP and Clinical Commissioning Group Board member: “Embed all GP practices into the Living Well Network”

Lucy Canning – Service Director for Psychosis Clinical Academic Group (CAG), SLaM: “Successful roll out of the SLaM redesign in partnership with the Living Well Network Hub”

Anne Donoghue – Head of Social Care Adult Integrated Mental Health Services, Adults’ and Community Services, Lambeth Council: “A fully functioning Alliance”




Welcome to the Living Well Network

The Living Well Network is here

I remember when colleagues across the voluntary sector, SLaM, public health, GPs, service users and carers all met for the very first time at 8.00 for breakfast in Abbeyvilles Restaurant in Clapham in June 2010 – about 20 people in total. This was the first meeting of the Living Well Collaborative. We were all there because we wanted to radically change how we could support service users with mental health needs, and we knew that we had to rethink how we all worked together.  

We wanted to take the ‘mental’ out of mental health and wanted Lambeth to see people as people, not just as someone with a mental health problem but someone with skills and abilities to support themselves within the community in which they live, and to actively contribute to that community.

There has been lots of good work that has been achieved so far. November 18th is so significant as for the first time we are co-ordinating all this work into a system wide response in North Lambeth.  From 18th November we:

  • Will have one front door to access mental health services, which is not categorised by diagnosis as now
  • Will be able to help people earlier as we will be able to assist people with social crises which can make their mental health worse.
  • Will be able to respond more quickly, and offer up to a 12 week ‘Assessment, Action and Planning’ type of support. This means that we will be able to draw on community resources more quickly and be able to work more intensively and in a more personalised way.  We will also be able to facilitate people to make more community connections to help them stay well.
  • Will have 24 hour access to information, offering drop in, email, web based and telephone advice so that people are signposted to the right service.


This is only the first step in what we want to do. We want:

  • To support GPs more practically to work with people with mental health needs
  • People to be able to access services themselves rather than being ‘referred’ by professionals.
  • People to be supported in their communities whenever possible and not get stuck in a secondary care mental health system
  • People to have more choice about where they access support


This means that we are continually wanting to get better. We want to hear from everyone about their experiences of either giving or receiving support. 

I hope that this website becomes a key tool in facilitating this and becomes a central point to where people can access news of what is going on, be able to express views of what is working well, what we need to improve and give ideas as to how you or your team/service could work differently.

We are still meeting as a Collaborative for breakfast once a month, and have engaged with over 1,700 people along the way to help develop this system redesign. I have changed as a result, in both what I think and how I work with providers to change what we do together. I hope that you are inspired to be part of this journey too.

Growing Peer Support in Lambeth

Lambeth Peer Support Framework

In the Living Well Collaborative we believe that peer support is one of the most important ways that we can positively develop the skill mix, opportunities, experience and outcomes for people using mental health services in Lambeth.  The way we provide services and support has become over-reliant on professional expertise and we know that we have failed to tap into the huge potential of service users and carers lived expertise around recovery and staying well.

 We now want to significantly grow and develop peer support so that it becomes possible for anyone using mental health services to offer to help others, or to ask for help from another person with lived experience.

 We’ve already developed a number of successful peer support initiatives such as Missing Link, Solidarity in a Crisis and Community Connecting.  We also know that several organisations working in Lambeth also have their own peer support projects.  So we have developed the Peer Support Framework to publicly set out our commitment to grow and connect the various peer support initiatives so that peer support becomes an intrinsic part of our service offer in Lambeth.  

Nicholas Campbell-Watts, Director of Mental Health, Certitude



Lambeth Peer Support Framework

The Living Well Collaborative believes that peer support and user co-production are central to the transformation of services and is in the ‘DNA’ of how the Living Well Network will be delivered.

This Framework sets out our thinking and planning to make this happen.


1.     What’s peer support?

We believe that peer support at its simplest is about one person supporting another, where both people share a common first hand experience of living with mental health issues.  Support can be social, emotional or practical support (or all of these) but importantly support is mutually offered and reciprocal, allowing both peers to benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving it.

Peer support can be provided in number of ways – from one person to another in a hospital ward or community setting, by volunteer peer mentors helping to deliver activities; or by peer support workers formally employed by mental health services to work alongside individuals.


2.     What are we doing?

Much work has happened already in the development of peer support within the Living Well Collaborative, such as the development of the Peer Support Manifesto (February 2013), the growth of Vital Link and Missing Link, key research projects led by peers in the development of key initiatives such as Solidarity in Crisis, and the Crisis House,, the development of the Peer Support Exchange Model (2013) and in the completion of the Assessment, Action and Planning (AAP) Prototype.

We believe that by valuing lived experience on a par with professional skills and qualifications, peer support can radically challenge and transform the culture of mental health services in Lambeth.  We aim to draw on the expertise, commitment resources  and assets of users, carers, providers and commissioners in Lambeth to:

  • Ensure everyone is able to access some form of peer support
  • Ensure everyone is offered an opportunity to support others
  • Provide opportunities of peer support at key transition points-  these are times that users tell us are particularly difficult in their recovery ie
    • When entering and leaving mental health services
    • When leaving hospital
    • At times of crises, particularly at weekends.
  • Ensuring access to information on peer support in the community so people a) know about peer support and  b) peer initiatives can ‘connect’ with each other.


