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Project information

Hear Us Mental Health Linkworking Challenge

People with Mental health issues lack self-belief; habitually their voice goes unheard. The Challenge is to support users to help raise issues that affect the lives of users on wards at the Bethlem Royal Hospital & in Community services & to help them gain access to social inclusive services

On Going

Charity information: Hear Us

Hear Us logo
  • Need


    Life with a mental health problem in services can feel like the user’s voice is overlooked & ignored. Users feel that they have no control over medication, ward food, crisis services and access counselling and socially inclusive activities. As a user on a locked ward or in community services you loose self-esteem and confidence. As well as suffering with your mental health, care and support services can feel as they are delivered as ‘one size fits all’ and not based on individual care needs


    As Service Users ourselves the Hear Us Linkworking Challenge provides gives a platform for service users to have their voices heard. We provide a caring listening peer support and as people with mental health problems we are able to understand and empathise. We listen to users and raise their issues, views of services and ideas for change from the user’s perspective wit Commissioners and providers

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Support users to help raise the voice of in-patient users on the Bethlem Royal Hospital


    » Run weekly meeting with users discussing life on the wards. To signpost users to support service and social inclusive services after discharge
    » To raise issues that users identified to ward managers to bring about positive change to ward life and join together services pre & after discharge

    What success will look like

    Success will be gauged on how service managers respond to issues raised; number of users accesses service and the number of other services taking up the Linkworking Challenge

  • Impact


    The short term challenge will be to give users a voice and involvement in service delivery however long term success will be demonstrated in staff attitudes towards the benefits of service user involvement. Users themselves will feel that they are having a say in the service they need and require for recovery

    The Linkworkers will work closely with Service User and Service Managers monitoring how and in what depth that their voice of users is continued to be heard and acted upon at all levels


    An on going identified risk has been to the mental health of the users that facilitate the Linkworking Challenge. Recent success in a funding bid from ‘Access to Volunteering' has enabled us to provide ‘Mental Health 1st Aid Training’ from the local trust and the Samaritans will be providing extra training in ‘Handling Difficult Contacts’ which includes ‘Includes Suicide awareness’


    Donors will receive a quarterly email reports on the Linkworking Challenge detailing the issues raised and the service manager’s responses and actions taken.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,500

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      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Linkworking Manager To recruit, train & manage Linkworkers. To report on project and to challenge services to improve
      £2,500 Admin Admin costs i.e. reporting, postage and advertising
  • Background


    The project is based in Croydon's Mental Health Services; initially at the Bethlem Royal Hospital and Community Mental Health teams/Service. The project will expand into more specialized Mental Health Services.


    There are regularly around 4000 service users in Croydon Mental Health Services. Our project reaches out to Croydon’s users to get their voice heard in service delivery and development. It is well know that helping empower service users; getting them involved aids to their recovery. Our project not only supports users to have their voice heard but also has a positive effect on our Linkworkers path of their own recovery with mental health issues.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Hear Us have been the voice of Croydon’s mental health service user community for 10 years; gaining the trust of users and recognition from commissioners and providers. The Linkworking Project has been running for three years and at the heart of the project is our volunteers and each volunteer (Linkworker) is or was a user of Croydon’s mental health service; they have the intimate experience and knowledge of services both statutory and of the voluntary services.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Carmen – Service User & Team Leader

    Carmen’s dedication and commitment to her role of Linkworker has been key in the project gaining respect and recognition from service users

    Andy - Service User & Team Leader

    Andy has a huge amount of empathy and understanding to the distress and anxieties of service users. He is a hero and a pillar to the projects success

    John - Service User & Linkworker

    John experience of using voluntary services as well as understanding of the struggles of everyday living as a service user enables him to support user

    Simon - Service User And A New Linkworker

    Simon is a new Linkworker, his enthusiasm for the aims of project and experience as a service user will enable him to be a excelent team leader