Survivors History archive of material related to Survivors Speak Out

SSO AUGUST 1-3 1986
Anne Plumb and Rick Hennelly collections

AUGUST 1-3 1986

Friday: Update of SSO activities since Jan. Main points were- Membership drive-number of self advocacy groups growing- money: we now have approx. 1000. In Jan. we had nothing- recognition.

Lorraine and Peter reported back in a meeting with Chris Heginbotham of MIND, at which there had been a proposal that members of SSO should meet with Chris before the MIND conference in the autumn. This led to discussion on whether we- should be, involved with MIND and to what degree.:

Ingrid warned about being sucked into the MIND system. Pam pointed out there were possible uses for the MIND network nationally. David K. was against any involvement - MIND was not really concerned about oar needs. It was agreed to discuss this further later on.

Saturday: 1. Feed back from Groups,

BRISTOL GROUPS: Under the umbrella title Bristol Women and Mental Health Network there are:

WOMANKIND - DHSS funded. Self-help for isolated women. Information resource. 2 Development workers, one of whom is Afro-Caribbean.

SURVIVORS GROUP - 8 women with mental health problems. . Consciousness raising. Help towards continuing survival.

WOMEN'S CRISIS SERVICE - Just received first funding. Seeking more and aiming at having a research worker. Self-harming women apriority of this service. Research into situations and causes considered essential.

Also a Workers' Support Group. Issue of not_competing for funding is considered vital.

SOUTH WEST MIND - Pressing for individual advocacy. Representation of survivors directly not through voluntary bodies. Developing mental health Forum in Bristol and taking up ideas of Patients Councils.

In Bristol Women's Groups 200 involved-60 Activists.

CONTACT (Chesterfield): Network of 120. Moving towards more self-control. Direct funding from Health Service hoped for next year. Contact is a Social support, group. Groups within Contact include Men's Group, Women's Group, Incest survivors, photograph etc. Also a befriending service.

LINK (Glasgow): Move towards survivors only in Link clubs. Link clubs developing well. Education and Action Group is having problems. Over involvement by workers. Communication breakdown. Link clubs are self- controlled and finances rest in' asers' control. 90 involved in Glasgow Link clubs.

NOTTINGHAM PATIENTS' COUNCILS SUPPORT GROUP & NOTTINGHAM MIND: NPCSG has 10 volunteer workers. Setting up user-only meetings in hospitals. Seeking structures and agreements with management. Issues are tackled in meetings, but largely minor ones. Application to fund a full-time support worker and expenses. Some in-put into training workers - nurses etc has begun. NPCSG is attending conferences etc to spread the concent of councils to other areas of the/countrv. Interest is good. A lot done since Jan. 26 user- only groups in Notts, area hospitals


Saturday continued:

Nottingham Mind has achieved greater user involvement in their organisation and structure. Nottingham Advocacy Group formed by MIND and local law centre.

HACKNEY MENTAL HEALTH ACTION GROUP': Priority is to establish a user-run crisis centre. There is a move towards founding a Hackney Mental Patients' Union, to seek funding and to start working in Hackney and beyond.

SOUTHAMPTON: There is a Cafe Club abd an Education Group which is gathering information on experiences, needs, angers, complaints etc. Some reluctance of survivors to speak. Meeting with MIND is set for October. Users now on local MIND executive. Mindstead Lodge have started a refuge Project-Town house scheme will provide unstructured asylum and support to prevent individuals reaching crisis.

CONSORTIUM (Camden Mental Health Consortium): Now achieving 30+ at monthly meetings. Pressure group. No provision of services. Consumer Alternatives document presented to Health and Social Services in Camden - well received. Informal recognition of Consortium's place in consultation on planning process. Working towards a Users Code of Conduct covering psychiatric system.

BRITISH NETWORK FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PSYCHIATRY: Branch of an international network covering 50 countries. Campaigning on ECT. Major Tranx and withdrawal from them: alternatives to Psychiatry. Seeking drop-in centre and office for use by self-advocacv movement. Delegates from BNAP went to international conference in Seville this summer.