In addition we will

  • Raise awareness and credibility of peer support across secondary care, primary care and third sector providers.
  • Share learning, training and opportunities of peer support across the Network.
  • Ensure users/their representatives are present at  key strategic decision making meetings
  • Co-produce new services with users and carers, some of which are peer led ie Solidarity in a Crisis.
  • Help people form their own peer support networks.
  • Work with users to evaluate where appropriate, the services that are developed
  • Co-produce training/new working with service users.
  • Ensure adequate and valued support is available for peer supporters
    • Ensure that peer support is of a consistent high quality through the development of shared values, standards, training and support.
    • Influence the development and growth of peer support, maximising existing resources and drawing in additional resources where possible. This will also involve identifying the conditions that help grow peer support opportunities.


3.     Why are we doing this?

We believe that people can significantly improve the quality of their lives and the outcomes they achieve within mental health services, through peer support.   This is because people can benefit from mutually supportive relationships that are not limited by waiting lists, access criteria or diagnosis.   We know that clinical treatment and formal mental health services are an essential part of many people’s support, but these are limited in terms of timeliness, accessibility and cost. 

Peer support provides an invaluable approach to supporting people that can be fully integrated with people’s formal network of support or, in some cases; it can provide an alternative way to engage someone in self-help or helping others, rather than drawing them towards formal mental health services.


4.     How will we do this?

We wish to develop the following:

i.     informal and ad-hoc support among service users and carers, which many people find just as valuable as support from health and social care staff (or even more valuable);

ii.     organised but unpaid peer support generally undertaken by volunteers who take on roles as ‘mentors’ or ‘peer buddies’; and

iii.    paid peer support, where peer workers will generally be part of a team contracted to provide services to service users.

iv.     We see the collaborative as having an enabling role in the development of these models of provision but are also mindful of the potential to ‘suffocate’ natural processes by over-involvement

We also wish to explore the use Time Bank as a key vehicle to growing peer support and involve others who can offer support away from purely mental health settings.

We have established a Peer Support Working Group which will help to coordinate our work across these areas, focussing particularly on encouraging development of the first 2 areas. .


5.     How and when will we know its happening?

We need to evaluate our progress in building peer support and developing a peer support culture into the DNA of the Living Well Network.  We have therefore identified the following objectives:

i.    To agree a set of shared values and standards around peer support that all providers in the Living Well Network endorse – by September 2013

ii.    To identify with each provider what they can ‘offer’ to building peer support and how they will each meet the shared vision as outlined in Section 2 by December 2014. . 

iii.    To develop a set of targets to scale up peer support and  metrics to help us to evaluate expansion, quality and outcomes related to peer support – by January 2014

iv.    To build on each organisations ‘offer’ and collectively agree a set of shared resources that we can draw on to learn from, share and build peer support activities – by February 2014


Lambeth Co-Production

The Collaborative is co-designing a new commissioning model to enable the delivery of co-productive services.

The Collaborative is co-designing a new commissioning model to enable the delivery of co-productive services, with a focus on building capacity in primary care to prevent the move to secondary care. It addresses a variety of issues facing commissioners ranging from how to better connect with communities so you can identify opportunities and challenges within them, to how to better assess outcomes, and encourage providers to work differently and more collaboratively.

The Collaborative is working to the 6 principles of co-production as defined by NESTA and The New Economics Foundation (NEF):

  1. Building on people’s existing capabilities: altering the delivery model of public services from a deficit approach to one that provides opportunities to recognise and grow people’s capabilities and actively support them to put them to use at an individual and community level.
  2. Reciprocity and mutuality: offering people a range of incentives to engage which enable us to work in reciprocal relationships with professionals and with each other, where there are mutual responsibilities and expectations.
  3. Peer support networks: engaging peer and personal networks alongside professionals as the best way of transferring knowledge.
  4. Blurring distinctions: removing the distinction between professionals and recipients, and between producers and consumers of services, by reconfiguring the way services are developed and delivered.
  5. Facilitating rather than delivering: enabling public service agencies to become catalysts and facilitators rather than central providers themselves.
  6. Assets: transforming the perception of people from passive recipients of services and burdens on the system into one where they are equal partners in designing and delivering services.

For more information on Co-Production we recommend a read of

World Mental Health Day, 10th October

Raising mental health awareness in Brixton

There was a buzz in the air on the 9th October. Inside the Mosaic Clubhouse café at the Lambeth Living Well Partnership in Brixton, a team of people were filling pink and silver balloons with helium and the smell of baking wafted in from the ovens while a team of Clubhouse members topped the cooled cupcakes with delicious pink icing.

The next morning, a few early risers donned the railings outside the Lambeth Living Well Partnership with the balloons and a banner proudly announcing World Mental Health Day. Our building was hard to miss; a few early commuters walked past and had to do a double-take at the bright balloons.

During the day a group of members took cupcakes into the heart of Brixton and handed them out with leaflets and details on the information hub and mental health awareness.

Overall the day was a huge success making passers-by and Brixton residents aware of the vibrant community of people who work within our building.

Matthew Le Vine, Mosaic Clubhouse

Another successful co-production event: Stepping Up and Stepping out to meet our challenge

Another successful co-production event: Stepping Up and Stepping out to meet our challenge on 12th September 2012 at The KIA Oval.

