WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

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Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

News from the Survivors History Group.

>From Andrew Roberts
Secretary Survivors History Group
telephone: 020 8 986 5251
home address: 177 Glenarm Road, London, E5 ONB

Survivors History Group News September 2013

The meeting on Wednesday 31.7.2013 at Together was attended by Hagir
Ahmed, Frank Bangay, Sheila Beskine, Peter Campbell, Graham Estop
(Sheffield); Nat Fonnesu, David Kessel, Ian Ray- Todd, Andrew
Roberts, Christina Young, (Liverpool), Peter McGeary (taking notes).
Agenda: Patsy Staddon's gift - Celebrating David Kessel - Chapter by
Peter Campbell in a new book - Peter's research - Sheila's memories
as an art therapist at St Clement's hospital (Bow) - Christina's
Report - the St Clement's festival. This report uses the minutes
compiled by Peter McGeary.

Next Meeting: Wednesday 25.9.2013 1pm Together, 12 Old Street London


Clare Ockwell will represent the Survivors History Group at a
conference called "Our voices, Our choices, Our futures" to be held
in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 16.10.2013. Participants from secure
hospitals have been asked to attend as "an opportunity to learn,
share best practice and network". They have also been invited to make
20 minute presentations about "the service user led initiative at
your site (including time to answer questions)" or submit a poster
"describing the service user led change which has had a positive
impact on your service. This will be displayed at the conference".

The conference is being organised by Together, the Priory Group
and Rethink

We would like to be able to discuss Clare's presentation early on the
Survivors History Group agenda on Wednesday 25.9.2013



Anne's work organising her and Ken's records provides the group with
an invaluable source of data. Her presentation online gives everyone
a chance to taste what her archive has to offer.


St Clement's Hospital, Ipswich, the last Victorian Asylum in Suffolk,
is famous for many reasons. Mike Cox, webmaster of the East Anglian
survivors history group network
http://micoxpplog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/survivors-history- group-
news.html knows it well because the East Suffolk Advocacy Network
started there in 1992. Mike and our members in Suffolk are becoming
confused by mails from FEEL (Friends of East End Loonies) inviting
them to group flings at St Clements - Bow, not specified - Both
asylums closed and had memorials


Please note, so that Mike and the Suffolk Loonies do not turn
up at non-events in Ipswich!


A book has been published summarising joint survivor-sane seminars
called "Researching in Mental Health: Sociological and Service
User/Survivor Perspectives" held at the British Library in 2009. As
Survivor History Group provided an exhibition at each of these
seminars Patsy Staddon, the editor, has given us a free copy of the
book for our library and another for lending purposes (Cost is


A book for purchase (at meetings) is a collection of tributes to and
poems by David Kessel. This is a bargain at only £3.00. We are
grateful to David for overcoming his embarrassment and bringing
copies. Survivors should celebrate one another.


"Psychology, Mental Health and Distress" (Palgrave 2013) by John
Cromby David Harper and Paula Reavey contains a chapter by Peter
Campbell on survivor history. Written about four years ago, this has
only just been published. It was worth the wait.


Rev. Paul Nicholson, Taxpayers Alliance Against Poverty: defended a
Council Tax claim by LB Haringey in Tottenham Magistrates court on
Friday, 2.8.2013. He organised a demonstration outside the court to
draw attention to the full impact on the poor of the governments
welfare policies. Ian Ray-Todd keeps us informed.


Rebecca Ward has recently started to work as Special Projects Officer
for City and Hackney Mind and is keen to understand and share with
the rest of the staff team "how City and Hackney Mind came to be,
from City and Hackney Association for Mental Health (CHAMH) and
amidst the user movement in Hackney". She is hoping some of us will
share memories with her.

CHAMH was formed in 1980 with administrative help from the Community
Psychiatric Research Unit and under the chairmanship of Dennis Timms,
chair of City and Hackney Community Health Council. Its official
launch was on 23.3.1981.