2. Survivors Speak Out Conference.


David K. - Set up a union of the mentally distressed. Practical organisation of users nationally is needed.
Pam - Dangers of over-developing themes in advance.
Conference should be a forum for sharing information and experience.
Need for immediacy and accessibility was stessed.
Peter and Carlton expressed doubts - Where were we going and why-?
Are we a conference group or an umbrella group-?
Ernie - The conference and above lists of workshops would put people off.
Reasons for holding a conference that were mentioned included:
Publicity; credibility for users; establishing a wider network of groups; increasing flow of information accross the country.
After discusssion it seemed clear - people did feel positive about the idea of a conference and our ability to organise it.
- ideas should be simple and based on human issues. Conference should be a forum and not a platform for dogma.


SSO 23-25 January 1987
Anne Plumb and Rick Hennelly collections



1. 'What great people we are' - Appreciation & Achievements
Peter - general involvement and hard work, stall and presentation for SSO at Mind Conference.
Ivy - much effort, travelling nationwide to speak about SSO, involvement in radio show 26/27 January.

'We're not mad,We're Angry - some 'Survivors' involved in this TV programme
Mind Conference - SSO presentation
Self-Advocacy Enquiries received by SSO
Newsletter produced, thanks to Ernie & Carl, though unfortunately not enough copies for members who joined prior to Mind Conference.
Invitation to Inter-Disciplinary Association of Mental Health Workers Conference, 5-7 April 1987. Vera & Carl to follow up SSO involvement by contacting Edward Peck.
Chapter for Book on self-advocacy requested from SSO.

2. Group Feedback

LINK (GLASGOW): Clubs still going, Education and Action Group finished. Tam's opinion - loss of user power with MSC workers coming in, no users on management committee, no 'individual membership", some takeover by Social Services and Health. Could work on spreading SSO in Glasgow or setting up independent self-advocacy group.

CONTACT (CHESTERFIELD): Rick + 2 others won £400,000 from Health for non- institutional, non-medical housing support service to work in settings such as people's homes. Contact currently has strong committee, Social Services reps act as non-voting advisors. Buckle Club, one of several offshoot groups run like Contact, 12-14 people, early days, doing well.

NOTTINGHAM: Mind has long-term aim of non-medical safe house for refuge. NAG has received 15,000 towards funding for 2 advocates to be based on Holland model. Dale Centre Project - lack of user control over use of premises. User/Ex-User groups now in most sector health teams, stressing needs for 24 hr crisis centre and talking therapies.

SOUTHAMPTON CAFE CLUB: Now obtained premises with Health Authority funding. Strong feeling amongst members, visit from Contact, public meetings on psychiatric services and patients' councils, presentation by NPCSG.

MANCHESTER MIND: difficulties with funding for premises and with general organisation.

NETWORK: Day conference on major issues, 7 March. Review meeting 22 Feb. Want to attract membership. Sub-groups on e.g. anti-ECT and alternatives to major tranquilisers.

HACKNEY MENTAL HEALTH ACTION GKOUP: pressure group, support for patients' groups, monthly business meetings, public meeting in June.

BRIGHTON: demonstrations and public meeting prior to group formation. Hope for conference on user participation, some money available for user- controlled clubs.

EALING: planning public meeting, survivor involvement, money from Westminster Mind for an Action Group there.

BARNET: carers have 'taken over' Action Group - need for support from other London groups.

CONSORTIUM: circulated report on consumer priorities following June AGM. Working parties on 24 hr resource, work opportunities and Code of Good Practice.

CAPO: Drop-In premises and phone line obtained for one evening a week. Links with Westminster. Good reputation for poetry and music evenings.

WINCHESTER MIND: need for more user involvement. Day Centre opening soon, organiser to be appointed.

3. Mind Consumer Network Meeting - Feedback

Attended by some members of SSO. Desire of Chris Heginbotham to form advisory user forum, to be one voice amongst other advisory groups. Opposition expressed to idea of SSO representing consumers. Proposed that a letter should be written, that Mind should take the initiative in contacting individual groups and forming representation from this. Lorraine can supply an up-to-date list of groups.

Another similar meeting March 3rd, anyone interested can attend. Users also invited to share planning of next Mind Conference, to be about half of those involved.

4. Aims and Objectives of SS0

A new aim proposed and accepted, making 5 altogether:-

1. To meet with other people to share views and experiences

2. To share information about what's being done to create changes

3. To look at what provisions and choices we would like to see available

4. To organise a national Survivors Speak Out conference, planned for 1987

And, 5 To actively support the formation of new groups

- i.e. to act as a centre of expertise, share by visiting and helping, information pack - and so to raise money, except from user-only groups.

