• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Maria's a bit of voluntary link index

Do you think day centres, or mental health services exploit their clients by offering paid work

  • Yes i do think clents are exploited

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • No i do not think clients are exploited

    Votes: 4 66.7%

  • Total voters
    6
E

Eng65

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
80
Location
North London
Hi to all,
This is my involvement with mental health services.
Just to let everyone know about a new site I have launched. The new site name is” Maria’s a bit of voluntary” I put this site on-line, as a way forward to users who are thinking or want to try some voluntary work. The site uses link indexing. Because of this you can post your own links to different organisations, to share with other users. You can post items that are of interest and help. This way we can all become involved. I have put a “Your choice link” so you could put links to info that may be of help to us all. No links go live, until they are moderated. So, no naughty stuff will ever be displayed. This is my contribution to the general mental health community. Not just where I live, but all over the country. I hope you enjoy what I have put there for us all. Any comments or suggestions let me know.

http://voluntary.breakout.armedhosting.com/

Regards,
Eng65
 
Last edited:
E

Eng65

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
80
Location
North London
Does your centre employ you?

I was wondering if other members assist in the running of their day centres they attend? Or any other sevices, with in the mental health system? which they get paid to do. I get paid to open the IT room, and help users with IT. I think it is a common practice, used thoughout the mental health system. We are not called "Volunteers" any more, but "Service User Participants" .The work i get paid to do is "LEGAL" Would be good to hear from others their views and opinions on this subject?

Eng65
 
A

Aine

Guest
Our day centre is run by the members (There are no 'patients' here!)
All decisions about the centre are made at the monthly members meeting. Some staff attend too in order to facilitate the members' decisions.

The volunteers all have had experience of being members. Also there are a lot of informal volunteers. A list of jobs is posted on the notice board and any one interested in them tell the staff at reception The members organize and run an annual sale and also the odd carboot sale.

Once the utility bills are paid , members makethe decisions on how any money that comes into the Centre is spent.

The members wanted complemantary therapies so the Centre manager asked the Members' meeting if they would be prepared to send two of their members to college to train as a complimentary therapists. In return for their training, these two members returned as volunteers to give members indian head massage, swedish massage and hot stone therapy, manicures, etc.

Members turned a rubbish dump at the back of the centre into a lovely garden with arches and raised fowerbeds. They also build a shelter for the smokers.

Members organize their own angling club and organize fishing holidays to back packers' hostels.
A member is practising for their PSV driving liscence to help with the outings .
 
Fedup

Fedup

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
1,937
Our day centre is run by the members (There are no 'patients' here!)
All decisions about the centre are made at the monthly members meeting. Some staff attend too in order to facilitate the members' decisions.

The volunteers all have had experience of being members. Also there are a lot of informal volunteers. A list of jobs is posted on the notice board and any one interested in them tell the staff at reception The members organize and run an annual sale and also the odd carboot sale.

Once the utility bills are paid , members makethe decisions on how any money that comes into the Centre is spent.

The members wanted complemantary therapies so the Centre manager asked the Members' meeting if they would be prepared to send two of their members to college to train as a complimentary therapists. In return for their training, these two members returned as volunteers to give members indian head massage, swedish massage and hot stone therapy, manicures, etc.

Members turned a rubbish dump at the back of the centre into a lovely garden with arches and raised fowerbeds. They also build a shelter for the smokers.

Members organize their own angling club and organize fishing holidays to back packers' hostels.
A member is practising for their PSV driving liscence to help with the outings .


Sounds very good (y)
 
A

Aine

Guest
Hi there, Eng 65
You say you began as a volunteer and then morphed into a Service User Participant. It seems to me that the role of a 'Volunteer' is better because it carries more prestige as it is a mainstream term - whereas S.U .participants crushes you into a service user role.

There again, I heard that the DHS (Government) aim to get day centre managers to identify their volunteers so that the DHS can put pressure on these identified volunteers to get paid work instead of unpaid work. In a case like that, I would much prefer the vaiger term of S.U. participant!
 
nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
I was wondering if other members assist in the running of their day centres they attend? Or any other services, with in the mental health system? which they get paid to do. I get paid to open the IT room, and help users with IT. I think it is a common practise, used thoughout the mental health system. We are not called "Volunteers" any more, but "Service User Participants" .The work i get paid to do is "LEGAL" Would be good to hear from others their views and opinions on this subject?
Eng65
I am very interested in this 'cos at one meeting I attended I queried the difference between a Service User and a Volunteer and got really flamed by someone (and my question had been a genuine one born out of ignorance). Still I have kept on asking (I'm a stubborn type ;)) and get a lot of different answers. To me the line seems a thin one. For instance I am doing some work on a magazine - now as far as I am concerned this is a part of SUI but I can see how it might be considered volunteering.

So I'm interested in hearing people's opinions.

Nick.
 
daffy

daffy

Well-known member
Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,804
Location
hiding behind the sofa
Our day centre is run by the members (There are no 'patients' here!)
All decisions about the centre are made at the monthly members meeting. Some staff attend too in order to facilitate the members' decisions.