 The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative held a successful co-production event on the 12th September at the Kia Oval. Over 160 people attended from NHS Lambeth CCG, including members of the Board; Lambeth Council, including Councillors, SLaM, Voluntary and Community Sector people who use services, and carers. The focus of the meeting was to discuss and develop the new ‘Living Well Network’ which aims to turn the current Mental Health system from one which focuses on crisis to one that focuses on early intervention and enablement. Lots of fantastic ideas were given as to how we could develop this network and The Collaborative will be taking these ideas forward in the coming months. 

To download the presentations used on the day please click on the links below:

Lambeth Collaborative update and vision

Lambeth Living Well Network


To download the ideas from the entrepreneurial workshop please click on the link below:

55 Ideas

Feedback from the workshops:

My name is Joiss Soumahoro and I work for NHS Lambeth CCG. On our table were thinking about Llyod:

Our thoughts:

  • Lots of the discussion was about medication issues – he should get a full medication review as may be on too high a dose or there may be a more suitable medication. It might be better for him to see his GP rather than medication clinic to reduce stigma and feeling ‘mental’
  • We thought peer support to help with smoking, which we assumed referred to cannabis and a possible personal budget for gym membership, coaching qualification, CRB, equipment etc.
  • If his medication is reduced, then find a way to re-direct the under-spend to support him specifically.
  • Time Banking – he could offer coaching support in exchange for social resources like cinema tickets, or career advice etc
  • Housing benefits advice in preparation for when he wants to move out. Although, he should be encouraged to consider moving out of Mum and Dad’s when he has a job, deposit and not be reliant on benefits
  • Consider going to SHARP team as they can help in a more targeted way than the CMHT

Our big 3 ideas

1. More innovative ways of managing medication issues:

  • Peer support medication group
  • Improved support for primary care to take on medication clinics or have them located in general practice
  • Start medication at much lower doses rather than using medical standards
  • People with lived experience or expert patients used to up-skill/train/educate GPs, practice nurses and other practice staff, other medical staff, voluntary sector staff etc.

 2. Peer support could be used to help people with substance misuse issues during the recovery process (in peer support hotels etc, wobbly days intervention)

3. Peer support groups to facilitate healthy lifestyle issues such as weight management


What does this mean for the system?

What should we stop doing?


  • Stop saying “This is for life”
  • Stop considering risk above everything else
  • Stop offering choices limited by service needs

What should we start doing?


  • Ask what someone wants to achieve
  • Offer more choices/more meaningful choices around medication
  • Break things down into stages

What do we need more of?


  • The person having more control
  • More choice of locations where people can receive support with meds
  • GPs more skilled in mental health and medications

What ideas could be prototyped to help understand better how it could work?


  • Medication support groups including young people and peer supporters

The group discussed ‘the system’s’ approach to risk around medication, or lack of it, and how it can alienate people and prevent meaningful discussions and relationships with clinical staff. People stop taking medication regardless of what the system recommends, so if the system was to listen it might be able to offer choices that might seem risky (such as supporting a medication break) but that would build relationships that enable co-production and reciprocity.


My name is Rachel King and I work for SLaM on Personal Health Budgets. On our table were thinking about Mary

 Overall the table found it quite hard to work out what they wanted from the system, and community for her but we got as far as agreeing:

What does this mean for the system? 

What does this mean we need to stop doing:

  • As much paperwork
  • Stop slow IT systems
  • Prescribing and telling people what to do

What does this mean we need to start doing:

  • Have better linked up systems across GP’s/mental health services
  • Better sign posting – have access to good, available up to date information (or know where to go for this)
  • Have access to work with people at practical skill such as budgeting (possibility of peer support doing this?)
  • Asking and providing people with time and space they need/want

What does this mean we need to do more of:

  • Working collaboratively/co-production
  • Enabling community access to services such a gyms (make funding available for a person to access this)
  • Provide opportunities for people to earn money if they are in debt
  • Look at creating more positive/welcoming environments (for our services and in the community)
  • Look at improving peoples own home environments – and maintaining this
  • To use empty spaces more creatively (such as nice corporate buildings outside of business hours etc)
  • Make use of existing teams/systems (such as SHARP) and how to use them more effectively – one comments was made that SHARP could almost help Mary meet all her support needs
  • Facilitating/enabling people to build positive and supportive relationships – there was a lot of talk about this being a ‘basic need’ alongside environment

What ideas could we prototype to help us think more about how it could work?

  • Need to invest and cease the overlap in services between social care and health – spoke about a person to oversee this?
  • Move and increase awareness outside mental health systems – use community resources as our ‘interventions’ rather than mental health specific
  • Working collaboratively with physical health services

Our table also spoke about ensuring ‘basic needs’ (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) are met BEFORE we try other interventions (such as medication), as it seems many people are not getting these needs met.


My name is Zoe Reed and I am an Executive Director at SlaM. On our tableing we were thinking about Mary:

We thought that Mary had come to London from her home town of Manchester in search of work.  As with many people the cost of living proved to be too high and she was now living on very little money – DLA. She had no family locally.  Mary is sociable and chats with people like the local shop keepers and others on the allotment but has no one who could be identified as a close friend or carer.