Structure for SSO

Central Core - Treasurer Ivy (& John)
Secretary Peter
Conference Co-ordinator - Lorraine

Regional Contacts -
1. Scotland - Tam
2. North - write to Ingrid
3. Manchester - Meryl
4. Midlands - Carl
5. London - Jackie & Kathy
6. South - Cafe Club
7. South West - write to Pam

For security, only central core to have complete list of names/addresses, rest only to have those relevant to them. Contacts could use organisation rather than home addresses - Meryl requested that all external mail for Manchester should go via Manchester Mind address.

Current membership :-

Scotland: 2 survivors, 1 ally. Total 3
North: 4 survivors, 4 allies. Total 8
Manchester: 7 survivors, 8 allies. Total 15
Midlands: 20 survivors, 9 allies. Total 29
London: 20 survivors, 9 allies. Total 29
South: 3 survivors, 5 allies. Total 8
South West: 6 survivors, 6 allies. Total 12
Ireland: 6 survivor. Total 1
Australia: 1 survivor. Total 1
Total survivors: 65
Total allies: 39
Total membership: 104

6. Finance

Current funds are about 1220, good chance of 1000 from application to King's Fund and possibility of 500 more. Conference should increase chance of money from Mental Health Foundation.

Immediate concerns are

1) Conference and 2) Running of SSO for next 6 months or so.

150 allocated for (2), the remaining funds will be needed for the conference, so no funds spare at the moment.

We need to carry on fundraising locally wherever possible.

Appreciation expressed for donations received so far: -

Cresswell Open Door, Derbyshire £50
Dutch National Patients' Council £10
Ivy, Chesterfield £23
Contact, Chesterfield £50
Southampton Mind £10
Peter Campbell £190
Network, Bakewell, Derbyshire £31
Rick Hennelly, Chesterfield £25
London Small Grants Fund £500
Mrs A Davies, Student, Sheffield £10
Lambeth Mind £10

7. SSO Conference

VENUE - a youth hostel is available in Edale for the weekends of # & 18th September for 100 people, which would make organisation easier. Rick and Ivy authorised to visit hostel and make decision.

MEDIA EXPOSURE - should the conference be a launch, or a supportive' "closed shop"? Possibilities: no press at some sessions, a Press Conference or a Press Release. Jackie will co-ordinate media.

Decided that the conference should have a maximum of 20% allies, who should be charged a realistic cost, and that we should approach Network to see if there is any interest in helping with the organisation of the conference.

CONTENT - following on from the ideas in the last minutes, suggestions were made for conference content and structure. Suggestions: mixture of informal and planned sessions, user/worker only sessions, topic groups and open groups, activities for the whole conference, ideas about service provision, subjects such as EOT, major tranquilisers, racial minorities, women, 'victims to survivors'.

Idea for Conference Structure -

1. Experience sharing
2. Information from groups/campaigns
3. Regional meetings
4. Proposals for change

- with introductory and winding-down sessions such as poetry, music, social event, walking.

8 Chapter for Self-Advocacy Book

Editors Edward Peck & Ingrid have asked SSO to provide a chapter for this book on user involvement in services, with chapters on various groups and projects, such as Nottingham Patients' Councils, Contact, and Bristol Women's Groups. Short contributions will be welcome from as many people as possible, and Lorraine will put these together. The editors requested the following information to be included in the chapter:-

1. A statement of the aims and philosophy of your group
2. A history of your group, including the practical problems in setting it up
3 The achievements so far
4. Problems you have encountered
5. Where your group is going next

Contributions could also include what 'Survivors' has meant to you personally.

9. Information Pack

Important to consider this, although there are currently more immediate concerns. Could have a sheet of personal statements, and information on self-advocacy, etc. For now, contact Peter (or Ivy) if you are interested in contributing in writing, and perhaps a meeting could be arranged to write up the ideas. Will try and get the Pack available before the conference. Could perhaps have a 'newsheet1 (rather than a newsletter) to keep people up-to-date on the current situation.

10. Other Business

BADGES - Lynda Langford will investigate borrowing a badge-making machine, and will contact Ivy. Provisional aim is for 200 2-colour badges, about the size of a 10p.

JOB AT NEWCASTLE - Northern Mind and Newcastle District Health Authority are providing funding for an 'Advocacy Development Worker1 for 3 years, to set up groups etc. This is perhaps the first job of its kind, challenging and important, and users are encouraged to apply.