The volunteers all have had experience of being members. Also there are a lot of informal volunteers. A list of jobs is posted on the notice board and any one interested in them tell the staff at reception The members organize and run an annual sale and also the odd carboot sale.

Once the utility bills are paid , members makethe decisions on how any money that comes into the Centre is spent.

The members wanted complemantary therapies so the Centre manager asked the Members' meeting if they would be prepared to send two of their members to college to train as a complimentary therapists. In return for their training, these two members returned as volunteers to give members indian head massage, swedish massage and hot stone therapy, manicures, etc.

Members turned a rubbish dump at the back of the centre into a lovely garden with arches and raised fowerbeds. They also build a shelter for the smokers.

Members organize their own angling club and organize fishing holidays to back packers' hostels.
A member is practising for their PSV driving liscence to help with the outings .

That sounds like a fantastic place Aine. We have nothing like that in my area. All they can manage is a painting class and a pool table. I always thought it would be nice if they had a mini bus to pick us up in. Then be able to take part in activities it would be beneficial. Its always the same old answer tho ,'finances':tea:
 
A

Aine

Guest
Hi, Nickh
Servive users should have their volunteering recognized as such. They deserve the status og being a volunteer. Service user involvement can be the same thing as volunteering and certainly your work on the magazine is volunteer work.
 
E

Eng65

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
80
Location
North London
Hi to all,

We were called volunteers at one point and we got paid £ 3.00 an hour. The DHSS stepped in because it was not regulated, so some voluteers were earning £ 40.00 per week. We had to go through a benefits check.
We do provide a dervice though a good one. Unfortunately in my area the Council are taken back properties from the NHS to sell the land for luxuary housing. This will mean the loss of 2 day centres. We have fought hard to stop the closures, but it is all money to them. It will mean more people in Hospital they don't care.

Eng65
 
dunglen

dunglen

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Scotland
where i used to work we 'paid' service users travel expenses - well above what they would have spent on travel - most had free travel anyway - as an incentive for them to turn up - and then we sent a bill for each person of about £100 per week to the service we were providing the service for. the service users were able to keep all their benefits and get some pocket money and in return the project i worked for turned in a huge profit at the year end.

you have to question the provision of day care in all forms as most is paid for by either NHS or the job centre. the only winners are the government as ill, disabled people etc are expolited to 'work' for nothing but thier benefits and then they get sent to be reassessed and deemed fit to work.
 
nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
Hi, Nickh
Servive users should have their volunteering recognized as such. They deserve the status og being a volunteer. Service user involvement can be the same thing as volunteering and certainly your work on the magazine is volunteer work.
:) thanks Aine that's my own thought, the line is a thin one. Although actually I said work but that's probably overstating it a bit :rolleyes: - I just go to a few meetings and venture some not very insightful opinions!

Nick.
 
A

Aine

Guest
User/Volunteer

Hi, Nick!

I think you underestimate yourself and what you do. At the meetings you are making sure that a servic users/survivor voice is being heard. You are helping professionals get used to the idea of sitting round a table with service user volunteers on an equal basis.

Keep up the good work!
 
E

Eng65

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
80
Location
North London
Hi to all,

I have said it is all about money. We had some temp staff at our centre sometime ago. The attitude of one. I overhead her say we should not be paid for what we do, as it is therapy and vital to our recovery. We all live the life of riley, and quite a few of us fake our illness because we have become smug and lazy and do not want to go back to work. I confronted this worker who denied ever saying such things. I wish i had a tape recorder with me on that day. The worker did not stay that long after.

I do believe there are workers who do resent us.

Eng65
 
Yellowcoaching

Yellowcoaching

Active member
Founding Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
37
Location
UK
Hi, Nick!

I think you underestimate yourself and what you do. At the meetings you are making sure that a servic users/survivor voice is being heard. You are helping professionals get used to the idea of sitting round a table with service user volunteers on an equal basis.

Keep up the good work!
When I began working as a creative therapist I attended training sessions with service users and found their insight and suggestions vital to running a worthwhile session.

I work within the NHS (national health service) in the UK and while I couldn't say in all honesty that the service provided is always good in every place or for everyone, the unit I work on is excellent. One really good thing that is happening now is that service users/patients are being given more of a voice. There are projects and initiatives being rolled out all across the UK to help care givers, therapists and psychs gain more of an insight into the individuals that come to them for help.

www.starwards.org.uk
This is the initiative set up by a former service user and the scheme that I am involved with as a creative therapist. It's for acute wards in the main but has pulled in far more volunteers than previous attempts by my local PCT.
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
16,614
Location
london
The MI women upstairs said "you go with gay men, you go with lesbian women, i'm a decent women, i don't want anything to do with that, they know all about you at MIND"

If i hadn't gone to that MIND counciling group they would not know all about me, if i had not been forced to make an issue of schitsoprenia, with mental health serviuces, in order to get the benefits it wouldn't be all round the area.

25yrs ago i was in a hostel, they pushed "Independent living" and "Inclusion" it was the start of care in the community, pushing not uising services was also viewed as a good idea as it saved on resources

Read somewhere that the Warnock Repote that started care in the community was about inclusion and theres evidence it's going back to segregation
 
Top