Mary loves gardening and helps out at the local community allotment but she only feels up to going there 2 or 3 times a fortnight. There were concerns from the CMHT that Mary, whom they had been supporting for many years, tends to disengage from services, stop taking her medication and then her physical health [she had type 1 diabetes] and her personal care suffers.  Mary describes her flat as ‘messy’ but we suspect from the CMHT concerns that it might be worse than that.

She identifies her main problem as “They are trying to get me to leave my flat and I’m not happy about that”.  We decided as a Table that we would focus our efforts on keeping her in her flat. 

We decided that the Mary needed support to

  • Get back in contact with her family – she spoke of a cousin whom she had lost touch with but they were good friends as children
  • Help her manage her flat and keep it clean and tidy
  • Help her manage her money and e.g. prepare for her benefits review
  • Help her look after herself physically including taking her medication, taking regular exercise, looking after her personal care
  • Find a daily social contact opportunities e.g. helping out in perhaps a garden centre or the allotment

We thought peer supporters, expert patient, exercise referral and joining a timebank would all help. We did not however indentify exactly who was going to set up the Peer Support or introductions or ‘walk with’ Mary in solving her problems.


We had representatives from providers of:

  • Community Services [NHS GSTT],
  • Cyrenians supported housing – used to housing people straight from Forensic services so felt very able to deal with complex needs
  • First Step Trust employment – providers and service users,
  • Vital Link service user and Time Bank member 
  • a resident of supported housing

and we had really good conversation about how to address Mary’s wants and needs with a focus on non-statutory interventions.

However the solutions, when we realised that there was a possibility that Mary might lose her tenancy, became necessarily prescriptive (notwithstanding an NGO provider) due to the urgency of the situation, and we wondered whether they would in fact feel like co-production from Mary’s point of view.  This all pointed to the necessity of setting up the networks and peer support to prevent the crisis happening.


My name is Sue Field and I am a Commissioner from NHS Lambeth CCG. On our table we were thinking about Magda

Magda is 53 and lives in Streatham Hill with her partner Sara. She has a daughter who is 13 who lives with her ex-partner. 

She is a primary school teacher and loves it. It’s much more than a job – it’s part of who she is. She is passionate about getting the best start for the kids in her class.

What is working well?  Her job: it is everything to her.

Key people in her life: Sara is her rock. She has lots of friends at school. However Sara is feeling neglected.

Magda has only just come back to work after the school holidays, and as her mum died in the holidays, no-one knows how to talk to her.

She is also estranged from her siblings and her dad.

What does staying well mean to her?  She is not sure. She does not see herself as ill, but she does not want to feel like this anymore.

Assets: She thinks she is a good teacher, although it doesn’t always feel like that at the moment. She loves singing, and is a member of a local choir but has not been there for a while.  She likes watching Eastenders. She has a cat.

What would she like to change?  Since her mum died 4 months ago, she seems to have lost all the joy in her life.  Her mum’s birthday is coming up and she is worried how she will feel. She is also getting pressure from work as she is not performing as she once did. She also used to regularly go running but has no motivation.

What people say about her?  Sara is worried that Magda is using work to block out how she is really feeling. Magda’s GP thinks she is depressed and has prescribed her anti-depressants. She does not really know her GP. She is reluctant to take it and doesn’t take it. She is drinking wine heavily in the evening to cope. The GP has also offered her a leaflet to access IAPT, but she does not know what to do.  She has looked on the website to try to find out some self help leaflets.

How can we help Magda in her recovery?

  • Help Sara in her feelings to help Magda. Help her to have something to look forward to i.e. tickets to the O2 to see Gareth Malone.
  • GP to listen: to support her to self refer to IAPT and explain more about what the service can do for her ie they can engage with Status Employment at the same time as therapy so that if she wants they can speak to her employer and help her employer support her.
  • Talk to her about her motivation to rejoin the choir and engage back in life so that reduces her drinking.
  • Go at her pace: talk to her about her alcohol and give her information but revisit when she wants to.
  • Give information to Sara about depression to explain as to why she is feeling neglected and help give her coping strategies, signs and symptoms etc. Perhaps give details of a support group for her.

Local resources to help

  • Sarah
  • Her friends at school and friends at the choir
  • Gay/lesbian support groups
  • Local church/choir
  • O2
  • IAPT service together with Status
  • Independent bereavement counselling
  • Carers groups
  • Information resource centre for information on self help and depression, wellbeing.
  • Exercise on prescription

What does this mean we need to stop doing?

  • pushing professional agenda, and begin listening, moving at Magda’s pace
  • stop prescribing medication as a solution if she wishes to explore alternatives
  • make sure people, including GPs have access to information

What does it mean we need to start doing?

  • A greater role in motivating Magda
  • Recognising that she is missing something
  • Identifying who is the best person to work with her and her support network
  • Asking her what she wants and what she has to offer rather than what she needs.
  • Discussing realistic aspirations
  • Remember Status Employment and relationship with keeping in her employment.

What does this mean we need to do more of?

  • emphasising working with carers, and support networks
  • knowing where to go for resource provision, knowing who to contact who can help, rather than knowing all resources yourself
  • exploring her loneliness more, focusing on her targets.
  • publicise the resources we have at the moment more i.e. MIND information website. No-one on the table was actively using this resource.

What ideas could we prototype to help us think more about how this could work?