LIBRARY - Peter will follow up the possibility of depositing some 'Survivors' - material with the British Library, to help any future research.

SSO SUBSCRIPTION - discussion as to whether membership of SSO should be yearly, and if so, how subscriptions should be renewed. Membership started in March 1986.

DATES FOR NEXT WEEKEND AT MINSTEAD: Friday 31 July - Sunday 2 August 1986 - about 6 weeks prior to the conference.

SSO February 1987
SSO February 1987
Anne Plumb collection


Those of us at Minstead are very aware of how rapidly SURVIVORS has grown. Thus the system of central core and area contacts. Hopefully this will allow all who want to be actively involved to be so. It is a new system and (like my typewriting ) may not always work. If there are problems or if you have ideas, news etc. please do contact myself or Ivy or Lorraine- the last particularly about the conference.

If the system works it should help individuals in local areas to make contact with other 'survivors' and 'allies'. Survivors Speak Out is not a separatist body, nor is it a representative one- in the sense that all those involved are involved as individuals and not as spokespersons for any group they may belong to. (I believe it is also important that we are not campaigning on a Platform or a Manifesto beyond the general aims stated in the minutes of our recent meeting at Minstead.) Best wishes -

STOP PRESS - Thanks to Lorraine putting in an application in about. six hours flat we now have £500 from the Kings Fund.......



Peter Campbell (Secretary) 33 Lichfield Road, London NW2 2RG

Ivy Buckland(Treasurer) Contact, Tontine Road Centre, Tontine Road, Chesterfield S40 1QU.

Lorraine Bell (Conference Co-ordinator) 8 File Road, Highfield Road, Southampton.

Scotland: Tam Graham, LINK, 2 Queen's Crescent, Glasgow.

The North: Ingrid Barker, 23 Windsor Terrace, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1YL.

Manchester Area: Meryl Fowkes, c/o Manchester MIND, 178 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9QQ.

Midlands: Carl Walster, c/o Nottingham MIND, 114 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3HL;

London: Jackie Biggs, 1 Cowings Mead, Northolt, Middlesex.-
And Cathy Pelikan, 128D Victoria Park Road, Hackney, London E9 7JK.

The South: Vera Wilson, c/o The Cafe Club, Amoy Street, Southampton.

The South-West and Wales: Pam Trevithick; c/o WOMANKIND, c/o University Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, Bristol

Aims and Objectives of SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT:

1 . To meet with other people to share views and experiences.

2. To share information about what's being done to create change.

3. To look at what provisions and choices we would like to see available

4. To organise a national Survivors Speak Out conference, planned for 1987.

5. To actively support the formation of new groups.

Survivors involves people from many of 'the existing 'self-advocacy' groups. People are involved as individuals and not as representatives or spokespersons for any group they may be members of.

Survivors priority for 1987 is to organise a national conference for 'survivors and their allies' in the Peak District in September. Although this will limit the resources Survivors may have for other activities, we are committed to helping all those who are interested in setting up new 'self- advocacy' groups and in improving communication between all those interested in these areas of concern. At present Survivors is more concerned to act as a forum and to promote a diversity of voices than to promote a unified platform or manifesto.

Survivors believes that intercommunication between groups and individuals is extremely important. One of the major contributions of the group so far has been to enable people from across Britain to meet and get to know each other. There have been three weekend meetings - for about 20 people- at Minstead Lodge in the New Forest and it is planned that such meetings will continue. An immediate result of such contacts has been an awareness of solidarity based on shared experience and of the range of possibilities opening up to individual 'self-advocates' and combinations of individuals. The national conference will be an attempt to continue this process on a broader canvas.

Membership of Survivors is open to 'survivors and their allies'. At present we are not a separatist body. This feeling was confirmed at our most recent meeting at Minstead Lodge. Membership fee is £1 - SURVIVOR £5 - ALLY

If you would like to join SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT or wish to send us a donation towards funding our activities, particularly the conference, please send your money. to :

Ivy Buckland, Contact, Tontine Road Centre, Tontine Road, CHESTERFIELD S40 1QH.

Other 'Officers':

Peter Campbell, 33 Lichfield Road, LONDON, NW2 2RG. (Secretary)

Lorraine Bell, 8 Tile Road, Highfield, SOUTHAMPTON. (Conference Co- ordinator)


Andrew Roberts home page
Top of Page

Andrew Roberts likes to hear from users:
To contact him, please use the Communication Form