User involvement was slow to be established. Andrew Roberts wrote to
CHAMH fairly early on to ask if mental patients were allowed to be
involved. I was assured that we were, but a number of features of
this period suggest that we were not very welcome. Mental patients
organised outside CHAMH. The inauguration of Hackney Mental Patient's
Association took place on Saturday 7.11.1981 in the basement of
Centerprise (Community bookshop, Dalston). Dave Kessel was in the
chair. (Everybody sat in a large circle and said what they thought -
in turn). Some of us joined CHAMH. Meetings were open to members,
and Valerie Argent, Joan Hughes and Andrew Roberts were amongst those
who attended. "Dr David Kessel" (a mental patient) was elected to the
executive on 12.7.1982. The word "infiltration" seeps into my mind as
I read the entries for this period. For example on 26.6.1982 David
Kessel wrote a recommendation from Hackney Mental Patients
Association for Valerie Roberts to be elected as a member of the City
and Hackney Community Health Council. She was also nominated by the
Matthew O'Hara Committee. She was successful and served on the CHC
for many years, including periods when she was in the psychiatric
unit when CHC made official visits. Hackney Mental Health Action
Group was formed in the summer of 1984 by local patients, ex-
patients and other people sympathetic to the aims of increasing the
self-determination of mentally distressed people in Hackney. This
group included Cathy Pelican, Ian Ray-Todd, Lisa Haywood, Jim Read,
David Kessel, Valerie and Andrew Roberts (all mental patients) and
Doug Tilbury, a social worker who had been a friend of the Mental
Patients Union in the 1970s. Mental patients were breaking through
some pretty painful barriers in what turned out to be preparation for
a new breed called survivors. How that happened, and how users became
influential in Mind is partly indicated by the records on our website
for Lisa Haywood. On 14.3.1986 she was contact person for the
Hackney Mental Health Action Group meeting at The Old Fire Station in
Stoke Newington. Monday 20.10.1986 was the Chamh Annual General
Meeting at Shoreditch Health Centre. Andrew Roberts, Lisa Haywood
and Ian Ray-Todd were present. We successfully carried a
constitutional amendment (Lisa seconded) that two positions on the
Executive Committee should be reserved for representatives of
"former/current users". Lisa was elected to one of these. The other
remained vacant. For some time, Valerie, Lisa and others were active
organisers of a patients group in the Psychiatric Day Hospital. At a
meeting of Hackney Mental Health Action Group on 9.1.1987 there was
discussion of setting up an in-patients committee at the hospital.
[This happened]. Item 11 in the HMHAG minutes was "Users Meeting with
Chris Higginbottom of MIND Lisa [Haywood] had attended this meeting
with users groups from different areas about issues of concern to
them. She will now be on the Planning Group for the next MIND Annual
Conference". 23.1.1987 - 25.1.1987 was the first Survivors Speak Out
weekend at Minstead Lodge. At the 18.2.1987 meeting of HMHAG "Val
Roberts spoke for the Day Hospital Patients' Committee on the
problems as seen by the patients, and Lisa Heywood spoke on CHAMH and
its involvement with the patients committee over the 2+ years of the
committee's existence". In the Summer of 1987 a notice appeared in
Asylum magazine that a steering group had been set up for a MIND
Consumer Advisory Network. It had been decided that the coordinator
would necessarily be a consumer. Peter Campbell, Lisa Haywood, Colin
Gell and Peter Beresford were all members of this group. On
9.10.1987 the Hackney Mental Health Action Group AGM elected Lisa
Haywood and Ian Ray-Todd as co-chairs and Lisa Haywood to the "MIND
Consumer Advisory Panel". From 1989 to December 2006, Lisa was a
member of the National Mind Council of Management. Mindlink South
East Steering Group minutes 14.11.1990 was attended by Jan Wallcraft,
Edna Collins, Ann Neeter and Lisa Haywood, with apologies from Marion
Beeforth. At some stage, CHAMH changed in City and Hackney MIND, and
in January 1994, Lisa was appointed its Advice and Outreach Manager.
In November 1994, Tim Durkin, the retiring chair of MIND asked
service user Mike Lawson to "step down" as elected vice-chair of
MIND. Tim's user nominee, Judith Morgan- Freer, served for a year and
was succeeded by Lisa Haywood. She served from 1995 to 2006. Vice
Chair, Policies, National Mind - From August 1998 to October 2004,
Lisa was Director at City and Hackney Mind. From January 2006 to May
2006: Lisa Haywood "served as executive support at National Mind,
providing strategic and policy overview of the national organisation
pending the selection of new chief executive." Which means she held
things together between Richard Brook leaving Mind in February 2006
and Paul Farmer becoming Chief Executive of Mind in March 2006. On
6.12.2006 Lisa ceased being vice-chair and management committee
member of Mind and about here "Haywood Consultancy" was established
with Kofi Sunu, Jan Wallcraft, and Ed Van Hoorn. In 2006 Lisa was
involved in setting up the National Survivor User Network. The
original committee members "were chosen by a group led by consultant
Lisa Haywood who until Christmas 2006 was also vice chair of national