  • Community freephones i.e. like the community toilet idea whereby key shops in the area have access to a free information line so that if people do not have credit on their phones they can still access information and help
  • Peer support for people with common mental illness i.e. via IAPT, local peer support group.
  • Recall system for GPs so GPs can ring people to find out how they are doing for people they are worried about.


My name is Bill Tidnam and I work for Thames Reach. On our table we were thinking about George:

Our thoughts:

We came up with thoughts around a sports centre and specifically the Herne Hill velodrome, also First Step Trust.  The group was a bit divided on how or whether we should be helping him rebuild his relationship with Abdul, or with his daughter who lives in Southampton, and who he hasn’t seen for a while.  A Timebanking offer around bicycle repair was also a possibility. 

Some sort of peer support was an agreed need, but we weren’t sure about what form this might take – a sense that this was likely to be some sort of befriending, and that it might need to focused around an activity to be palatable to George – this might take us back to First Step Trust or cycling. 

We discussed the lack of time and the GP workload for the kind of pastoral care that George would benefit from and thought about how GP practice space could be used as amenity space for local groups that weren’t specifically health related. 

Some interesting comments from some people, which I’d summarise along the lines of, ‘Why are we discussing George?  His needs are no way high enough to justify getting a service’, also a sense that this approach ran the risk of broadening the criteria for services so that many thousands of people who don’t access services would be eligible.  The same people felt that meddling in George’s relationships with others was too risky, and would require significant skilled clinical input. 


Hi my name is Karen Hooper and I am a carer. On our table we were thinking about George

Discussion to get less prescriptive options for George was really interesting… to see him as a citizen in a community as opposed to a problem that needed to be fixed highlighting the need to listen and treat people holistically… Also to see beyond professional roles at the table/and or how can we think differently about that or bring otheroptions as humans..

Poor George was challenged further by the death of his mum… but this challenge probably made us think about human relationships (the group also decided to give George two estranged children and wife). With more time the funeral may have reconnected some of these relationships or put him back in touch with Abdul.

We also had on the table a health trainer (a resource open by GP referral) and there was much discussion about the greater role of the GP surgery –  or how if we want to move away from medical options to link up people like George with resources which he might choose to take up. We found it hard to move away from the ‘got to fix him’ model!

Time banking was a popular option and we were really lucky that an entrepreneur gave us his bicycle-building option, which sort of saved the day for George. Ronnie’s garage was also an option.

How peer support might work in the GP surgery was really interesting. So for example, rather than follow-up call from the GP or nurse about him not turning up for discussion on drinking, he could have someone who been in the same boat (this would need referral permission from George). Also more work with employers on retirement/grievance issues. Make sure we don’t buy into the nanny state though!

If it goes downhill for George what do we do (promotion of Solidarity in Crisis with the police, so that George gets a crisis card when he’s next in the cell… promotion to landlords .. Empower people to recognize triggers (mum’s death could easily send him to the brink).

Accessing people from local pubs, betting shops and general meeting places (take note this weekend’s Lambeth country show) and transforming the way people spend their time and offer alternatives – setting up clubs, fishing cycling, music… Reading out Loud groups in pubs (I have sent an email regarding this option already).

PS – I just asked my nephew what he thought we could do and apart from suggesting “leave him alone’, his prescription for George was to get him into something he like’s doing… like cycling!


My name is David Singer and I am the Transformation Projects Lead for Lambeth Council. On our table we were thinking about Magda

First session was centred on thinking about finding ‘that thing’ that might tip the balance and help lift her spirits and see more hope. We connected to her enjoyment of singing – churches and the local Red Cross centres were considered to be great assets for her to use.

Close to her home in Streatham, Tooting Bec Common was another great asset where she walked her dog ‘Porridge’ each day. There was consideration of how she might use time-banking as a way to share her love of dogs, support others (who might be a little time poor) to do some more dog walking, which might not be as stressful an environment as her school as a place to take her mind off things.

Whilst not something known to be provided at her local GP surgery, Ed Davie spoke about a GP collaborative initiative in Devon that have set up a Patient’s café run by people have/experience depression where they can come to support others and support one another. This was relevant to Magda as something we added to her personality was her love of cooking. She might find this type of food-centred initiative something easier to hook into. Also related to food was the possibility of her heading down to the People’s Kitchen as an activity to do with Sara – food & cooking something they both find a lot of enjoyment in. Their relationship needs a bit of support as Sara is struggling to deal with Magda’s depression and isn’t sure that she can live as they are together much longer.

Finally a Personal Health Budget referral through her GP practice was suggested – again focussed on improving her relationship with Sara by spending some of it on a weekend break. The rest of it was to be spent on a home grooming kit for her dog and possibly the scope of a social enterprise using these tools a little further down the line if things are on the up for her.

The second session started with a question as to why IAPT hadn’t been suggested so far. More background to Magda was created and suggested that Magda had not wanted to go to see a counsellor, possibly owing to the stigma.

So this took us to what should we stop doing? Irrespective of her not wanting IAPT, GPs should not be prescribing anti-depressants without some sort of more social connection – so if not IAPT, what else?

I then threw in an individual challenge that Magda was feeling lonely as Sara wasn’t coping and decided she had to take some time out. Magda now being without someone at home to connect to, circumstances were getting worse and she was spending time off work and isolating from her good friend at work Bill.

