Mental health charities launch Big Conversation to discuss working with people as equal partners

Richmond Fellowship is having a ‘Big Conversation’ with the people who use its services as part of plans to give individuals greater opportunity to get more actively involved in the organisation.

The newly formed group of Richmond Fellowship, 2Care, CAN, Croftlands Trust and My Time, is currently working together on a joint strategy to truly put the people supported by these organisations at the heart of what they do.

One of the group’s key commitments is to build relationships with the people who use their services where staff and people who use services work together as equal partners to design, plan and provide support together. This is called co-production.

Everyone has valuable skills, knowledge, experience and resources that could be harnessed to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. That means the people who use Richmond Fellowship’s services as well as staff and volunteers.

Richmond Fellowship and its partners want to find out from people what they think about creating opportunities for them to get more actively involved at all levels of the organisations, including:

  • Their own support plan
  • How services are run
  • How the organisations are run
  • Championing mental health issues and challenging stigma in society.

Chief executive of Richmond Fellowship, Derek Caren, said: “Between our organisations we’ve a track record of more than 200 years of developing and running personalised services that champion social inclusion and recovery. But we want to go further and work with individuals as equal partners.

“That’s why we we’re embarking on a ‘Big Conversation’ to speak to as many people as possible to make sure our approach is as inclusive and meaningful as possible.”

The six week long ‘Big Conversation’ runs until 5 June 2015. It will offer a range of ways for people to give their views including focus groups and an online questionnaire. To find out how to share your views, click here.


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