Peter has reviewed records 1995-1996 (the last years of his records
of Survivors Speak Out). He stood down as a committee member from

Peter mentioned a Survivors Speak Out Away Day on Saturday 3.12.1994.
He will relook at this material for clarification]. Jim Reid supplied
a paper in 1994 questioning why the group was restricted by policy
and procedure - making membership difficult.

Survivors Speak Out opposed and campaigned against the 1995 Mental
Health Patients in the Community Bill. Despite substantial
opposition, the bill received Royal Assent 8.11.1995 and came into
force on 1.4.1996.

Survivors Speak Out commented on the new (local health authority?)
power to supervise patients - no copies retained. Pressed for the
greatest possible advice to be given to people discharged under

Positives: The Act did not extend power for compulsory medication -
except under hospital order. No-one could legally stop people going
to a place they wanted to.

Getting people involved was a constant objective throughout Survivors
Speak Out history. Early in 1996 a letter was drafted:

Dear ......

We are writing to you as someone who has actively supported Survivors
Speak Out in the recent past, to find out whether you are interested
in being involved at some level with SSO in the next twelve months.

Survivors Speak Out is now over ten years old. We have Department of
Health funding to meet the core costs of the organisation, including
the employment of Cheryl - our part time office coordinator, for
another 18 months. In the autumn, we will be looking for further
funds to employ a Publications, Education and Training Coordinator as
well as considering sources for the on-going core funding of the

We enclose a short questionnaire and an SAE for return...

The Questionnaire asked about:

Continuing to be involved in some way during the next twelve

Standing for election to the Coordinating Group

Being a member of a working group
Current groups: Newssheet editorial / Finances / Fundraising /

Survivor representatives on an outside group or agency

Helping comment on Government and other documents/papers etc?

Sending in news and information for use in the Newssheet

Being a regular distributor of information about Survivors Speak Out

Helping out in the Office

Six typed pages and 2 handwritten pages of newsletter contacts
analysing the relpies were prepared by Peter Campbell on Monday
16.9.1996 (Information from SSO Involvement Questionnaire).
Coordinating Group possibles were Alan Leader - Jeff Thomas - Richard
Butler - Marion Beeforth (possibly) - and Colin Creagh. Alan was
willing to take other roles as well. We noticed that Graham Estop was
interested in the Employment working group and Jim Reid in being a

Andrew noted that after Peter Campbell stepped down in 1996, none of
the Survivors Speak Out people continued to volunteer.

Graham commented that it had been a deliberate decision at the AGM
that everyone on the existing group would stand down to handover the
Survivors Speak Out reins to a new group. This was a 'disaster' for
Survivors Speak Out as the handover should have been a phased one.

Christina commented that she has a Survivors Speak Out newsletters
and will check and get back to Peter and Andrew if she has records
since 1996.