What we should start doing? Connecting GPs to peer support opportunities and support workers who could guide Magda to become less isolated and link into the community stuff first discussed and/or IAPT again, perhaps initially with a bit of support. Conversation moved on to the sense that all parts of the system are disconnected from the more social aspects of support, both informal and formal.

What do we need to do more of? People are generally not aware of the richness of Lambeth’s assets (public and professionals) and that ‘Community needs to be more visible’ and that people need to take responsibility to know Lambeth better


Is there a way that peers with certain specific experiences like sex working, sub misuse or bereavement  could be identified to make more meaningful matches for those feeling like more formal peer support could work for them? One place, rather than having to go to lots of sep agencies

Other feedback…..

  • There is a co-produced food strategy sitting with the Cooperative Council that Ed Davie mentioned we should get closer to as there are strong links. There was also conversation about hubs of activity that are centring on Libraries which are not about mental health (such as Clapham  Family Practice and the plans for the reopening of West Norwood Library). So there is definitely a need to link more closely (Ed Davie suggested this specifically) with the progress of the Coop Council.
  • Is there scope for mini GP practice Collaborative efforts to set up initiatives that are centred on support requirements like the one in Devon?
  • Stories are really powerful things. There was some scepticism about how the idea of the Network could work for people who have long term complex care needs. I went over the stories from the prototyping, which dealt with the level of need in questions and the table were glad to hear that we’re not just working with ‘simple’ cases.
  • There was a sense that we need to support people to start asking questions that they wouldn’t normally ask the people they support. Eg. One of the table said, I know that my clients won’t receive this approach with open arms, so a possible suggestion that there’s no point trying. We need to ask the whole system and the people it supports to ask new questions and remember that the first new question we ask, might be turned down, but that’s not the only new question we can ask to encourage new thinking, new responses and new glimmers of hope to turn things around.

My name is Stephanie Correia and I work at SRA. On our table we were thinking about Magda:

Our character was Magda. We thought that her GP should have been more proactive when he first saw her for depression – perhaps asked different questions, refer her to IAPT/self help programs and the local leisure centre/walking group rather than give her antidepressants. The GP could signpost her to where she could get more information about activities, which might help her to recover. Also thought some peer support might be useful and some support for her partner to prevent breakdown in relationship. There is a choir at the local church. Perhaps getting back into the choir, which was one of her interests, might be both therapeutic and supportive.

Providing more information and publishing how to access this information is crucial. If you are local and can’t access a computer how do you know where you can find information?  We need to use Google, etc. to advertise the number to ring/website where you can get information.

The challenge we looked at was to do with not enough time/feeling under pressure. The remedies we discussed included: using the Users’ assets/peer support/other services to share the load, as part of intervention.  An individual provider does not have to do everything for everyone!!


My name is Brent Withers and I work in Mental Health COmmissioning at NHS Lambeth CCG. On our table we were thinking about Magda

It was felt that Magna would benefit from gentle, reliable, ongoing, non-pressured weekly support via a peer/buddy system in the workplace or via her GP surgery. It was felt she needed low intensive support and would not be ready for ‘formal’ services so low key peer support, time banking to utilise her skills, or a self help tool kit would be most suitable to address her needs.

What does this mean we need to stop doing?

  • Magic Pill: Stop feeling lonely
  • Where medication is prescribed it must be prescribed along with a social intervention/activity – in other words not just medication
  • Less labelling

What does this mean we need to start doing?

  • Peer support for lonely/bereaved
  • Be alert but not pathological – “keep and eye out” to try and intervene at the right time when the person is ready
  • Be more creative – aware of other options based on the individual person

What does this mean we need to do more of?

  • Level 2 – talking therapies availability
  • Holistic lifestyle healthy living advisor in GP surgeries

What ideas could we prototype to help us think more about how it could work?

  • Early first steps – social approach – connecting people to peers in social setting e.g. activity groups and out of hours
  • Co-production approach to diagnosis

Summing up from David Monk:

  • Be more Creative
  • Base everything on real equal, human relationships
  • Mesh the physical with psychological
  • Take responsibility for deficits in knowledge
  • Create an inquisitive system
  • Stop being prescriptive start being facilitative
  • Stop talking start listening
  • Search for enablers in every conversation
  • Information is the most important game changer


Great news! Lambeth has been successful in the bid for PHB: going further, faster programme

Lambeth has been successful in the bid for PHB: going further, faster programme. For more information about PHB please download the Lambeth successful Lambeth Personal Health Budget Pilot: interim findings and update

Lambeth has been successful in securing a bid from the Department of Health for the PHB: Going futher, faster programme which aims to scale up Personal Health Budgets and Personalisation.

The Lambeth personal health budget pilot was established in the summer of 2009 and received interim pilot status in late 2009. Full pilot status and the ability to award personal health budgets was eventually achieved in the autumn of 2011 after project sign-off was granted.

An interim report is available that provides an update on the development of the pilot across Lambeth, and will outline some of the initial findings, as well as detailing future key work areas.

To download the report please click here



12th September 1-5pm – Stepping up and stepping out to meet our challenge

A chance to come and explore, design and test with the Collaborative in order to help us to continue our work to grow a Living Well Network and move away from a system that is focused on dealing with crisis, to one that intervenes earlier, helps people really recover and enables people to live their lives in their communities.

