Sheila Blatchford is a member of our Experts by Experience Network who was interviewed for our newsletter about her experiences of being part of the group.
How did you get involved with the EBE?
After a series of events that affected my mental health, I joined Moving Forward and began taking courses to build my confidence to help me find my purpose. One of these was a peer research module for an NVQ qualification facilitated by FLNG. This course was followed up with a research project and since then I have been attending Network meetings and events, taking part in opportunities to help spread the word about multiple and complex needs, sharing learning and even facilitating the co-production training sessions that the EBE helped to write.
What would you say to anyone thinking about joining the EBE Network?
Do it. Come along to a welcome meeting, hear about the things we do and have a chat, there is no obligation to do more than you are comfortable with, for some it is just a couple of hours each week for a cuppa and a chat.
There is a fantastic group of people, working together for system change. We are trying to create sustained changes within the services people use, to make them a better experience for those that need them. We meet up once a week for a Network meeting, to catch up on work that we have been involved with and have a chat and cuppa.
I love the EBE Network as I can do as much or as little as I want and have a bit of fun at the same time, with people that have similar life experiences to me… and you.
This interview originally featured in full in the Summer 2020 Experts by Experience Newsletter.