Noted that Open University courses studied the movement and there may
be interview records to use in the archive.

Andrew asked for any copies of useful Survivors Speak Out records
since 1996 to be sent to him for photocopying.

Other events in 1996:

Saturday 2.3.1996 Awayday at The Mental Health Foundation. To
identify Survivors Speak Out's policy for the future: Divided into
groups to consider Definites; Possibles; Probables - and reported
back on likely outcomes (such as funding for coming year and
possibility of new paid worker) to the whole group at the end.

Saturday 9.3.1996 Open Day at the Diorama Centre where the SSO Office
is located

Saturday 20.7.1996 Policy Day where members gathered to organise
Survivors Speak Out's written policy on key issues. 8 attended, and
discussed policy on: Involuntary Treatment; physical treatment;
medication and others.. Notes directly from flip-charts used "Policy
Priorities: Mental Health Act/compulsion/involuntary treatment
Prevention/poverty/social conditions Community care Policy on
training of mental health workers

Christina reported she has a photograph of Gloria Gifford with her at
the Mind conference.

Andrew agreed to take copies of records and where appropriate, store
on Survivors History Group website.


Sheila shared her experience of work as an art therapist at St
Clements hospital, Mile End. She used to write poems, working with
other Art therapists, including Edward Adamson. She circulated
samples of Adamson's work including "Arts as Healing", 1984.

Noted that in October 2010, the book "Not Shut Up" was prepared by
prisoners encouraged to write about their experiences.

A friend also picked up "Still small voice" & "Red Rose chain".
Sheila has been interested in Scottish Art work since 1964. Has
visited friends in Kirkaldy Fife, a weekly digest with arts since
world war one. Included impact of going to the Somme. - The arts
opened up a way of dealing with trauma.

Mariette at Winchmore Hill put Sheila in touch with Scottish Recovery
Network and wishes she could link up more. Another contact has been
the Oral History Society, 2009. Sheila also met up with Oor Mad
History Group. A humorous writer she discovered was Anne Karpf
"Hearing Voices". Sheila considers recordings of the meetings are a
useful archive.


Christina has been a long term active member of mental health support
organisations. She was involved in UKAN. She brought spare copies of
The Advocate, a UK advocacy network magazine, to donate to the groups
archives and distribute to members. Andrew appreciated the gift and
explained that SHG records consist of a number of individually held
archives, e.g. by Andrew who keeps a timeline and the website, Ann
Plumb, Frank from Core Arts, THACMHO, etc. So SHG is not a central
archive but a series of preserved records held by different members.

Christina asked how she can help by adding material from the UKAN
archive Andrew responded that SHG has to be selective due to lack of
room. Could Christina send a written timeline?

Christina reported it is short: First advocacy policy 1999; Advocacy
working party; Ed McGuinness workshop. She is willing to write up
something on psychiatrists' attempt to control advocacy. There was a
struggle with psychiatrists over definition of advocacy but survivors
retained the dominant say.

Andrew requested Christina's account of the struggle for the
records. Christina agreed to supply relevant appropriate documents.


The St Clement's site was hosting a film festival backed by corporate
sponsors and showcasing Danny Boyle from 8.8.2013 to 18.8.2013 (The
Shuffle festival) Natalie sought volunteers to help stage an event
within the festival. Natalie invited SHG members to contribute to a
service user's show. Originally she had asked for the SHG pageant to
be re-run. However there were differences of opinion among FEEL
members and it was decided to have an open mike session instead.
Since the meeting Natalie, Molly Carroll, and many other creative
survivors found ways of making the voices of survivors heard at the
festival. Andrew was privileged to introduce a guest appearance of
the spirit of the survivor poet Charlotte Mew who took over the body
of Kate [I cannot find her surname, but she was brilliant] for an
appearance in which she was kept alive by an enthusiastic audience


Graham is trying to meet with Terry Simpson to discuss sharing his
extensive archive.


1 comment:

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