Our work to make co-production ‘the way we do things around here’ in Lambeth continues. Our Living Well Network is a growing network of people, services and organisations, that is rooted in Primary Care and it’s communities, to ensure that people with mental health issues are recovering faster and being better supported to live their lives.

A chance to come and explore, design and test with the Collaborative in order to help us to continue our work to grow a Living Well Network and move away from a system that is focused on dealing with crisis, to one that intervenes earlier, helps people really recover and enables people to live their lives in their communities.

 To download the flyer please click here.

 To confirm you attendance, ask questions or make suggestions for things to showcase, contact


Lambeth Collaborative Pioneer Lab event Tuesday 19th June

Lambeth Collaborative Pioneer Lab event Tuesday 19th June from 1-5pm.
RSVP to:

People across Lambeth have been working hard to explore new ways to support people experiencing mental distress. We are bringing everyone together to explore these and understand how we can continue to make big changes happen in Lambeth. So come and join us in continuing to shape the future of Lambeth’s mental health services.

We wish to come together to learn together from the recent Pioneering experiments we have all been doing, in order to understand how you, your service, or your organisation can contribute to ensuring people experience the best recovery journey possible.

Date: 19th June 2012
Coin St Neighbourhood Centre, 108 Stamford St, London, SE1 9NH

To view the flyer click here

Please RSVP to:


**HOLD THE DATE** Tuesday 19th June 12.30- 5pm

Lambeth Collaborative Borough Wide Co-production Event

Date: Tuesday 19th June
Time: 12.30 – 5pm
Venue: Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre (108 Stamford Street London SE1 9NH)


Date: Tuesday 19th June
Time: 12.30 – 5pm
Venue: Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre (108 Stamford Street London SE1 9NH)

Hold the date for the next Lambeth Collaborative Borough Wide Co-production Event.
Further details on this event will be uploaded shortly!

To RSVP or for more information please contact: Natalie Sutherland on or phone 020 3049 4268

Co-production: an emerging evidence base for adult social care transformation

Co-production: an emerging evidence base for adult social care transformation

An interesting article on Co-production: an emerging evidence base for adult social care transformation from Social Care Institue for Excellence (SCIE).

Key messages

• Co-production emphasises that people are not passive recipients of services and have assets and expertise which can help improve services.

• Co-production is a potentially transformative way of thinking about power, resources, partnerships, risks and outcomes, not an off-the-shelf model of service provision or a single magic solution.

• ‘To act as partners, both usersand providers must be empowered’.5 Co-production means involving citizens in collaborative relationships with more empowered frontline staff who areable and confident to share power and accept user expertise.

• Staff should be trained in the benefits of coproduction, supported in positive risk-taking and encouraged to identify new opportunities for collaboration with people who use services.

• People should be encouraged to access coproductive initiatives, recognising and supporting diversity among the people who use services.

• The creation of new structures, regulatory and commissioning practices and financial streams is necessary to embed co-production as a long-term rather than ad hoc solution.

• Learning from existing international case studies of co-production while recognising the contribution of initiatives reflecting local needs is important.


To read the full article please click here

Solidarity in a Crisis – Crisis Out-of-Hours Peer Support Service

Solidarity in a Crisis is an out-of-hours crisis service in Lambeth, co-designed and co-delivered by service users and carers. The project will be going live on the 1st April 2012.

Solidarity in a Crisis is an out-of-hours crisis service in Lambeth, co-designed and co-delivered by service users and carers.  The project will be going live on the 1st April 2012, having completed its recruitment and training of seven peer supporters who will deliver phone and outreach support for people in crisis during weekends.

The value of peer support is at the heart of Solidarity in a Crisis. Peer supporters aim to help people in distress before they reach crisis point by providing social and emotional support using their lived experiences, insight and empathy; whilst facilitating access to appropriate professional help when necessary.

The service will operate:


Saturday & Sunday
8am-2pm & 8pm-2am

 The training programme for peer supporters has been handpicked from a variety of progressive services and training providers. Most notably, peer supporters took part in a two-day Mental Health First Aid training; and a two-day training session using Mindfulness in a crisis. More recently, they attended a workshop facilitated by the Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, based on using the person centred approach to mitigate risk in a crisis. The training exemplifies the project’s shared ethos; that it is possible to approach a mental health crisis in a holistic and non-medicated way. It has been an important part of this project to recognise that active and non-judgemental listening, love, and empathy can be very effective tools in supporting individuals experiencing distress and/or a mental health crisis.

Solidarity in a Crisis has been a collaborative venture and a joint endeavour between carer representatives and Southside Partnership (part of Certitude). This partnership is an example of the importance of collaboration in designing and delivering services that promote service user and carer involvement. The process of co-production has been a steep but enjoyable experience, where negotiation skills and the value of compromise have been paramount. The points of contention have tended to be around risk management and the processes that accompany certain approaches to risk. Ultimately, there has to be a balance between positive risk taking and a more conservative approach to risk. The ‘question of risk’ is particularly evident when promoting the service to statutory providers. It has become clear that institutions and organisations have to be open to the ethos of the Collaborative and the consequences of co-production, rather than just a few individuals representing those organisations. This is a cultural shift that will take time, but that hopefully will come to fruition.

