Members are fundamental to the principles of foundation trusts. Members can come from a wide range of backgrounds: service users, carers, local people and Trust staff. Membership is free and open to anyone aged 16 or above.
To become a foundation trust we need to recruit as many members as possible. We currently have about 16,500 members. We hope that very many more service users, carers and local people from all backgrounds will want to join us as members. The more members we have, the more we will be able to ensure that we develop our services in a way that reflects the needs of our community. That way, even more people can have a say in how we develop our services.
Trust staff are automatically members of the Foundation Trust once authorised, unless they choose to opt out.
It is important that our membership is diverse and representative of the local population that the Trust serves. Only by fully reflecting our local population will we be able to reach out into the many different communities we serve.
As a member, you will have the opportunity to have a say in the decisions we make and how we run our services. It is up to members to choose how much they want to be involved and in which ways.
There are four categories of members:
- Service user for people who have used our services since January 2006
- Carer for people who are a carer for or friend or relative of a user of our services since 2006,
- Public based on the six main local government and primary care trust areas. Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire
- Staff working for the Trust who will automatically be members unless they decide to opt out.
If you join us as a member you can:
- Receive regular information about our work and issues of interest through a quarterly members' update
- Give us your views about proposals for major service developments or changes
- Tell us about the needs and expectations of your local community
- Come along to events and seminars to learn more about mental health
- Work with us to raise awareness about mental health issues in the wider community and help combat the stigma
- Become active in the life of the Trust and support our work through volunteering or other means of involvement work
- Elect governors to the Council of Governors, or stand for election as a governor yourself
- Access discount schemes for shops, holidays and other services.
To join us as a member of the proposed Foundation Trust please complete the online membership form or alternatively complete and send us a membership application form using the freepost address as stated on the form.
If you have any queries, would like more information or would like to discuss becoming a member, please contact our Membership Office:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 0800 694 9990
If you are a member of a local community or voluntary organisation and you would like us to provide more information or speak at one of your meetings about our plans or mental health and wellbeing in general, please contact our Membership Office as above.
NHS Discounts - a discount scheme usually only offered to NHS staff, but as a member, you can also access the thousands of benefits offered to NHS staff.
Over the next year or so we hope that our FT application will have progressed significantly so that we can hold elections for people to become Governors on the Council of Governors. Once the Council of Governors is established they support the development of our FT Membership scheme and will assist in the planning of future membership activities.
Click here to go to our FT events page.