Last year over 100 people gathered in Sheffield for our Annual General Meeting and Members' Event.

As ever, feedback from attendees valued the networking, the discussions, the sharing and connecting. The Soap Boxes were also a highlight, creating a space for people to share what was important to them. "Soapboxes were INSPIRATIONAL! And gave a flavour of what’s going on around the country".

We also had the launch of the user led 'Challenge Sheffield@Challengesheff. Susan Smith spoke about the 'proud history' Sheffield has of providing mental health support and services through groups that are controlled by people with lived experience of mental health problems, such as the development of the Hearing Voices and the UK Advocacy Network.

In the afternoon we focused on the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, with Dorothy Gould presenting up to date information on the process and suggestions on how people could engage with it. This included raising awareness with local MPs and campaigning for a rights based Mental Health Act.

The final session of the day was reserved for table top discussions on the Members' Manifesto. Participants reflected on its relevance, accessibility and the priorities they wanted to see addressed. Feedback has influenced our programme of work since then and has helped us focus on the priorities people identified. Although all the Manifesto points were regarded as important, it was point 3 that was emerged as the most mentioned.

Pressure mental health services to make the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ a reality at all levels, through meaningful involvement in decisions about our own individual care and genuine co-production to develop services

The 4Pi National Involvement standards are now used across the country and across the sectors and have proven to be a valuable framework to ensure effective involvement, participation and co-production practice.

Finally, the graphic produced by Debbie Roberts at Engage Visually provided yet another fantastic capture of the day. This year participants were invited to contribute to its creation (in response to feedback from the last AGM).

Read the full event report here.