To find out more about the Solidarity in a Crisis, please contact Jessica Agudelo – Project Co-ordinator on 07795037320 and/or 


Authors: Emilio Reyes and Karen Hooper

Process and outcomes of care for patients with severe mental illness at a general practice in Lambeth.

A study was conducted in July/August 2010 that looked at the process and outcomes of care for patients with severe mental illess at a general practice in Lambeth.

A study was conducted in July/August 2010 that looked at the process and outcomes of care for patients with severe mental illness at a general practice in Lambeth.

Below are the conclustions and recommendation from the study. To read the full report click here

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • With increasing numbers of patients being managed in primary care, it is recommended that the Mental Health Register and Annual Health Check is expanded to include more detailed evaluation of psychological wellbeing and mental state, more detailed assessment of medication including adherence and side effects, and review of risk.    This could contribute to relapse prevention and longer term wellbeing of mental health service users.
  • Although the MH Register was originally defined as a register for people with severe psychotic and bipolar illnesses, it may be more appropriate to define such a register in terms of level of need rather than diagnosis.
  • From a clinician’s perspective, the concept of a lifelong MH Register is attractive because risks such as suicide risk and cardiovascular risk persist for decades after recovery from a first psychotic episode.  This would seem especially important if care is delivered by an increasingly diverse range of statutory and non-statutory agencies i.e. primary care have an over-view of the individual’s care plan and can “keep track” of individuals who have disengaged from services.
  • However, the idea of being on such a register may not be acceptable to all service users and this would need further exploration.
  • In a model in which it is envisaged that patients move between primary and secondary care, good communication is essential to ensure seamless transfer of care (to minimise risk and to ensure the least disruptive patient experience).
  • Links between secondary care and primary care could be strengthened so that primary care clinicians can access expert advice easily and quickly (without the patient having to be referred back to secondary care) and so that patients can benefit from new research developments in relation to the long term management of their condition (rather than just at times of crisis).
  • There is a group of patients who develop progressively negative symptoms of schizophrenia such as reduced motivation and social withdrawal.   Such patients may be less likely to come to the attention of services compared to those with behavioural disturbance associated with positive psychosis, but may have chronic elevated levels of need and risk (e.g. of neglect) and represent a particularly vulnerable group.    The MH Register may be a mechanism whereby the needs of such patients can be monitored in the longer term.
  • Further research could look at the views of service users and carers about the MH Register. Do individuals find it helpful to remain on such a register indefinitely?  What should be the process for individuals ceasing to be on the register?

Investing in the future – peer support – the Missing Link

Missing Link will give those about to be discharged from a number of wards at Lambeth Hospital the opportunity to meet with a peer supporter in the community for up to two hours a week over 12 weeks.

 Friday (23 march) was a memorable occasion for Missing Link, Vital Link’s new peer support project. Almost two years on since we hatched the initial proposal, we were presenting certificates and celebrating the end of the eight weeks’ training with a dedicated group of people prepared to share their lived experience of mental health to support the recovery of others.
Missing Link will give those about to be discharged from a number of wards at Lambeth Hospital the opportunity to meet with a peer supporter in the community for up to two hours a week over 12 weeks. The hard work starts now as our 10 peer supporters start to go onto the wards to get to know staff and patients. As we have visited wards with our co-ordinator Lucas Teague, we have been heartened by the response from staff who are prepared to support what many describe as cutting edge work.
It has been an incredible journey with immense challenges, but Missing Link clearly illustrates that collaborative ventures can be more than a concept on a page; that co-production involving those who know what it’s like to use the services, as well as carers is a reality and has to be the way forward.
We have been lucky to have facilitator Susan Henry from the Hackney Peer Support project leading the training. In the early stages, as members of Vital Link (a group representing carers and those who use services) we visited the initial research project at Homerton Hospital, where Susan was co-ordinater. This project helped shape our proposal. It was also invaluable to have the support of Jean Spencer, who is the manager of the Primary Care Support Service, who was mapping the different forms of peer support in the borough.
Allowing things to develop organically has been the secret to the success of Missing Link thus far. As former Vital Linker Emilio Reyes (who co-facilitated some of the sessions) puts it: “The training started with a joint exploration into the meaning of peer support and people’s individual experience of recovery. Susan Henry was inspiring in helping to foster important relationships and created an environment which allowed people to express themselves confidently. It is clear that this training provides a comprehensive guide to becoming a peer supporter.”
Clearly, what is crucial is the experiential nature of the training and, most importantly, that people are recruited as peer supporters on that lived experience, rather than having to fulfill some tick box recruitment process. We must not lose sight of this vision.  This was well illustrated on Friday. One of the most moving parts of the final session was hearing from two peer supporters from the Hackney project who have been working on the wards for a few months. They spoke confidently and compassionately about how this experience has changed their own lives, while at the same time offering empathy… walking by the side of someone else on their recovery journey.
What can’t be highlighted enough is that peer support has to be more than the latest buzz word. We are undoubtedly on the brink of something very exciting, yes, very cutting edge. But those who want to see this service grow, to be scaled up,  must be prepared to reciprocate and invest some hard cash into those who are prepared to share their lived experience of mental health.
Karen Hooper
Please click here to download the Missing Link flyer.