AGM & Members’ Event 2021 – session recordings

Graphic on a white background with small pictures of all of the speakers/facilitators at the AGM 2021

On Monday 29th November and Wednesday 1st December 2021 NSUN held our Annual General Meeting and Members’ Event virtually.

It was fantastic to create space for conversations around a huge range of topics, including democratising policy work and the concept of ‘Lived Experience Leadership’.

A big thank you to everyone who joined us to speak or facilitate: Rai Waddingham, aaks, Emma Ormerod, Leah Chikamba, Abdi Hassan, Mariko Hayashi, Rosie Hodson, the StopSIM coalition, Nikki & Michelle at Bounce Black, Alison Faulkner, Debbie Roberts, Amy Rushton, Harry Josephine Giles, Sabah Choudrey, Shon Faye, Stephen Jeffreys, Jacqui Lovell, Dina Poursanidou, Bethan Edwards, Jessica Pons, Shuranjeet Singh, Tamar Jeynes, and Farzana Khan. And thank you so much to everyone who (virtually) joined us!

Couldn’t make it? You can catch up with the sessions whenever you want:


Opening keynote with Rai Waddingham: “Mad Knowledge as an Act of Resistance”.

Rai is a survivor, practitioner, writer, trainer, researcher, designer and activist with experience of creating and managing innovative peer support-based projects in a range of contexts. She has personal experience of hearing voices, psychosis, trauma, self-harm and hospitalisation and holds lived experience (personal and collective) as a compass that guides all she does.


Beyond beneficiaries: resourcing user-led groups panel discussion

If you’ve ever filled out a funding application, it’s likely that at some point you’ve had to answer a question like, ‘How many beneficiaries will benefit from your proposed activities?’ This jargon-heavy question assumes the person filling out the form has never been a ‘beneficiary’, a service user, or a person experiencing distress. In this panel, we’ll explore how user-led mental health work sits in relation to the current funding ecosystem, and what needs to change in order for this kind of work to thrive.


Democratising mental health policy: who does the work, who gets the recognition? Panel discussion

Many grassroots groups have a deep understanding of the issues their community members face and may carry out their own agile, effective campaigning work. This work is often small-scale, hyper local, un or under-funded and undervalued. Working in mental health, where co-production and involvement are increasingly part of practice, tokenism and extractive relationships can be major barriers to meaningful work. Larger organisations with more ‘legitimacy’ can and do parasitise the work of grassroots groups. How can we move from co-option to meaningful power sharing?


In conversation with StopSIM: podcast

This two-part podcast (with the first episode premiered on 29th November and the second episode premiering a week later) sees NSUN member Erica sit down with a few of the StopSIM coalition to look back on the campaign: the impact it had on the members of the coalition, as well as the highlights and moments of pride.

Listen on Soundcloud below or listen on Anchor by Spotify.

Part 1:

Part 2:


Small group discussion on peer support with graphic facilitator Debbie Roberts

Click here to view the image in a larger size on Debbie’s Flickr page.


Care as resistance in queer communities: panel discussion

Following on from last year’s panel LGBTQ+ and Survivor Activism, this year we are focussing in on care as a form of resistance for our communities, considering burnout, issues around “self-care”, and the resourcing of care work.


Survivor researchers: what do we bring? (SRN) Panel discussion

This panel with the Survivor Researcher Network looked at mental health service user interview accounts of involuntary hospitalisation (‘sectioning’) in England to discuss the critical importance of listening to ambivalent (contradictory) service user and survivor voices when it comes to psychiatric detention.


‘Lived Experience Leadership’ panel discussion

A panel discussion on the concept of ‘Lived Experience Leadership‘, broadly encompassing initiatives or situations where people with lived experience of mental ill-health, trauma and distress are involved in organising and/or influencing, whether that is in a named or unnamed role, paid or unpaid, seen or unseen, and across a whole range of contexts.